An interview with Mitoș Micleușanu

Dec 14, 2017
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Mitoș Micleușanu, born in Bakhchysarai/Crimeea, lived and studied arts in Chisinau (MD) and Cluj-Napoca. He has an almost holistic approach to his compositions, using lots of granular synthesis and modular synthesizers. Grindcore was his teenage escapism, as he says, and that is felt in his music because of the punk attitude. For Mitos classification is irrelevant these days and this thought also applies when we listen to his 13 self-published albums on Bandcamp. Ranging from electro-acoustic experiments to dark ambient or pure improvisation using synthetic sounds, the music of Micleușanu is haunting in a very conceptual, yet ironic way. You really need to listen with your inner ears to this experimental electronic music and let it grow inside you. The artist is also active as a writer and radio host. You can find his music following his Bandcamp page

What's your opinion on the state of today's electronic music, with so many producers and genres and with the help of technology that's getting cheaper and more available than ever?
I don’t see a specific state of today's electronic music. Maybe a more intelligent approach of noise & detachment from sound dogmas. Anyway, I see evolving, transformation and a lot of new technological possibilities, but also this means a lot of wandering, indecision, unfinished works.

Your music ranges from being purely electroacoustic to hard-to-classify experimental electronica or even grindcore. How would you define your music?
Grindcore was my teenage escapism. Sometimes ”I feed” my nostalgia with harsh noise, sludge, math metal or grindcore. My ”music”?... I don't know... I think classification is irrelevant, more important is first contact, expression, ”heart to heart” transmission. If I generate a little new sound world, its ok (for the moment).

What is your work ethic? What are the steps from opening your favorite software to the final audible result? Concept or improvisation? Is there a philosophy behind your aesthetic?
Sound research is my philosophy, founding new sonic landshafts from combining multiple software and hardware and carefully process the results.

What hardware and software do you use in your studio setup?
I have an Arturia controller & two modular synthesizers, Korg MS-20 and ”Patasyntax” (a solid DIY modular from my good friend Alex Patatics). I also like VCV rack, Reaktor, Granulars like Density or Spear... & for postproduction & video editing: Soundforge & Sony Vegas.

How about for playing live?
A prepared electric guitar, Patasintax modular synth and some external effect pedals like Polara reverb and Digitech delay.

What drove you to play with sounds, as I know that you haven't studied music apart from taking some piano lessons? Do you play any live instrument in your music or the computer just does the job for you?
In primary school I sang in a choir and as a student (1990-1993) I had some friends from the Music Academy of Cluj who gave me tapes with works of John Cage or Iannis Xenakis. I play pretty well on the acoustic and electric guitar, and I also have a little collection of ”exotic” string instruments, like sarangi, rabab and esraj. From time to time I ”extract” some warm sounds from these instruments.

What are your sources of inspiration (books, movies, other music)? Do you use field-recording in your tracks?
Life, thinking & imagination. I am interested in psychology & philosophy, postmodernism in literature, videoart, anthropology or cosmology. I love field recording, but as a separate domain. I don't like the combinations of field recordings with synthetic or percussive sounds.

Do you make any money from composing music? What's your opinion on copyright versus copyleft (Creative Commons etc)?
No, I have a parallel activity for making money, like radio & tv production. Copyright is understandable, but Creative Commons means faster evolving art.

What are your favorite artists these days? With whom would you like to work?
I like electroacoustic masters like Horacio Vaggione, Giles Gobeil or Paul Dolden. From mainstream music I like some works of Dalglish, Rashad Becker, Richard Devine & the last 2016-2017 Autechre live works from their European tour. From Romania I like Makunouchi Bento & Somnoroase Pasarele, Gili Mocanu's project.

Will there ever be a new "Planeta Moldova"? You said you want to let this project evolve into film.
Planeta Moldova is my psychotic past. Right now, I mostly focus on this schizoid present time.

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