Chiara Kickdrum

Composer Chiara Kickdrum on capturing the future through everyday sounds

21 November 2018

Chiara Costanza (also known as Chiara Kickdrum) is a music composer, producer and DJ born and raised in Torino, Italy and now based in Australia. Her artistic appreciation and blend of music disciplines allow her to produce an eclectic range of musical outcomes.

Having just recently performed with American techno DJ Jeff Mills ‘The Wizard’ in Melbourne, she’s heading to Sydney next week to take us on a futuristic journey for Prue Lang’s new work Towards Innumerable Futures, premiering as part of New Breed 2018.

She shares her inspiration in an interview below:

Q. How would you describe the music you’re creating for Prue’s new work Towards Innumerable Futures?

It’s going to be quite abstract, open and textural. There will be space to breathe and I hope it will give the audience an opportunity to think about what we’re trying to say about the future. There’s going to be quite a few layers as well. There are some sounds the audience will recognise and other sounds, maybe not!

Q. What are some of the inspirations behind the music you’re creating for Towards Innumerable Futures?

I have a lot of voice recordings that I will manipulate for the piece. A lot of my inspiration comes from artists like Ryuichi Sakamoto. His work is incredibly varied and goes from textual, ambient music that’s quite experimental to more traditional music with piano and string instrumentals.

Q. Prue Lang’s work plays upon the future human through themes like AI and technology. How are you keeping this in mind when you’re composing the music?

Prue and I had quite a few discussions about AI and what’s happening right now in our society. There’s a lot of things happening right now with AI and technology, as well as the uncertainty, excitement and mystery of how these things could evolve to be. There’s also a little bit of fear because obviously, things could go completely the wrong way.

In a way, I think what’s why I like the combination between traditional sounds and the new and technological sounds you can create with software. I’m really interested in creating everyday sounds and making it so you can’t quite recognise what it is and where it comes from. I want to create potential and a little bit of hope for what the future might hold with these new technologies.

Q. Is this your first time composing for dance?

Yes. Many years ago I practised classical dance and one of my dreams was to always be a dancer. I’ve been following the contemporary dance world for around four or five years. To be able to finally do something related to it is quite amazing.

Q. How does the music you compose for contemporary dance differ to the work you make for film?

You can be a bit more loose. When you work for film you have to be aware of characters, scenes and environments. It’s incredibly complex visually. For dance, it’s more about the movements. I like the idea of using more space without being too intrusive with the music or doing too much with it. I think with dance and with Prue’s work I’m letting things breathe more and have the dancers be the main thing that drives the performance!

New Breed is on at Carriageworks, 29 November – 8 December.

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