Poordream is the personal idm/electronic of accomplished sound designer & musician John Valasis. This Saturday, November 18, he will be one of the acts to perform live at MODU at the unique electronic event co-organized by WRONGPAD & Kapelomusic.
Below you can read avey interesting live chat that took place a few days ago (very) late at night. But it was really worth it!
Hi John! Feel free to tell us about the Poordream project so that our readers (those who are unaware of you) get to know you. In other words, give us a brief bio of Poordream!
Hello Chris! Poordream started back in 2008 as a personal vehicle to freely express my emotions and influences without defining limits and by exploring sound and composition beyond the boundaries of conventional electronic music.
Catching your last words, by the word ‘conventional’ you mean?
By the term conventional I mean music built on the standard 4/4 beats per measure, easy for listeners to appreciate, based on simple arrangements and structures, and without strong emotional impact. I always try to draw my listeners into a world of mysticism by producing complex arrangements, unconventional drum patterns, and new sound pathways, so they will be able to experience new ways of thinking and existence.
Fair enough… So, your latest album ‘Ninetynine’ was released through the well-respected Tympanik Audio. How did this happen?
When I had finished with the production of the album, I had to find a label in order to release it. So, I sent an email to Paul from Tympanik Audio discussing the opportunities for collaboration and that’s how it happened. The truth is that Paul was already a fan of my music. He had asked me to contribute to ‘Emerging Organisms Vol. 3’ back in 2009.
Back to the spine-chilling ‘Ninetynine’. Where to start with? The cover? The credits? (Subheim’s participation?). The music itself? Have to start from somewhere in any case… So tell us about the concept of this magnum opus….
It all started in a small village of Naxos island called Aperathos. I was exploring the beauty of this picturesque village on foot when I met an old man with a white beard. He was 99 years old, and we’ve talked for a while. The vocal samples on ‘Ninetynine’ were derived from that unique moment. So that was the core inspiration for the musical journey of the album. When I was searching for ideas for the cover artwork, I found that amazing photo by Ragnar Axelsson. It was a great honour and surprise for me to obtain his license in order to use it as my album cover. Actually, he sent me a bunch of photos to choose from and all of them were amazing. My partner-in-crime Kostas designed the layout, but he was also contributed as co-composer on two tracks.
Although it’s almost 3 in the morning after a tiring day, reading these words and listening to ‘Ninetynine’ is a unique experience! So this man is not in the photo… I have to ask this: Did you keep contact with this man, or was it a one-shot? Is he alive?
No he is not in the photo, but their similarity is amazing! Unfortunately, the old man from Naxos passed away a couple of years ago.
He went to find his wife after 17 years, so I guess he’s better now… So you kept in touch with the old chap?
Not really, a friend of mine who is from Naxos is my only connection with the island now. The latter was mentioned about the old man’s death in a random discussion.
I suppose you know Memphidos… He did something similar with ‘Old Man Regrets‘ using the voice of Magnolia’s old man…Building the tension I’d say… Do you know the track?
Although Dimitris is a friend of mine and I am aware of and enjoy his music, I have unfortunately missed that track.
Time for some listening comprehension then…(sending the track)
Totally agree! Great build up! If I am not wrong, I think that I’ve heard it before at a Memphidos live show.
Yep. Back to talking about the ‘Nintynine’ album… Regarding the collaboration with Subheim? How did he contribute on the album?
First and foremost, Subheim’ s music deeply inspires me. So his contribution was rather important in the creation of my own musical voice. Besides that we have a strong artistic relationship. We send music ideas to each other all the time. On the ‘Ninetynine’ album he is co-composer for both ‘Bangla Razor’ and ‘Flying Blind’.
Studying your bio, I found out about your work with Ninja Tune & Ableton! Did you expect this? Not a better reward for a sound designer?
My professional experience in the world of music and sound spans 22 years. I have produced music since I was 15 years old, when I built my first professional studio in my hometown, Thessaloniki. It goes without saying that I am very grateful that I work for some of the leading companies in the industry, such NI, Ableton, Ninja Tune, BBC to name a few. I dare say that I couldn’t live without making music. Therefore, I put a lot of effort, love and passion into that. The combination of working hard with a bit of luck can be very fruitful at some point!
What will you present at the 18th of November event by WRONGPAD (& Kapelomusic) at MODU?
As always, I will strive to produce a dynamic set with emotional impact. On the 18th of Nov. at MODU I will, of course, play well-known tracks from ‘Ninetynine’, but I am planning to perform new stuff that has never been heard before as well. It would be a great chance for the Poordream fans to have a taste of this unique material!
What’s next for Poordream then?
Who knows? Taking into consideration my busy business schedule and the raising of two kids, it’s extremely hard to find the time needed for catching the right mood and writing new Poordream material. But I can assure you that I will keep producing albums for the Poordream project!
Photo credits: Vittoria Volovik (1st one), Mahos Paterakis (2nd one)