teepee, dream pop duo from Prague, photographed by Bert Spangemacher

SPOTLIGHT ON teepee
Emerging from a burgeoning indie music Prague scene, dream pop / indie folk duo teepee promotes hope and empowerment.

Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Text F. GONZALEZ

In their first tetrad as a musical duo, teepee have created their own dreamlike soundscape fostered since their first meeting in a Pilsen high school. With an intrinsic love of music, both Tereza Lavičková and Miroslav Patočka have taken to the guitar as their instrument of choice to create their unique hypnotic ethereal indie folk mark—a sound they have been nurturing since the debut of their first release Albatross in 2016.

From humble musical beginnings of playing in pubs and clubs, teepee have emerged from a burgeoning indie music Prague scene to festivals where they have shared their music to bigger crowds.

An indie folk duo in essence, they forge their sound with layers of electronica, weaving distortions, spectral beats and repurposing fretted instruments throughout that share space with Sigur Rós, Björk or Aurora. When not performing, teepee gain inspiration in their private time and share their ideas in the studio happily lost for hours evolving their sound and striving to master sonic technology.

Interview:  02/2020 with teepee

teepee, a dream pop duo from Prague, photo by Bert Spangemacher
teepee
Tereza Lavičková (vocals / electric guitar) // Miroslav Patočka (vocals / acoustic guitar, synth) 
Tereza wears RAY-BAN Hexagonal Optics // Miroslav wears OLIVER PEOPLES Rikson

Artist Name teepee
Genre dream pop / indie folk
Members Tereza Lavičková (vocals / electric guitar), Miroslav Patočka (vocals / acoustic guitar, synth)
Based in Prague
Playing together since 2015
Recent Album Where the Ocean Breaks
Listen to us on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYoutubeInstagramSpotify

Describe your band / music / style in three words.
Tereza: Dreamy, emotional, honest.

What did you listen to when growing up?
Tereza: Different kinds of music, but my grandma introduced me to jazz and swing when I was very little. So artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Louis Armstrong or Frank Sinatra are always gonna be my dirty pleasure.

Miroslav: My dad is a big country music lover, so I was mostly surrounded by country or folk tunes.

Music icon(s) and the reason why.
Tereza: For me it’s Norwegian artist Aurora. I just love the way she makes music, so honest and pure. I can listen to her songs over and over and they still make me tear up. Also Billie Eilish’s journey is really inspiring.

Miroslav: I am a huge fan of all Justin Vernon’s projects such as Bon Iver, Volcano Choir or the Big Red Machine, mostly for his openness to musical expressions and honesty in his music.

teepee, dream pop duo from Prague, photographed by Bert Spangemacher
teepee
Miroslav Patočka (vocals / acoustic guitar, synth) // Tereza Lavičková (vocals / electric guitar)
Miroslav wears RAY-BAN Tucson RB5382 // Tereza wears RAY-BAN Round Solid Evolve RB3447

Who are you listening to right now?
Miroslav: Apart from trying to fill the gaps in Pink Floyd’s discography I currently really enjoy Rob Lewis, Karina or Conner Youngblood.

Tereza: I totally love the new album from King Princess!

What is the craziest / funniest thing that’s happened on tour?
Tereza: I think one of the craziest things was when we played at Grape Festival two summers ago. The trip was a disaster from the beginning to the end. First, on the way there both of our cars collapsed and we had to take a very expensive taxi from Uherské Hradiště to Piešťany. When we arrived to the festival a huge thunderstorm started. Our show was the next day and we didn’t have any tent ‘cause we were planning to sleep at our cars. So all 7 of us had to stay in our friend’s very tiny car with our stuff as well. There was basically no space at all and our manager ended up sleeping in the trunk of the car together with his girlfriend. When you close yourself in the trunk of a car you can’t actually open it from inside so they got stuck there and woke us all up in the morning yelling and kicking so we would let them out…

Favorite performance venues or music festivals? And why?
Tereza: I really liked Colours of Ostrava, it is an awesome festival, plus we had a good show there.

Miroslav: I really like Café v Lese in Prague, it always has a great atmosphere and it almost feels like our music home. Apart from that, I totally fell in love with A38 Hajó which is a gorgeous venue on a boat in Budapest with an amazing production team.

Three words to describe your fans.
Tereza: Cool, loving, kind.

teepee – dreaming unique hypnotic ethereal indie folk from Prague, photo by Bert Spangemacher
teepee
Tereza Lavičková (vocals / electric guitar) // Miroslav Patočka (vocals / acoustic guitar, synth)
Tereza wears RAY-BAN Hexagonal Optics // Miroslav wears RAY-BAN Round Solid Evolve RB3447 

Favorite eyewear brand?
Tereza: Bay Ban! Which is Indian alternative of Ray Ban! It was so hilarious to me that I bought like 4 pairs of these while I was in India.

Miroslav: Still exploring, but I’d probably stick with the old good classic Ray Ban (mostly because I haven’t got the chance to try the Bay Ban yet).

What is next for you, an immediately upcoming tour or EP/Album?
Tereza: We just released a new album „Where the Ocean Breaks“ and we are going on our first bigger European tour as a support for the British band Seafret. So it is a quite busy and exciting time for us!

Where do you see yourself in ten years‘ time, where would you like to see your band / music and at what scale?
Tereza: I would love to have a house in some village near Prague with my own studio, where I would be making music till the day I die.

Miroslav: Same here! In terms of our band we hope to keep on doing what we love, which is making and recording music and getting a chance to play it to as many people as possible, while hopefully exploring new places.

Tereza Lavičková from teepee, photographed by Bert Spangemacher
teepee
Tereza Lavičková (vocals / electric guitar)
Eyewear by RAY-BAN Round Solid Evolve RB3447
teepee's Miroslav Patočka, photo by Bert Spangemacher
teepee
Miroslav Patočka (vocals / acoustic guitar, synth)
Eyewear by RAY-BAN Tucson RB5382
Seafret photographed by Bert Spangemacher at raw studios berlin

SPOTLIGHT ON SEAFRET
4SEE meets up with Seafret, an indie pop, folk duo from a coastal town of UK.

Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Text F. GONZALEZ

Chance meetings just may be this duo’s charm; a fortuitous introduction at an open mic night was the beginning of this Bridlington UK duo and also the moment when music producer Ross Hamilton, in the crowd, saw them play in a pub. Since 2011, vocalist Jack Sedman, guitarist and pianist Harry Draper have been cultivating their sound that reflects their upbringing and experiences in a coastal town.

Like a “seafret”, mist coming inland, their music is neoteric folding waves of atmospheric sound on top of their acoustic-folk core. The duo come from dissonant musical influences but converge to produce indie-acoustic-folk songs of honesty, love, longing, failure and redemption. Seafret is centred on an earnestness to let the music connect on its own.

This year Seafret is on tour sharing their upcoming release–Most Of Us Are Strangers.

Interview:  02/2020 with Seafret

British indie Pop Duo Seafret by Bert Spangemacher
SEAFRET
Jack Sedman (vocals) // Harry Draper (guitar/piano)

Artist Name Seafret
Genre Indie Pop, Folk
Members Jack Sedman (vocals), Harry Draper (guitar/piano)
Based in Bridlington, UK
Playing since 2011
Listen to us on www.seafret.com

Describe your band / music / style in three words.
Harry—Our music varies a lot from track to track so choosing three words is a tricky one! We would have to say exposed, honest, explosive.

What did you listen to when growing up?
Jack—We both listened to very different things growing up. Harry was into blues and bluegrass music as he was shown them by his dad and I was influenced by my parents who were into more left field music like Tom Waits and The Pixies.

Music icon(s) and the reason why.
Harry—My icon would have to be John Martyn. His style influenced the way I play guitar today and he was the reason I wanted to play.

Jack—My main influence when I really got into music was Bob Dylan. He was the one who showed me how powerful simple melody and chords could be.

portraits of SEAFRET at raw studios berlin
SEAFRET
Harry Draper (guitar/piano) // Jack Sedman (vocals) // Eyewear by PERSOL Calligrapher Edition PO3166S

Who are you listening to right now?
Jack—We listen to everything we can and try not to shy away from any genres. Michael Kiwankuka has been played a lot in the house recently. Also been listening to Oliver Tree and Hobo Johnson. Both are pretty out there but full of amazing production and lyrics.

What is the craziest / funniest thing that’s happened on tour?
Jack—Every day on tour is mental but one that comes to mind is when we were in America we ended up in a room with Liberace’s piano. It was surreal and full of diamonds. Harry had a little play on it. ‘Course he did….

Favorite performance venues or music festivals? And why?
Harry—Two come to mind, our first show in Brazil was insane! The crowds were wild and sang every word. The other was our first time playing Glastonbury, we must have had 5,000 people in a tiny tent, the crowd just went on and on outside and people were trying to get in….that was an experience we’ll never forget!

Three words to describe your fans.
Jack—Honest, loving and slightly crazy.

Favorite eyewear brand?
Harry—We both tend to wear Ray-Ban, being from the north of England we don’t get many opportunities to wear them! Hence why we like playing abroad so much 🙂

Seafret, Jack and Harry shot by Bert Spangemacher
SEAFRET
Jack Sedman (vocals) Eyewear by OLIVER PEOPLES Rikson // Harry Draper (guitar/piano) Eyewear by RAY-BAN Aviator Classic

What is next for you, an immediately upcoming tour or EP/Album?
Harry—The tour will happen and the album is coming out about half-way through it! We can’t bloody wait! It’s the best feeling ever. [note: Seafret is currently on tour as of 26 Feb. 2020)

Where do you see yourself in ten years‘ time, where would you like to see your band / music and at what scale?
Jack—We would like to see the fan-base of Seafret grow as much as we can without forcing people to like it haha! We feel super lucky to have the chance to do this and will always be grateful for the fans we have. We do this because we love it; no other reason. We’ve put everything we have into this album and we hope everyone enjoys it as much as we enjoyed making it!

Seafret vocalist Jack Sedman by Bert spangemacher
Jack Sedman (vocals) wears OLIVER PEOPLES Rikson
Seafret guitarist Harry Draper by Bert spangemacher
Harry Draper (guitarist / pianist) wears RAY-BAN Aviator Classic
Current Swell 2020 Photo by Bert Spangemacher

SPOTLIGHT ON CURRENT SWELL
4SEE catches up with British Columbia band Current Swell on their tour with their 7th album Buffalo.

Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Text F. GONZALEZ

“Unscheduled time” is the motto of this British Columbia band. The time between music and life that is employed to bring about balance. A balance between surfing, home, family, down time and music. A way of life they’ve had since starting out playing in backyards and beaches. Not to be misconstrued for being too easy-going, Current Swell is presently on tour promoting their 7th Studio album–Buffalo.

By leveraging time, patience and technology, the band has built a loyal fanbase through homemade CDs, online streaming and social media, even before releasing a proper studio record. Current Swell’s devotees are a mix of the true-and-tested from the DIY days and those that have joined them after their studio release.

Victoria, their home base and a vibrant artistic community, influences the band’s sound that coalesces rock, blues, reggae, folk and even ska. They may be indie-folk at heart but expect upbeat, thoughtful, hardcore introspection and get-up-and-dance energy.

Interview:  02/2020 with Current Swell

Current Swell 2020 shot by Bert Spangemacher
CURRENT SWELL
(from left to right) Evan Miller (vocals/guitar), Louie Sadava (bass), Scott Stanton (vocals/lead guitar), Dave St. Jean (trombone), Marcus Manhas (drums), Phil Hamelin (keys/trumpet)

Artist Name Current Swell
Genre Indie Rock
Members Scott Stanton (vocals/lead guitar), Louis Sadava (bass), Marcus Manhas (drums)
Based in  Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Playing since 2005
Listen to us on CurrentSwell.com

Describe your band / music / style in three words.
Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. !! Haha ok for real though that’s a tough one. How about raw, energetic and engaging.

What did you listen to when growing up?
So many different phases of musical inspirations. From hip hop like Tribe Called Quest to punk rock like the Clash and folk like Neil Young.

Music icon(s) and the reason why.
Have to say Neil Young and his prolific songwriting for so many years. He’s really stayed true to his roots and also explored different inspiration and style at the same time. Also he’s a Canadian legend:)

Awesome Current Swell photographed at raw studios. Berlin
CURRENT SWELL
(From left to right) Dave St. Jean wears Barton Perreira, Evan Miller wears Coblens, Marcus Manhas wears VAVA, Scott Stanton wears Coblens, Louie Sadava wears Barton Perreira, Phil Hamelin wears Coblens

Who are you listening to right now?
Really loving the new Mac Miller album and also mourning the loss of such an original voice. Also Tame Impala is a go to. Kevin Morby’s new album is great and fellow Canadian Andy Shauf has a nice new album. Mura Masa is a new favourite.

What is the craziest / funniest thing that’s happened on tour?
One time this company in Berlin took our picture and gave us free glasses! Crazy! Haha so many things happen on tour it’s hard to remember single things. Today, the ferry ride to Ireland was so rough there were a lot of unhappy green people. A crazy time was about 10 years ago when a gang of kids with chains attacked us loading out from a venue and we barely got away. A funny story from the road was when we opened for the Beach Boys and an older guy in dirty sweat pants came up to us backstage and said he liked our songs, Scott asked him if he was the janitor, and he laughed, and said no–he is the bass player for the Beach Boys. Oopsies.

Favorite performance venues or music festivals? And why?
We love playing at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, Byron Bay Blues in Australia fest was a major highlight. Also love the Melkweg in Amsterdam and loved playing at Columbiahalle in Berlin.

Three words to describe your fans.
Loyal, fun and suuuper sweetie.

Current Swell members photographed by Bert Spangemacher
(From left to right) Evan Miller wears Coblens, Dave St. Jean wears Barton Perreira, Scott Stanton wears Yuichi Toyama

Favorite eyewear brand?
Oliver Peoples, Garrett Leight, Moscot, R.T.Co.

What is next for you, an immediately upcoming tour or EP/Album?
After the summer festival time we will get back into writing and recording some new music. New songs keep the project exciting and fun.

Where do you see yourself in ten years‘ time, where would you like to see your band / music and at what scale?
We’ve been doing this for a while now, so in the next 10 years I could see things changing in terms of people starting families and maybe doing a little less touring but we will always play music together and hopefully people will still come to see us.

Canadian Singer Songwriter LerRIche on his guitar

SPOTLIGHT ON LERICHE
Inspired by Anderson Paak, the Beatles, and Mac Miller, LeRiche’s built to fly is earnestly crafted music for the wandering soul.

Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Text MADELEINE ARCHER

For some, the calling to music seems inevitable, and this truly applies to Canadian singer-songwriter LeRiche. Hailing from Port aux Basques, a town at the furthest Soutwestern tip of Newfoundland, LeRiche sings from a place of earnest reflection through acoustic guitar-driven songs and smooth indie/alternative/pop production.

Inherent in LeRiche’s music is a folk quality that comes from a wayfaring spirit and natural musical talent, honed by years of both formal and informal music education (he has a Diploma in Music Industry and Performance, as well as seven years experience of gigging locally) and experimenting with other instruments such as piano, bass and drums.

LeRiche follows in a strong tradition of guitar-driven, introspective male indie artists like Jason Mraz, and in our 4SEE interview, his natural appeal and clear-cut indie credibility were undeniable, bringing his laid-back yet smooth vibe to the range of SALT glasses in an exclusive photoshoot with 4SEE

Interview:  01/2020 with LeRiche

LeRiche photographed by Bert Spangemacher at raw studios. Berlin
4SEE Spotlight on LeRiche // Photography by Bert Spangemacher // Eyewear by SALT. Brower

Artist Name LeRiche
Genre Indie Folk / Pop
Based in  Newfoundland, Canada
Playing since 2 years old
First album released X-Dreamer in 2018
Freshest album Being recording and released this year, 2020
Listen to me on Spotify

Describe your band / music / style in three words.
Indie Folk Pop

What did you listen to when growing up?
I listened, played and sang along to almost every type of recording I could get my hands on. Everything from traditional Newfoundland music (Trad music as it’s called) Rap, Metal, Rock, Pop and Indie Music. Music has always been my thing. I started playing guitar when I was 2! My grandfather inspired me to pursue the instrument which led me to my love of singing and writing my own songs.

Music icon(s) and the reason why.
Anderson Paak—His voice caught me first. I heard him featured on a track and instantly had to find out more about him. He has a truly inspiring rags-to-riches story. I must have listened to his album Malibu 1,000 times when it came out. Such a beautiful and unique blend of so many of my favorite styles of music.

The Beatles—what can I say? They are legendary. An obvious choice, maybe. But it’s the contrast between the old songs and the later experimental stuff that really inspires me to be a better songwriter. They taught me to explore my musical boundaries.

John Mayer—Between his lyrics, musical abilities, voice, and longevity, he has always been a huge inspiration to me. I’ve loved every record he has ever released. And I feel like I’ve grown with him. He’s taught me so much about singing, performance, attitude, and songwriting.

LeRiche close up portrait by Bert Spangemacher
4SEE Spotlight on LeRiche // Photography by Bert Spangemacher

Who are you listening to right now?
Right now I’m listening to the latest Mac Miller record, Circles, on repeat. Literally. He always amazes me. I believe it’s his best work.

What is the craziest / funniest thing that’s happened on tour?
This [German] tour has been so much fun! To be honest people say that funny things happen when I’m around, odd coincidences. My band call them ‘LeRiche-idences’! There have been a few funny instances but for the most part the van is full of laughter most of the time. Not sure all of the jokes are appropriate to repeat, if you know what I mean.

Favorite performance venues or music festivals? And why?
Back home in Newfoundland there is a festival called Iceberg Alley. I got to see a few of my favourite Canadian bands there for the first time, such as Big Wreck and Billy Talent.

Three words to describe your fans.
Honest. Diverse. Kind.

LeRiche on SALT. Sunglasses
4SEE Spotlight on LeRiche // Photography by Bert Spangemacher // Eyewear by SALT. Andy

Favorite eyewear brand?
I don’t have a favourite brand because I can’t keep a pair of sunglasses long enough to get attached them! I’m constantly losing and smashing my glasses. I’m very clumsy.

What is next for you, an immediately upcoming tour or EP/Album?
Hopefully both! I’m waiting to hear about some tour dates in Canada in February. Then I plan to start recording the next record late in March and into April.

Where do you see yourself in ten years‘ time, where would you like to see your band / music and at what scale?
I see myself travelling the globe, sharing my songs and passion for music with anyone and everyone. I see myself surviving and thriving through my music. I see myself teaching music to people of all ages and walks of life. To quote John Mayer, „I’m gonna take the love I’m given, and set it free.“

Canadian Singer Songwriter LeRiche with Husky Cooper
4SEE Spotlight on LeRiche // Photography by Bert Spangemacher
The Shape of Sound or Isometric Humanism // Ian Jehle + Edwina Chen

Artist Profile 15 – Ian Jehle + Edwina Chen

The Shape of Sound – correlating artistic disciplines of architecture, music, and colour theory. 

Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Interview JUSTIN ROSS

Ian Jehle and Edwina Chen both hail from Canada but come from diverse backgrounds with a wide variety of skills that combine to make their multidisciplinary project Isometric Humanism possible. At the heart of their vision is a novel way of looking at the world, combining such seemingly disparate themes as colour theory and Chinese medicine, Euclidean mathematics and Byzantine architecture, and 3D modeling and choral overtone singing. Uniting their approach is the belief that sound and shape can be mapped and translated onto one another—with both aesthetic and potentially medicinal benefits to be had through the process.

4SEE was able to go in-depth about their project with the pair on the occasion of their exhibition at GlogauAIR as part of the Vorspiel + CTM / Transmediale Festivals in Berlin. The exhibition traces the research and theory behind the process involved in rigorously translating between these disciplines and is stage one of a project envisioned on a much larger scale (The exhibition runs until 31st of January).

Interview from January 2020

4SEE Artist Profile - Ian Jehle // Eyewear by Lindberg 1044
4SEE Artist Profile – Ian Jehle // Eyewear by Lindberg 1044

Name Ian Jehle
Age 49
Nationality Canadian
Medium Medium, Drawing, Installation, 3D modeling
Based in Berlin
Recent/upcoming exhibition (projects)
past: Dynamical Systems, Katzen Museum, Wasington, DC
current: The Shape of Sound, Glogau project space, part of Vorspiel/Transmediale festival, upcoming: Somos artist residency, Berlin
Find more at ianjehle.com // isometrichumanism.com

4SEE Artist Profile - Edwina Chen
4SEE Artist Profile – Edwina Chen

Name Edwina Chen
Age 43
Nationality Canadian
Medium Medium painting, sculpture, performance, installation, music voice piano composition, scent, documentary film
Based in Washington DC, Beijing
Recent/upcoming exhibition (projects) documentary Door Poem: Shard Holders Generational Names
Find more at isometrichumanism.com

Did you always know that you were going to be an artist?

IJ: Absolutely not. My Father’s nickname for me, from the time I was five or six years old, was “the absent-minded professor” so I think always thought I was going to be a professor. When I finally went to university I started out in computational computer science and philosophy – so I
really did follow the absent-minded professor track. But I also started going to art museums, which was something I’d never done when I was young. I remember being at the National Gallery when I was 19 and staring at a deKooning painting for almost an hour and I realized that art could talk about a lot more than just beauty; that it was just as serious and meaningful and important as science.

EC: So, I don’t know how personal I should be? After my fourth car accident four discs collapsed in my neck. The operation I needed meant I had a 1 in 5 chance i would lose my voice. My voice teacher had just died so the choice was between my voice or my arm. For two years I chose her, and my voice, over my left arm but when the operation became necessary, I decided to paint music because it was the only thing I had left. I taught myself how to paint in 2012.

Do you find the art world cutthroat and competitive, or is it also supportive and community-minded, or something in between?

EC: My experience personally, has been completely supportive, especially when viewed through the filter of the relationships which my friend Lorenzo Cardim has through his circle of friends. His undergraduate degree at Corcoran College, relations with Red Dirt Studios, MFA at CCA, through Catholic University and now at Otis, all of these people, as teachers were incredibly supportive in his growth as an artist as a student, and now that he’s a professional, his collaborations as a peer. I find it completely inspiring. Then for myself personally, at Glogauair, what I witnessed with Lorenzo, I got to experience with Ian, the level of support he received at residency and then what was conferred on to me. I feel the art world very inclusive and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.

IJ: think it’s both. I’ve seen really really cutthroat stuff happen, by artists, by curators, by gallerists, but I also feel strange complaining about that because I’ve been incredibly lucky and incredibly well supported by the people who have appreciated what I do and how I think. So I think, like anything else, you have to focus on the people that you care about and who care about you, and try to leave the other things behind. At the same time, the cutthroat stuff can be difficult. I was threatened with a lawsuit from a board member of a museum, who didn’t like a portrait that I made of him. So, no, I can’t say that the art world is completely supportive but also, yes, it often is.

The Shape of Sound or Isometric Humanism // Ian Jehle + Edwina Chen
The Shape of Sound // Ian Jehle + Edwina Chen

What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?

IJ: Honestly, the thing I’m most proud of professionally, is the decision I made 5 years ago to completely change the direction of my work from portraiture into something that represented my inner life much more. I feel really fortunate to have done the earlier work, but it didn’t really represent who I am. The other thing I’m extremely proud of is the work I did with my students and seeing what they’ve been doing since finishing university.

EC: Similarly, the decision to start again, leaving a profession I was comfortable in and starting something where I have no expertise, putting myself in a position where I have to ask for help, for information,- it’s been very humbling. There’s been so much grace given to me, I am very grateful. When you’re uncomfortable, you work that much harder to become comfortable, that is part of the human condition. One of the biggest boosts to me in my work is being uncomfortable.

Does art always need to be relevant? Is there a place for aesthetic indulgence, or do politics come into play in your motivation?

EC: In this context my practice is completely indulgent, the exploration of information that I don’t understand, develop familiarity, to a point where it’s usable and because my process is reductive, part of the goal is not for myself but for everyone. To make processes transparent. We can all use art, we can incorporate everything into our personal practices to various degrees. I don’t know if that act in itself is political, it’s certainly socialistic. It is a very Canadian point of view, my sensibilities are very egalitarian, we’re all the same and we should have access to the same information to create our own experiences.

IJ: First of all I think politics is always part of art making, there’s no way of stepping completely outside of what’s happening in the world. And, of course, politically, environmentally, economically, socially, we are living in particularly difficult times. And so, even though my work focuses on science and math I think there are important things that the sciences can offer right now. The first is to help remind people that there were things that go beyond the time that we live in; physics is physics, it will exist now and will exist long after our current situation. I also think the sciences are great at bringing together different communities from all over the world. Science in a lot of ways is a giant group project that people all over the world participate in. There are of course problems in the sciences like anyplace else, but I do think that it’s something that does transcend borders and reminds people that good work is being done everywhere.

The Shape of Sound or Isometric Humanism // Ian Jehle + Edwina Chen
The Shape of Sound  // Ian Jehle + Edwina Chen
4SEE Artist Profile - Edwina Chen + Ian Jehle
4SEE Artist Profile – Edwina Chen + Ian Jehle

If not politics, then what are the key sources of inspiration for you?

IJ: Well that one’s super easy. In addition to mathematics, which I’m always dealing with, at the moment I am really interested in music and music theory and the science of sound which are of course linked to the multi-phase project we’re currently on. Generally speaking, I think Edwina and I both agree that the research aspect of making art is one of the most, if not the most fun part of what we do.

EC: It’s exciting to have a partner. I’ve been looking at these things for most of my adult life. No one is really interested in what I have to say, I don’t know if it’s because I’m not clear. Part of it is I’m intimately interested in things that I don’t know, the most exciting thing is learning something new, so I’m interested in biological sciences, traditional Chinese medicine, cosmology and the nature of gravity. I feel very fortunate we can expand every direction because this is the age of information. There are no longer gatekeepers. We can reach as far as our minds allow us.

What is it like to live/work in your respective cities?

EC: I live in the suburbs of Washington DC in the United States, I am working on a documentary film project which takes me back-and-forth between Beijing and the US. I went back to the US to establish a nonprofit, write grants, the majority of the filming will be international. Currently, starting shooting B roll – it’s nice to be a citizen of the world I think that’s really what they were hoping for in the Bauhaus, to stop seeing ourselves nationalistically, and instead be international citizens. The international movement of architecture and we are actually putting into practice their dream for us, Gropius, Breuer, Van der Rohe, Corbusier, they created a built environment where we can be at home in all places. This is the direct legacy of the Bauhaus, I am a direct disciple of that school. I feel really fortunate to be working and living in the world they conceived.

IJ: So, I was born in Canada, but I am now based in Berlin. My family is from a small town not far from Berlin, so this city has always felt like a second home. Now it’s my first home and I’m here and working and interacting with more artists. I love it even more. It is the best environment for the types of experimental, research-based projects we are doing. I used to live and teach at a university in Washington DC and as much as I love the university environment I feel like Berlin is even better place to to be an artist who is interested in both art and science. There’s nothing strange about that combination here. It’s actually encouraged so it’s a fantastic place to be. That said, I do miss my students. A lot.

The Shape of Sound or Isometric Humanism // Ian Jehle + Edwina Chen
The Shape of Sound  // Ian Jehle + Edwina Chen

What is next for you, an immediately upcoming project or chance to see your work?

IJ: So in the very immediate future, we’re preparing a lecture that Edwina and I will give this week about our current show and our theories as they relate to music, with an extra piece about Edwina’s interest in polyphonic overtone singing. After that we will focus on the next iteration of our project which will continue to look at the architecture of music. This next works are larger in scale and will also include performance. Edwina and I also have projects outside of our collaboration, so I’m also working with a group of robotics students, 12-14 years old. We are designing robots that will interact with each other while drawing.

EC: There’s also painting for next project. It’s interesting how the painting examines the additive color wheel of pigment where all pigment goes to black and silence is white, and the subtractive colour wheel where all light goes to white and silence is dark. I need to learn how to compose. The next step is to play the Well-Tempered Klavier by JS Bach, to see a palette in every key and generate a set of paintings to learn composition. The sculpture will be inscribed choir illuminated linear sculpture of just intonated polyphonic overtone choral music for 12 singers and 24 voices in even tempered based on the composition.

IJ: Yeah, we’re really looking forward to this project. We have four smaller scale implementations in mind, as we work toward the fully staged version that includes singers suspended within the installation. We just completed phase 1 as part of the Transmediale festival. The immediate focus now is phase 2 and 3.

Where do you see yourself in ten years‘ time, where would you like to see your artwork and at what scale?

EC: The direction we see involves a theatrical scale or Cirque du Soleil direction because it is bringing in lighting design, sound, sets, being able to put things up and break it down. Brunellesci went to the building site of the Duomo and referred to it as going to the opera, because the construction site contains all the operations: masonry, woodworking, painting sculpture, bronze casting, that’s why, when we think about music, the opera has everything, a full orchestra, costume, singing, it has ballet. Our operation is really like an extrapolation of all the operations so this is operatic application.

IJ: I think ending with the idea of an opera is a really great way to end so I’m not gonna say anything more. Light, sound, color, space, opera. That’s it.

The Shape of Sound or Isometric Humanism // Ian Jehle + Edwina Chen
The Shape of Sound // Ian Jehle + Edwina Chen
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Lindberg SS2020 Campaign
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