..:: Ed Starink - Interview @ electronicshadows.com ::..
This interview appears with the friendly courtesy of Glenn Folkvord from electronicshadows.com who conducted the interview by e-mail in March 2004.
All rights are reserved.
The interview appeared originally in the June edition # 20 and can now be found in the archive of electronicshadows.com.
Artist profile: Ed Starink
By Glenn Folkvord
Electronic Shadows has spoken to Ed Starink, the Dutch composer and musician who introduced thousands of people to electronic music through his Synthesizer Greatest series of compilation / cover albums.
Electronic Shadows: Tell us about your background for becoming a musician.
Ed Starink: I started playing the piano when I was five, had my first lessons from my mother, and soon music was my first virus. A little later I started with guitar and flutes and then came the first bands. When I was around fifteen, I decided to move in two directions. One, going to the Conservatory and study classical piano and composition. Two, playing and jamming in studios where I worked in that time with big names as David Bowie and playing Hammond for the Beach Boys. Then came the first synthesizer and the second virus had arrived!
Electronic Shadows: Even though you compose your own original material, you are mostly known for countless synthesizer compilations of famous instrumental hits; do you feel there is an irony about the fact that the body of your work is based on other people's music?
Ed Starink: At that time when I started a professional career, I wanted to learn everything from arranging to recording and you name it. So a studio offered me the opportunity to arrange and produce all sorts of music, it was time to bring my theory into practice. Because I did all this work I could afford to buy new keyboards which resulted in the Fairlight, and that machine guided me to other directions. In the meantime I was recording my own stuff and tried to make more time for that, then came my chance to start the Synthesizer collection. So my own compositions stayed with me and I dreamed of working my ass off to reach a state of independence and doing my own things.
Electronic Shadows: For someone who has made several synthesizer compilations, how does it feel to be responsible for introducing so many people to the world of electronic music?
Ed Starink: When I started serious with the synthesizer albums it felt great, not responsible!
Electronic Shadows: How do you work when starting on a new cover version? Do you listen to the original song as much as possible or do you use sheet music?
Ed Starink: When I did covers I wrote all the parts down while listening to the original song. A complex orchestration, for instance Star Wars, took me more or less half a day.
Electronic Shadows: What are your favourite cover versions of all those you have made?
Ed Starink: My first reaction: The Planets, Classical Synthesizer, Science Fiction Themes.
Electronic Shadows: You have mentioned that Isao Tomita is one of your big musical influences, and he also made many cover versions of other people's music. Is that a coincidence?
Ed Starink: Yes, because I was influenced by his technical approach with synthesizers.
Electronic Shadows: When you compose your own music, what is your technique or strategy?
Ed Starink: Mainly I compose without any instrument. I love sitting outside with a piece of paper and start working. Sometimes I sit behind my PowerBook and start playing and recording on my Grand in Logic.
Electronic Shadows: What are your musical influences in general when working on your own projects?
Ed Starink: At this moment in my life I have started working on a big project about the Universe which will finally fill I think about ten albums. It is influenced by the things around me, not by any music.
Electronic Shadows: You released your first electronic album in 1981. Apart from the technological side, what are the main changes in today's electronic music making compared to the pioneering days?
Ed Starink: Most people today think in bars and loops, not in motifs or themes. A lot of music today is "copy and paste", luckily that was not possible then.
Electronic Shadows: You have played with such artists like David Bowie and Beach Boys, which both have been inspired by electronic music. What role do you feel electronic music plays today?
Ed Starink: One of the major advances is that all sorts of new sounds have arrived, not possible on "normal" instruments. Everyone can create his own universe soundwise, pros or amateurs!
Electronic Shadows: Do you see yourself first and foremost as an "artist" in the traditional sense of the word, or as a "music worker" which is what Kraftwerk think of themselves?
Ed Starink: I see myself as a person who is lucky to think and feel in music, so not really a "music worker".
Electronic Shadows: What is the layout of your studio?
Ed Starink: I changed the beginning of this year my setup from Dolby Surround to 5.1. I play mainly on my Concert Grand / K2500X master keyboard and VG8 guitar controller into my PowerBook G4. All my synths are hooked up to my SSL mixing desk and everything is going into five channel Pro Tools on my other G4.
Electronic Shadows: How do you feel about the software revolution in electronic music?
Ed Starink: I wished I had this PowerBook with Logic twenty years ago... I think this says it all.
Electronic Shadows: What do you do when you are not playing or listening to music?
Ed Starink: I live in the south of France, this was always my dream to have a private studio here with a great view on the mountains. We travel a lot with our camping car (caravan) in the surroundings. To live here permanently is my major influence for all the things I'm doing now.
Electronic Shadows: What is your favourite food, and colour?
Ed Starink: Italian, French, Indonesian... My favourite colour is blue.
Electronic Shadows thanks Ed Starink for the interview.