Credit : Luca Nicolao

Q&A: Leonardo Barbadoro

Leonardo Barbadoro, formerly known by his electronic alias Koolmorf Widesen, is an Italian musician and producer based in Florence. The highly versatile artist released his song and video, Bomi on the 22nd of September, via Helical records. The track comes off his highly anticipated album Musica Automata, an LP comprised of orchestral music performed entirely by robots. With the official LP recently garnering support from musictech, the initial project and concept, launched a few years ago, gained serious mainstream attention from publications such as Red Bull, Vice, RaiNews, and CNN Indonesia. In addition to this, as Koolmorf Widesen, he has performed alongside the likes of Apparat, Venetian Snares, DJ Spooky and 808 State. Showing no signs of slowing down, the track has already premiered and received support from electronicgroove. We took some time to ask him some rapid fire questions. Check it out below.

Walk us through your creative process?

I don’t really have a set way of working. I like to constantly change the way I start to make a new track. Sometimes I start fiddling around with a certain device until something interesting comes up, other times I start inputting values into a step sequencer, sometimes the standard piano roll on a DAW, other times I just don’t use a standard sequencer at all. Same goes for the instruments and gear. I have used acoustic, electric and hardware electronic instruments as well as VST and more recently the robots at Logos foundation.

What has been the most defining moment of your musical career? 

I can’t really think about a defining moment. When you release an album it’s an important moment where you close a chapter and can move on, but I wouldn’t call it a definitive moment. Composing music is an ever-evolving process.

What equipment or software are you using the most?

Right now I would just say my computers and some circuit bended drum machines. I’ve been through various phases over the years. A first hybrid phase (hardware/software) in the early 2000s, then exclusively analogue hardware from 2009 to 2015, then the robots of the Logos foundation, and then returning to mainly using DSPs.

Whats your performance setup looking like?

A robot orchestra! I haven’t played the music from the album live yet, but I would like to do it next year. We are trying to sort something for the next year. Up until now my live setup has been mostly just a laptop and some midi controllers. I have occasionally also brought hardware instruments such as a modular, some drum machines and synths but often is too much hassle. Most of the hardware synths I use have no memories and some don’t even have MIDI inputs ports. Most of them are bulky, fragile and heavy, so in live contexts I prefer to focus on what I can do with a computer since there are already so many possibilities.

Who are your biggest inspirations at the moment?

I don’t know, I have no idea. I listen to a lot of different things but I think my music has become more and more detached from direct influences in recent years. About ten years ago I would have told you some names of artists from labels like Rephlex, Planet mu or Warp. Today I really don’t know, I’ve detached myself enough from that sound and also the music I listen to. Inspiration can come from a particular instrument, from a conversation with a friend or fellow musician, or probably even more often when I’m doing something else.

Whats your favourite way to pass the time? Any hobbies?

Probably it’s still producing and listening to music. Outside of music, I have no particular hobbies. I have always been interested in cinema, art in general and I like spending time in nature away from the bustle of the city. It helps me reconnect my thoughts, even in the musical composition field.

Whats next for you as an artist?

I would like to be able to bring the music from the album in to a live context. Aside from that, I am just really looking forward to spend a lot of time in the winter making new music.

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