Richie Hawtin is a techno pioneer. Originally from Canada, Richie played a leading role in establishing the Detroit scene, before trailblazing his way across the atlantic to his new home in Berlin and the home of all things minimal. This years performance at Sonar looks to be something special as Pedro Alcalde and Sergio Caballero recompose a Plastikman piece to be played by an orchestra and Hawtin himself.
As an experienced Sonar campaigner, how is the festival different from others?
Sonar has always been a great forum and stage for bringing together all sides of the electronic music spectrum; the more dance floor orientated things, the more experimental side, and the more art and installation side. Bringing all these sides together always creates a great forum for discussions and new inspiration.
What is your favourite festival memory?
For me, last years Sonar was extremely memorable. The set that Ricardo and I were able to play at the large Sonar by Night venue was very inspirational for us both. It showed us how open minded the young people in Spain are becoming, with them welcoming a new sound that was rarely heard at the large Sonar by Night evenings. Seeing so many people moving and grooving to our hypnotic minimal sound was amazing!
and grooving to our hypnotic
minimal sound was amazing!"
This year at Sonar you are working with an orchestra for the concert at SonarAuditori. It sounds like an epic project, and quite different to something like you M nus night. Can you tell RA a little about the performance?
Anytime you start to work with other musicians things start to change. This is the challenge and one of the main reasons to become involved in such a project; to find a way to collaborate and bring two or three different worlds together.
The Sonar programme includes features on innovative art, multimedia and technology. You are a leader in adopting new technology like Ableton live or producing in 5.1 surround sound – how do these advances influence the music you play or produce?
The progression of technology and the progression of technology based music have always been completely linked. Since very early on, my fascination in electronic music was because of the link, and one of the things that I can continue to explore is exactly this change, and progression of new ideas and techniques. I can not say which is more important for me, the music or the technology that we use to create it. This is why I continue to explore new areas in both performance and creation. It is part of the life blood of our scene, and the main reason why I continue to be part of the electronic music community.
Sonar has a reputation for pushing new frontiers. What are you looking forward to catching at this year's festival?
I’m excited to see Miss Kittin & Ellen Allien at Sonar by Night, because both of these women bring something new and exciting to the dance side of our scene. And as always I look forward to just walking through Sonar by Day and stumbling onto new artists, ideas and inspiration.
Can you give RA a heads-up on anything to keep an ear out for, or anything else on the horizon for you in 2005?
My main focus this year is on my new Decks, Efx album, called DE9: Transitions. For me, this year is the start of my journey into the exploration of fully immersive environments, with the 5.1 (surround sound) version of Transitions being my first finished experiment!
Richie Hawtin plays the Auditori for Sonar by Night on Thursday 16 June.
M nus presents 'minimise to maximise' at Sonar by Night on Saturday 18 June.
This interview is part of RA’s exclusive 2005 Sonar Prologue interview series - check out the others below;
2005 Sonar Prologue with Jeff Mills
2005 Sonar Prologue with Miss Kittin
2005 Sonar Prologue with Headman
2005 Sonar Prologue with Booka Shade
2005 Sonar Prologue with DJ Yoda
2005 Sonar Prologue with Ellen Allien
2005 Sonar Prologue with Basteroid
2005 Sonar Prologue with DJ T.
2005 Sonar Prologue with Ada
2005 Sonar Prologue with Damain Lazarus
2005 Sonar Prologue with Mu
2005 Sonar Prologue with James Murphy