Interview with Dorota Konchewska ahead of BAN BAM festival
“I get inspiration out of experiences in life good or bad, because that way, I feel like my work is sincere, and comes from the heart.”
Born in Poland and based in Dublin, multi-talented Dorota Konchewska is a producer, composer singer and multimedia artist. Her music is exciting and experimental, using her custom-built electronic synths and patches, allowing her to chop up beats and record live loops.
We asked Dorota to share with us what inspires her music, her current projects, and her upcoming performance at our new festival event BAN BAM.
Who or what inspires you at the moment - be it in music, arts, politics or your personal life?
“Deep thought goes into everything I do with my conceptual art. I have always been inspired by the complex range of human emotions, questions of gender, race, sexuality , loneliness. I get inspiration out of experiences in life good or bad, because that way, I feel like my work is sincere, and comes from the heart.
Each of my works comes into being when I get inspired “with something”, or come across something in my environment, which moves my imagination and my conscience. For many years, I have been working as a court and prison interpreter. That gave me some inspiration, particularly for depicting darker, often grotesque or gruesome view of society. Building audio-visual stories loaded with literary, religious, and social allusions with a nod to Surrealism.
This year I have finally been to MoMA in NYC and also made it to Gugenheim and Metropoitan museum . Seeing the “Cels” of Louise Bourgeous and standing a meter besides them and feeling the smell of them is not the same as googling them. It can really take you somewhere. Recently I started being more careful about where I search for inspiration. It’s just that once you commence on project you have to dwell on that energy of your theme of interest for a quite some time. And if it's some heavy stuff it can feel like sitting in a mud bath for too long.”
There is an obvious gender imbalance in the music industry, but especially so in jazz. What do you think can be done about this? How do you see this changing in the future?
“Yes there is indeed. I think that firstly, the issue has to be recognised by society. I think that people needs to realize that women that are not “ there” are their mothers, sister, girlfriends… and everybody should have equal rights to create and perform. At the end of the day, we are talking about music not using a JCB . Nevertheless, if forementioned women would like to drive a JCB, they should have been given equal opportunity to do so - equality for everybody!”
What do you think of your current local jazz/experimental scene? Who are your favourite artists/ ones to watch?
“There is a lot happening out there and there is quite a few interesting projects that I have heard! I will mention the artist that absolutely blew me off my feet. Her name is Katherine Philippa, she’s based in Northern Ireland. Whatever she does in her shows is so far out there. Uber talent! Plus, I can see that loads of rehearsal and preparation went into her show, and she has quite an unusual setup. I’m also following an interesting producer and a video artist called Bad Bones from Dublin. Patrick Kelleher is also floating my boat.”
Can you tell us about a seminal experience, project, or encounter that had a significant impact on your career or life choices?
“Yes. That was when I was a 14 year old innocent petal. It was night time and I was on the coach travelling for my holidays to Italy. The bus drove through a tunnel to go through the Alp mountains. So I knew that I was in the heart of this massive mountain, and the lights in the tunnel were flicking one after another, with a speed of 70 BPM I’d say! I had my walkman with me and a tape that I got from the older brother of my girlfriend. The tape was triphop, ‘Nearly God’ by Tricky. At one moment tempo of the passing lights became even with the tempo of the track, and that moment was so cinematic. I dreamed that one day I would be producing psychedelic electronic music.”
What does being part of an event like BAN BAM mean to you?
“Being a part of BAM BAM means a great deal to me. It means being part of a fantastic project that deals with a matter that is important to me. It also means sharing space with other amazing female artists.”
Are you working on anything new at the moment? What do you have lined up for 2018?
“I’m currently working on another series of photo installations called Dybuk 2. In this project my intention will be to depict human bodies that are shot within scenarios staged by myself. That project will be a testimony to harsh process of passing away and would be addressing the morbid, the perverse, the erotic, and the religious. Thanks to audio-visual art, there is a continuity of the contact with the past, and that provides possibility for old world-spheres to influence the current ones. An ugly or grotesque thing can become dignified because it attracted an artist’s eye. A beautiful thing may become source of nostalgic yearning after it gets old and decayed.
I’m also working on a composition for a contemporary dance, where professional dancers are working with dancers that are members of the Simon Community. This is a great project to be part of and rehearsals are commencing soon. I also have an EP coming up in March and that will take some of my energy. Before the end of 2018, I’m also planning to pay my bills, eat, stay alive, and do some horse-riding.”
Book Tickets for BAN BAM here
For more on Dorota visit https://www.iamdorota.com/