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Interview with Traumadoll

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Adam Radziszewski and Agata Pawłowicz decided to join forces and as TRAUMADOLL they released their first joint material entitled "Elusive." on May 1st, 2019.  The album features dynamic melodies, cold emotional vocals and precision of arrangement. About music, inspirations and artistic calls... with Traumadoll.
Adam is involved in Orbicide and Uncarnate bands, Agata in Desdemona, This Cold, Abyss gazes and Alienoil.

Why did you actually decide to create the project together?

Ag: I'd been hunting for Adam for a couple of years. I met Orbicide by blind chance and I came with the idea to give birth to something new in music with him. I liked what he was doing and I also appreciated his approach and the fact he was taking care of the entire production process himself.  Starting from that point a lot of time had passed but in the end, after all the talking, the moment came when Adam was looking for someone to join creative forces with and so it started.

Ad: Well, I flounced in between the projects a bit… I had a draft of the new piece and I was looking for vocals to go with it. Actually, I didn't have the precise clue what kind of vocals I wanted,  I think it was a faint idea of declamation or enchantments. But Agata turned out and we got far more interesting result.

How would you say the content of Traumadoll differs from your other projects?

Ad: For me it's a return to my fascination with psychedelic electronics and minimal. This time I wanted to escape from over steered screams, blipping arpeggiator sounds or synthpop harmonic chord progressions. What I wanted to have though, was space, lots of space and subtle evolution, gradual flow of invisible stream hidden under the minimal shell. Agata's cold and disquieting vocals drew it to even weirder areas of elctro-gothic on acid.

Ag: As a rule, I create music with many people and it results in the number of projects with me on board. The fact that I cannot limit myself to one single music style might also be the reason for such a state of being. I suffer from something you may call "artistic diarrhoea" that makes me over productive when it comes to new music formats. Traumadoll is one of the nicest of them all since  there is no pressure related to it and we are both doing what most satisfying to us and limit what's necessary to the minimum.

How do you split tasks in the band – is one person responsible for lyrics, the other for music or is all you do rather a result of brainstorming?

Ag: Both ways. For most of the times it's Adam, who works on the sonic background, whereas I focus on vocals and lyrics. I record it, send it and then the time for brainstorming comes. We try to combine and intermingle our ideas to get the final, concise form. I think it's a bit like giving birth to a child (I speculate, I don't have a clue actually) – you carry it in your belly for a while, then you give birth to it and then it starts its life as a separate being.  From that point we do not really have an actual influence what's happening to it. At least to some extent.

Ad:  Yes, it was usually the case that I started by creating the sounds, which is probably the longest in the whole process... I can sit for many days to get the right sound, be it kick drum or bass. Anyway, then I give Agata an initial sketch. The sketch is often very monotonous in a melodic way, and only the vocals of Agata and the aforementioned creative flow bring some interesting harmonies. Quite often we decided together about some melodic changes. What comes next is the further sculpting of sounds and constant changes in the arrangement of the whole, mixing and mastering. Surprisingly, we did not argue at all about it, it is something new for me.

Tell me more about the idea behind your release "Elusive" that was out on 1st of May 2019

Ag: I'm not sure if one may think about a special idea related to it...Adam will probably have more to say about it. I think releasing the album on Labour Day is quite a specific joke Traumadoll   output is full of. Like the name itself.

Ad: Hehe… yes, when I did the draft of the first song (now it's entitled "Dowry of memory")  I had quite a specific idea – it was supposed to be psychedelic, cold, gloomy and dancy. Numbers of small, intangible changes and infinitesimal sounds hidden behind the cold surface of duplicated motives and techno beats.  Intangible, hence the title "Elusive". The initial concept was totally changed by Agata and it actually turned out to be good. We got an interesting contrast between cold music sequences and sudden outbursts of tenderness and emotions. Feelings which are not always pleasant though.

The album content is full of dynamic, electronic melodies – what inspires you to create music? What in your opinion stands for the value of such particular kind of music?

Ag: Such a music style (dark electronics) is quite a nice form of expression for emotional dynamic. At the album "Elusive" we kind of juxtaposed dynamic, rhythmical background to cold, a bit distant vocals that gave a fine contrast to the whole. On the one hand dancy rhythms and on the other melancholia and darkness. It's the result of our inspirations, motivations, fascination and many more "ations".

Ad: Yes, darkness and melancholy do not have to be associated with the rest of whatever is related to gothi. Currently, after years of being stuck in electro-industrial, I returned to techno and I think you can hear it on the album. The modern acid techno (if you have not heard Boston 168, I highly recommend it) and atmospheric psytrance (Egorythmia, Materia) was my great inspiration. For me, the main value of electronics is that each sound can be built from scratch, in your own way. When you play the guitar, you can tone the string at different places, or otherwise arrange your finger, but it will always be the same boring guitar that someone else has made. Like a synthesizer preset. When you program the sounds, you are both the creator of the instrument and the musician. The arrangement also gains – you do not have to hire a clarinet player to play two notes in the whole composition.

How did it actually happen you got involved in music in the first place?

Ag: My grandmother sang in the church choir. When I was 4 or 5 years old, I went with her to rehearsals and programmed my brain with the profound, dark and extremely "gothic" data content. At the same time as the primary school, I was admitted to the 1st level music school for... violin. Of course, I quit this instrument after a year to admire it only from a distance for the rest of my life. I quit the violin but the music left a strong mark on the formation of my personality, so at the age of 7 I became interested in dancing, playing the flute, singing in a school choir. It was a natural thing that at the age of 10, I voluntarily signed up for a music school for a transverse flute, which I still hate to this day.

Ad: In primary school I had an amiga and I was absorbed in trackers. They were primitive four-channel sequencers. Of course, my work was, above all, silly fun, reworking gabber style carols, or 2 Unlimited inspired bass lines. Amiga did not have a built-in analog-digital converter, so it was impossible to record sounds from the outside. I dreamed about enriching my compositions with tones of bumps and uncensored words, which was possible only when I got a Elsat sampler sold in a box from a video cassette for Christmas. At the same time, I was interested in the theory of music, I was fascinated by how much the language of music is mathematics, so I learned something by myself and from friends who already knew something or played instruments.

Currently most of the bands look after all aspects of their projects temselves. What is it like in your case? What is the most beautiful and what is the most challenging when it comes to your work as Traumdaoll – the creative process, promotion, concerts?

Ag: The most beautiful feeling is when the song is ready, you listen to it in the car and everything sounds good, everything is in place. When you finally manage to make a piece that I myself can listen to without end and which evokes strong emotions. We do not play concerts because of my health – I can not leave the emerald island where I live so cooperation with Adam is remote. The creative process is the most wonderful, the most pleasant and the most beautiful part of our work. As I have already mentioned – the creation and bringing musical forms to being is the meaning of my life. It sounds maybe ridiculously pathetic but if I could not create, I would become... a whore. I can not explain it, but it has always been there in me ha ha ha ha ha. When it comes to promotion, this is part of the production which I heartily hate. Like the transverse flute.

Jut like we discussed before – you are involved in many projects so you definitely have a certain view on what the music environment is like right now. Do you think currently it's easy to promote one's artistic projects? What are the challenges related?

Ad: The supply of music far exceeds the demand, so it is difficult to count on the interest in new projects. The way music is perceived has also changed, now the most important thing is the song, not the band. We're all small Spotify bars that nobody remembers. Playing niche music probably does not make it any easier. Recently I am actively looking for opportunities to play next concerts with my main band – Uncarnate. The most difficult are attempts to contact clubs to play at the party or to rent a club and organize the concert yourself. Nobody even writes for 95% of the messages back. Similarly, when you send notes or albums to magazines asking for a review. It's not particularly encouraging.

Ag:  In my private activity as a radio presenter, I deal with amateur "garage" rock bands. Those that are at the first stages of musical, publishing and concert activities. I think that this stage is the most authentic, because the activities are driven by dreams, ambitions and pure love for music. I think that in such music we find the most heart and artistry, it is the moment when music has the most art in itself and to a lesser extent it is a "craft". It's for the sake of introduction, but  I think I've run away from the subject.
I think that never before have music projects had this difficult to promote themselves. It is alarming but money is behind all of it. The labels make the artists pay, same with the clubs,  and soon the audience will need to get paid for coming to the concert. For this reason, the promotion is neglected in Traumadoll. We do not spam, do not buy likes, do not buy ads... we just exist in our niche for those who want to find us.

The last question – what's next? What are your plans for the nearest future?

Ag: Create. Create. Create

Thank you very much for your time!
Translator: khocico
Add date: 2019-06-08 / Interviews

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