In the interest of learning a bit more about the mysterious artist Ophibre, whose anonym serves as the sole appellation of both his person and label; I wrote to inquire about conducting an e-mail interview.
Knowing full well the abstruse nature of Ophibre, I was still somewhat surprised to receive his answers– each as a separate audio file, with his voice bearing the stamp of several different transformative processes.
Although I had initially considered transcribing Ophibre’s responses as well as offering the recordings, I was concerned that doing so would encourage users to avoid the audio files, which certainly lessens the total experience. Ophibre also wrote to encourage me not to provide transcriptions, and his reason is compelling:
“I would feel better if the answers were not transcribed and the listener would be forced to listen multiple times to fully comprehend, like learning how to understand another language.”
What follows are my original written questions, each followed by a short audio file with Ophibre’s response. The total size of the six files is less than two megabytes, so do not fear, dial-up users! –DaveX
1) I have to get it out of the way right off– how do you say “Ophibre,” and what does it mean? Barring a meaning, where did this name come from? How long have you been making music?
2) If “Puzzle Pieces” and “Shattered CD” are any indication, repetition is a pretty big element of your work. Still, I have to admit that I find some moments, such as the opening to “Shattered CD” to be pushing this repetition a bit far. Assuming this is purposeful on your part, what’s the idea?
3) One thing I have noticed (and some other reviewers as well, it seems) is that you have a good sense of space in your recordings– be it lengthy periods of silence, or simply the feel of the recordings themselves. When considered alongside the ubiquitous bagged items, it seems safe to believe the physical to be a strong influence for your ideas. What are your thoughts on this?
4) In my review, I mentioned your relative anonymity– both as an artist, and of your work’s intent. Sometimes, however, a blank slate invites listeners to over-examine a recording. Care to shed any light on the meanings behind your recordings, or on your anonymous status?
5) What are you listening to lately? Any favorite recordings you’d like to share with STARTLING MONIKER readers?
6) What’s coming up for Ophibre, both artist and label? Any plans to tour?
Here are some links to the artists mentioned in Ophibre’s response to question five. Because at least one name is rather common, it is entirely possible that Ophibre was referring to another artist. Here they are, in order of mention: