Speak to most musicians about their motivations, inspirations and processes and you will, generally, get variations on a similar, broadly consensual, theme. Natasha Pirard is genuinely different. Her interest in sound goes way beyond the superficial and the ephemeral. She is fascinated by how and why sound makes us feel, the political implications of sound, noise pollution and the everyday sounds embedded in our immediate environment. “When we’re walking down the street for example,” she explains,” all those sounds and noises that interfere with everything: I’m very sensitive to very loud sounds and noises. And it gets fascinating when I start to dream about them.”
Contextually, this makes a lot of sense when confronted with her debut release for DEEWEE, Dream Cycles. A 120-minute exploration of sounds, loops, frequencies and waves, it’s an eight-part musical cycle split into 15-minute sections across four cassettes (currently only available at her live shows), she believes, reflects on this notion of cyclical, rather than linear, time. The eight song cycles are repetitive. They start off basic and functional and build over time. They begin with one sound but soon you hear other sounds. From there you get taken to another point, where you hear something else and so on and so forth. The circle is never-ending.
Pirard’s curiosity in sound stems from her time studying musicology in Ghent, which in turn was prompted by a musical epiphany she had watching the master of minimalism Steve Reich perform four of his acclaimed pieces in Amsterdam in 2017 at the opening concert of Dekmantel Festival: “That was the key moment for me. That’s when I knew I wanted to do something with music. ”However, rather than fixate on the centuries-old classical canon, Pirard’s interest – as per Reich – was piqued by contemporary experimental music. It wasn’t until the end of her four-year course that she began testing her neophyte sonic ideas, encouraged by all at DEEWEE. The first results of her trials in sound can be found in Dream Cycles. And given the thought processes that underpin her creativity, Pirard, unsurprisingly, says there is no right or wrong way to experience her always-shifting music.