“My approach in the studio is, in quite a radical way, to always allow the spark of creativity. To listen to that. To put myself in a place where I’m open enough to feel and sense and follow, or allow, this spark.”
Watch the video above for a behind the scenes look at Mullaert’s studio, his creative philosophy, and his visionary approach to sound design.
Swedish record producer and live artist Sebastian Mullaert is a creative force to be reckoned with. Raised in a deeply musical household and performing in orchestras from a young age, Mullaert developed a profound connection with classical music. But it was his discovery of house and techno in the mid-nineties that set the ardent young musician on a radically new path. Trading classical for contemporary, Mullaert began to experiment with electronic sounds, where he discovered an increased sense of openness and simplicity.
After 14 years of work under the highly prolific moniker Minilogue, Sebastian turned his focus to his solo career and launched his event series concept and record label, Circle of Live, which brings elite artists together from across the dance music world for free-flowing collaborative jam sessions founded on improvisational spontaneity. This collaborative work, a logical extension of his personal philosophy of fundamental openness, runs parallel to his solo endeavors and has resulted in some unforgettable collaborations, most notably with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and Subchamber Ensmble in Malmö. More recently, Sebastian has been actualising a longtime ambition with In Bloom, an educational platform and online mentorship program focused on building confidence in one’s artistic voice
For these live applications, MASSIVE X’s perpetually-evolving sounds are the key to creating a transformative space: “One of the things that for me is essential when I make the patches is modulation. And I can quickly change what’s modulating what just by dragging and dropping,” he says. “I always map each sound to a physical fader to quickly change the volume or to add a certain energy and feel. When designing sound, it’s not always about rhythm, harmonies, melody, etc. It’s a lot about frequencies. It’s a lot about pictures and the feeling of actual sound.”
This same philosophy applies to his studio work: “When I’m thinking about designing something, I just try to keep open and catch it when I feel ‘ah, this is great!’” Mullaert says. “My approach in the studio is, in quite a radical way, to always allow the spark of creativity. To listen to that. To put myself in a place where I’m open enough to feel and sense and follow, or allow, this spark.”
So why MASSIVE X? Mullaert attributes his love for this dynamic instrument to the fact that it mirrors the organic openness he strives to embody in his personal life: “When I work with MASSIVE X, there are so many different places where you can include organic behavior on the synthesizer. It’s so quick and easy to change, and also, by accident, to jump into something you didn’t expect. Everything moves.”
Don’t forget to enter Sebastian’s metapop competition for a chance to win an exclusive Native Instruments KOMPLETE 13 bundle, a full version of MASSIVE X, or one of five slots in his acclaimed mentorship program for In Bloom.