Mattin is a Basque artist working mostly with noise and improvisation. Mattin also has written about improvisation and free software, and against the notion of intellectual property. In 2001 Mattin formed Sakada with Eddie Prévost and Rosy Parlane. He has over seventy releases in different labels around the world. He runs the experimental record labels w.m.o/r and Free Software Series, and the netlabel Desetxea. Mattin publishes his music under the no-licence of Anti-copyright. With Anthony Iles, he has edited the book Noise & Capitalism.
"Going Fragile" (July 2005)
Mattin, "Going Fragile" (July 2005), in Mattin, Anthony Iles (eds.) Noise & Capitalism (Donostia-S.Sebastiá, Spain: Arteleku Audiolab, September 2009), pp. 19–23.
- Improvised music forces situations into play where musicians push each other into bringing different perspectives to their playing. Improvised music is not progressive in itself, but it invites constant experimentation. When players feel too secure about their approaches, the experimentation risks turning into Mannerism. What I would like to explore here are the moments in which players leave behind a safe zone and expose themselves in the face of the internalised structures of judgment that govern our appreciation of music. These I would call fragile moments.
- Page 20.
- To be open, receptive and exposed to the dangers of making improvised music, means exposing yourself to unwanted situations that could break the foundations of your own security. … You must engage in questioning your security, see it as a constriction. You are aware and scared, as if you were in a dark corridor. Now you are starting to realise that what you thought of as walls existed only in your imagination.
- Pages 20–21.
- Only very few manage to keep searching for fragility; it requires musicians to make multiple breaks from their own traditions.
- Page 22.
- While nobody might recognise the importance of what you have done, you need to keep your confidence. It is difficult to be alone in working toward something and yet not know where it will take you…
- Page 22.
- Opening new fields of permissibility means to go fragile until we destroy the fears that hold us back.
- Page 23.
Interview (May 2007)
Interview with Mattin, addlimb (May 2007).
- Capitalism puts higher and higher demands on people to be able to improvise, to adapt to the constant changes of the market, to interact with each other and communicate in an effective way, to be ready at any time for the worse. There is a strong correlation between the importance of constant innovation in capitalism and in improvisation, and we cannot avoid that there is a strong relationship between the two. … The more open you are to experimentation, the more you would be likely to open up new avenues for capitalism to produce value.
- Oh when I improvise I am so free!
- I am very dubious of the idea of spontaneity, as if what we do to be free could ever be without restrictions by ideologies, circumstances, spaces, people in the room, aesthetics and judgments.
- When does the improvisation begin? As we started to play or when we started talking about it?
"Anti-Copyright: Why Improvisation and Noise Run Against the Idea of Intellectual Property" (October 2008)
Mattin, "Anti-Copyright: Why Improvisation and Noise Run Against the Idea of Intellectual Property" (October 2008), in Mattin, Anthony Iles (eds.) Noise & Capitalism (Donostia-S.Sebastiá, Spain: Arteleku Audiolab, September 2009), pp. 167–191.
- No other type of music-making contradicts itself through its recording like improvisation does.
- Page 168.
- Some people tell me it is very utopian or naïve to think that one can get rid of copyright and intellectual property, but to a certain extent it is already happening in practice. … Because of its rigid and bureaucratic structure, the law is always left behind by the questions posed by new technologies.
- Page 168.
- It is a fallacy that one can capture the moment through audio recording – that the recording can really represent that 'creative process'. We all know that the moment is gone forever, that the recording can never reproduce all the specifics of the situation, the room, the feeling of the players, their history and backgrounds, the conditions, reasons and interests for producing such a recording.
- Page 170.
- While in improvisation there is a sense of craft within one's own instrument and in being able to interact with other musicians, in noise this disappears to the extent of anti-virtuosity becoming a virtue. A nihilist approach to improvisation in which the interaction is not based upon developing common denominators for some communication to happen among the players, but rather a matter of developing the freedom of individual expression.
- Page 173.
- It seems that Locke had in mind rival goods when he developed his theory (if one consumes it, others can’t). What happens to non-rival goods like ideas? George Bernard Shaw famously said that if you and I have an apple and we exchange apples, you would only have one apple but if you and I have an idea and we exchanged them, we will have two ideas. So, how is it possible to treat ideas as if they were apples i.e. to make them into commodities? It is only through copyright that it is possible to produce scarcity out of ideas and this of course can produce serious benefits for some but not all
- Page 180.
Interview by Dan Warburton (July 2009)
Interview with Mattin by Dan Warburton, paristransatlantic.com (July 2009).
- Maybe I still am, but I also understand more the problems involved with rock, how close-minded it sometimes is, how male.
- If you turn up the volume to your computer, and set the the little microphone inside to maximum level it will feed back, just like any other type of microphone. I just put it through some filters and add some white noise or pink noise. For me, the thing was to use elements that were marginal in other types of music, take something of no real value and use it.
- Like I said, I grew up with punk, and the lyrics of the songs I liked were about reality, and young people were expressing themselves by playing music. It's always been more about attitude, for me. Expressing yourself within society.