AV talks with Igneous Flame aka Pete Kelly


Pete Kelly

Visit Pete's website

Pete Kelly on YouTube

Pete Kelly on Bandcamp



AV:  How has the current state of the world during the pandemic affected your creativity in regards to music? 

PK:  I feel very fortunate to have my work to focus myself with through these times. Being highly sensitive, I have picked up on the huge thought-form of fear that has been created, so I started to go inside myself more so to deal it.

AV:  Has your music been a comfort to you during this unprecedented time in which we find ourselves? 

PK:  Indeed, perhaps more of a lifeline - having something to return to away from the endless daily gloom from the media. Like a lot of other (ambient) artists, I have always worked independently, so that wasn't an issue. If I had been in a working band, that would have been very different. My recent albums were a significant point of focus for me.

AV:  Tell me what it is about ambient music that always seems to refresh you and keep you moving forward with new projects and new compositions?

PK:  The lack of structure and 'form' appeals to me primarily. On a personal artistic level, I always want to improve and progress and explore new areas. I am never happy (as such) with what I've done. I endeavour to do the best I can - at that time, but in hindsight, I would probably like to make changes, so I don't revisit them.



AV:  When did you first start working on this project that would eventually be called Lapiz?

PK:  From memory, it was part of a  bigger pool of work, that I had been working on for the last three or so years.

AV:  I gather from the notes on your Bandcamp site that this project started out with one instrument in mind but ended up being more diverse as you moved through the process. Tell me about this process and what it was that motivated you to expand your original vision for this album.

PK  Initially the album was going to heavily feature the Kantele (Finnish Zither), as I had been playing around with sample libraries and reminisced about the zither on Laraaji's 'Ambient 3', but I decided to feature more the 'fluid guitar' sound I didn't want to include just guitar 'noodlings', but more structured parts and improvisations.

AV:  As Lapiz expanded was the vision you started with for the album adequate or was that expanded as well?

PK:  As is usual, it changed somewhat and I adapted to it.

AV:  When projects evolve like this how does that affect work that has already been done? Maybe you could describe how it is you approach a musical project like this and how you stay flexible for creative bursts of inspiration.

PK:  I find daily work is required for that one per cent flash of inspiration. I try to 'keep musically fit', by constantly working in order to be ready and to be able to spot these special moments. These can be executed surprisingly quickly, but only when the preparation has ensured that the 'time is right'

AV:  You use the term "slow cooked" approach for this album. What does that mean to you? Do you deliberately force yourself to look at and work on the music at a pace that is not what you would normally do? Explain.

PK:  There was an element of my personal circumstances slowing me down. Also, I am in no rush to release a certain number of albums per year. There was more in the way of reflecting on the work in progress - leaving the project for a while and returning when I felt it was right to continue, rather than going into some kind of autopilot mode just to get it finished for it's own sake.

Perhaps 'Fermenting' may have been a better word !

AV:  Tell me what "fluid guitar" means to you and how that manages to integrate into the tracks of this album.

PK:  I really like the sound of East Asian violin type sounds and I set about trying to emulate it with my fretless guitars and sustainer pickups / ebow, with a heavy legato style. I felt I hadn't really documented this style of playing in my work, so this album was intended to feature this style. Incidentally, the guitar is the only 'live' instrument on this release (although it was heavily edited)

AV:  What are your strengths when it comes to taking a project like Lapiz from beginning to end and allowing it to grow & change along the way?

PK:  My musical hypersensitivity and tenacity (particularly regarding longer term projects) I have a keen sense of the overall project and the ability to get things finished and knowing when to stop working on something. I'm quite methodical and I keep ongoing notes throughout a project and I'd like to think, I'm sufficiently flexible to adapt to required changes along the way.

AV:  How much did Lapiz change from your original conception to the finished album? Were you happy with the results?

PK:  Less Kantele / zither than I originally imagined and more guitar featured. It turned into something else, which is usually the way things go for me.

AV:  What is it that you absolutely love about composing/playing or even recording of new music that you are in the midst of creating?

PK:  Having worked on my music fairly constantly for a long time now, it becomes more like work - but work that is fun ! Creating things is always a positive thing for the soul, I believe.

AV:  So if there is one question that I didn't ask about Lapiz that you would really want to answer what would that question be an what would your answer be?

PK:  Who is it for ? As I said earlier, I don't listen to my work.  I hope that it resonates with other people out there and 'colours their world' to some degree, with myself being a musical conduit of sorts.

AV: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me about your latest artistic endeavor.


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