Short talk with Donovan Silver

Next short talk about recordings, music creative process & technologies with well known musician Donovan Silver.

Donovan, how do you feel during this crucial world times (I mean politics turbulence, Brexit, social media impact, fast changing technologies…)

I don’t as a rule allow world events or politics to influence my music.
The advancement of technologies excites and intrigues me at the same time, it’s how we use that technology that matters.

Creating of music – what does it mean for you? Is it a long-term process with inspiration coming gradually or it can be spontaneously done – due to modern technology – in a few days? 

I have no standard way of writing music. My inspiration may come from a melody idea, a sound, a rhythm, nature, a word or a theme. Some pieces of music I’ve written quickly (in a day) but most take a couple of weeks to get the basic tune right.
Being able to record at home with an arsenal of electronic instruments/effects etc all in one place makes the process more spontaneous.I enjoy mixing traditional instruments with electronic ones.

Looking at it from a distance, how do you perceive the changing nature of recording technology  

Being able to record on an iPad, send files by email and mix on a laptop makes the recording process more versital. The ideas still have to come from the composer/producer.

What would you keep/restore from music hardware history, if you could – what type of recording? Favourite drumm kit/synth tool?  

I still have my Z1, Prophet 5 and OSCar from the 80’s, I do miss my old Memorymoog though. I wish I still had my TAMA drum kit that I bought from Steve Jansen (Japan) in the early 80’s.

Most imporatnt/emotional phase of your music career?

I suppose the most emotional phase for me was 3 years ago when I lost my Mum.
After many years away from music this gave me the realisation that I needed to pursue my dreams and the strength to return to music writing, production and recording.

It seems that an album could be actually recorded on just one notebook with a smart software. Still I feel that it somehow sounds pretty much the same (take s works with all types of I-gadgets).   

An album can easily be done on a laptop these days, but it will only ever be as good as the music that is written and recorded in it.

Do you see any connection between recording in the 70s and today, technology left aside?

The basic recording process hasn’t really changed since the 70’s. I still use microphones for vocals, sax and guitars, but now I record onto a computer instead of a 2″ tape.

Do you see some change in electronic/synth/new wave pop subculture during last years (also rock bands using some electronic add ons:)) 

There certainly seems to be an increased interest in 80’s electronic music in recent years. Rock bands have been using synths since the 60’s, they just don’t hide them anymore.

I see that we have now lot of young bands which are very good and playing more live gigs like a recording albums – is it trendy or low hanging fruits for them regarding prifitability?

It is nearly impossible for any artist to make money from downloads. Bands have to play live more these days to increase CD, vinyl and merchandise sales.

How do you approach marketing/promotion of your music?  

I am not the best when it comes to marketing/promotion. I mainly use Facebook, Twitter and my Website.

It´s possible promote and sell albums without major labels? Any frustration for Digital download? 

Promoting and selling EP’s/Albums without a record label is hard work, but at the same time allows the artist full control over the music, artwork and image etc.

Vinyl, CD or MP3?:)  

I prefer the sound quality of CD over MP3, but I do still love Vinyl.

Do you still believe in a concept of album? My young friends or kids listen 60 sec from song and skip to next…or select only individual songs. 

I like an EP/Album to sell a story and I arrange mine to flow in a specific order to tell that story. When people randomly select a different track order the original story and the meaning of the songs is lost.

Can full album alive? 

I hope so. A full album flows from happy to sad, fast to slow and sets an atmosphere/emotion.

What about Silver Donovan in a next 10 years?

I release the 3rd of 5 EP’s later this year. Together they tell the story of the elements of life. My 3rd EP is pivotal to the story and will be the only EP to be fully instrumental.
My first album is planned for late 2022.
I hope to do some live shows in the near future, but nothing is planned yet.
I would like to get into writing film/TV music.


Mojmír Lieskovský/DOUBLE LOUD

Bratislava, June 10, 2019

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