Thursday, 22 October 2009

Myspace Magic: Cybiont

After having reviewed his album last week, this week NME-E tries to get its head around Cybiont, the latest addition to the MySpace Magic section. As the image above (the closest you'll get to a portrait) and my album review last week suggest, New Zealand-based, Cybiont is anything but simple. Here's what he had to tell us from the other side of the world.

NME-E: So Cybiont, who or what are you and how did you come about?
Cy: 'Cybiont' is an earthling located in New Zealand. I would call myself a bit of an explorer and have been living and working in many places on this globe.
'Cybiont' started as a personal need to record all those lyrics, melodies and sounds obsessing my being. Many tunes and words demanded to be made into compositions. You can also call it 'a boyhood dream that needed an adult in order to see the day'. Cybiont is not really a band. It is a mini Cybiont :) A collaboration between one person, a computer, instruments, wanna-be instruments and life.
Simple enough..

NME-E: Is there a reason behind your name?
Cy: The name is taken from a book called “The Symbiotic Man’ written by French scientist and thinker – Joel Rosnay. The CYBIONT is a visionary definition of a future planetary “being”.

Personally I understand the CYBIONT as - The symbiotic co-evolution of biology and technology - where organisms, machines, social structures and networks become a single entity - a ‘planetary brain’ - with humans as its neurons. Cybiont is a planetary macro-organism under construction.
I suggest reading the book!

Yipes! Cybiont's synopsis has made me dizzy enough, don't know if I'd be able to handle the whole text!

Still, you start to get an idea of where Cybiont's music is coming from when you read about what he thinks.

NME-E: OK then, what does a Cybiont sound like?
Cy: A personal journey – that’s been made available for others to explore. The music has been compared to Nick Cave, traditional african music, Brian Ferry, Wire, Cirque de Solei, Kurt Veil and more. Some has called it 'eco-electro' and others has compared it to a modern day Lou Reed. I would be happy if listeners described it as ‘passionate’ and ‘powerful’ – music with ‘spirit’. That it makes hearts beat faster and provoke thoughts to explore new ways. It is an exhibition of a heart and I may like it being called “soul cabaret”

My song writing/composing usually gets triggered off by something. This can be a sound, a thought, a leaf that rustles in the wind, a bird song, a beat/rhythm made by walking, a piece of metal scraping along the pavement, a book (or even just a title of a book), something that I find being wrong and that upsets!, a conversation, a random face hiding a lie or a smile. Intense conversations usually trigger some ideas, and off course - other music that I hear. A couple of the tunes on the album are based on a feeling that was triggered by a synthesizer sound. Others started as an idea that was built up over time.

What really inspires to make music are all those brave enough to bring something new into this world. The small man standing up for justice, the tiny voice that dare to speak the truth, and the ones - that against all odds - continue working for what they believe is right. They touch my heart, and often that comes out as music at this end.

would certainly agree that it's powerful and passionate. The debut album (a trilogy, no less) must be very autobiographical and you can clearly see (hear) that the artist believes in what he's singing about.

NME-E: What are your releases to date?
Cy: I have one album, 'A Trilogy Of Random Thoughts & Considerations', which is made up of 17 songs in 3 parts with and Interlude and a Finale. Each part got its own 'lyrical theme'; 'An Atheist’s Prayers To People And Planet' is intended to encourage the listener to thought. The lyrics are inspired by a wish for a better world; 'Prelude to Life' – is a bit sad and melancholic… inspired by...hmm... maybe by not being so inspired?; 'Rebellion of the Misfits' is, well, rebellious and a bit angrier and is inspired by the un-willingness to accept the established ‘dogmas’ and so called ‘truths’. The Finale is not a very good song musically – but the album needed to end with that particular wish/encouragement.

Couldn't have put it better myself (although I think the review was quite fair, modesty aside!).

NME-E: If Cybiont were to embark on a world tour and could choose its own band/artist to support you, who would it be and why?
Cy: There are 2 answers to this question depending on what you are asking. If the question is who I wish to play a supporting act to I would say: I'd love to play with the likes of Nick Cave or Tom Waits as I've been following both since my very early years and their music has meant a lot to me. I'd also be honoured to open up for Carl Orff's master piece 'Carmina Burana'. It is extremely powerful! However, I'd probably be best as a part of a theatrical experience/show such as 'De La Guarda'. I love it when different forms or art comes together as 'one'.

Now, if the question is 'who I would like to have as supporting artists playing Cybiont's music' - I would say: A mixture of Trent Reznor, Buena Vista Social Club, the London Symphony Orchestra, Ry Cooder and the Bad Seeds.

This guy must have a lot of time to think about things!

NME-E: What's your favourite album at the moment?
Cy: At the moment I am listening a bit to The Flies, Tom Waits and Mavis Staples but despite being an golden oldie my absolute favourite album at the moment is 'Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space' by Spiritualized.

NME-E: Finally Cybiont, could you tell us about your objectives/prospects for next 12 months?

Cy: Firstly to finish recording the next release 'Angels and Demons' – that is developing in a way that I didn't anticipate. Interesting indeed. Then visit the edge of some other musical boundaries and explore new sounds and styles. Would love to set up a proper place where I permanently could keep all kinds of pieces of musical equipment such as oil barrels, scrap metal, PVC pipes, blocks of wood and more.

A project I've had in my mind for a while now is to compose a 1 hour musical experience based on the subject of 'Doubt'. How the history of doubt has shaped the world. Would love to make some modern interpretation of the Three Penny Opera by Brecht/Veil.
Find another like-minded artist(s) wanting to develop this musical concept further. Only one mind is a limitation. That might also lead to Cybiont actually making a performance.

If anyone's interested in a duo, then best get in touch with him on his myspace.

Just before I managed to call time on the interview, Cybiont asked if he could add a parting thought. Here goes...

"I love making music. Music can move hearts and mine certainly gets moved by composing and playing as Cybiont. In music you can break barriers and at least for a moment – you can fly free!
In 'real life' we are often presented to and limited by invisible barriers.

Almost everything is put neatly into ‘comfortable boxes’ - rubber stamped with the official ‘dogmas’, that not surprisingly are being accepted as universal truths….Imagination and creativity are the losers – with the blessing of our educational system…. I get claustrophobic just thinking about it!
In music (and art in general) you can be free to imagine, free to be creative, free to create a new reality and free to reveal your heart's inner feelings. That applies to you as listener and to the one composing and performing the music. I just love that :)"

Well there you go. Cybiont is definitely an intriguing character. NME-E would like to thank him for providing us with such an interesting piece and wish him all the very best on his journey through our planet.

Last 5 NME-E interviews:
Mutineers (Manchester, UK)
The Fall Of Kings (Liverpool, UK)
Subkicks (Midlands, UK)
The Idles (Liverpool, UK)
Miss Caffeina (Granada, Spain)

Read all NME-E interviews