Stephen O’Malley

Arvo Pärt on SUNN O)))

Posted: Oct 26, 2010

Arvo Pärt on SUNN O))), from a recent rare interview...

Translated pärts

Siim: "Then there is a band called Sunn O))). Their members have advocated a great interest in you. They play music called either drone-metal or doom-metal..."
"Why is that metal always there?", smiles Arvo.
"Because he is strong!", says Nora, Arvo Pärt's daughter.
Siim: "Yes. And they perform in monk suits. Their music is very slow and fuzzy. Listening to their records feels like hot steam flowing across the floor. On their last record, they have been often compared to Pärt. One author even marked that they have used Pärt's tintinnabuli-style technique in their music".
Pärt: "This we should definitely listen. Even a small bit".
"Let's listen, but you will not recognize it", adds Nora Pärt.
"Well, then. Even better if we won't"", laughs Arvo and we walk to the music center. I will propose a track called "Big Church" from the last album. Arvo pushes play. It starts with a female choir, who sounds like trying to lift off the ground. Arvo nods. on the 23rd second the guitar boom kicks in - vrrr vrrrrrrr. Arvo looks around and smiles again. The track plays until about the third minute and we take a seat again. "There is something there", says the composer. "This slow drone is SunnO)))'s main feature"
"I understand. It also tries to stop time, time in really large chunks".

Now I will speak a bit about Akufen, the Canadian micro-house artist. "He has been asked if he would like to remix Pärt's music, but Akufen has countered it, saying that Pärt's music doesn't need remixing at all".
"Yes interesting that he thought about that..." says Pärt. "Them as well...", he says, pointing at the SunnO)) album. "Some bits are more successful, some are more clear and pure, but if they start offering something that is too close to me, then it mixes everything up. It is because I have my own rules, my own static. Like in architecture. Some houses stand tilted, but they stand like that, strongly. If you start to build a house like that based on intuitition, it falls. Of course they can do that, but then it has nothing to do with me anymore. The it is a whole another substance"