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Boban Ristevski: Both philosophy and esoteric themes have influenced what I’ve achieved with music

How important is music for you?

I'm trying to push and maintain the two interests of mine - music and literature - as a parallel, so oftentimes they interfere with each other.

How closely is your life connected with music?

I used to have a program on the radio, it was on one local alternative music radio station Kanal 103. The program focused on experimental music, and although that was a long time ago, I believe that it has influenced my music taste and all that followed afterwards. That means that I’ve managed to release about 250 to 300 releases in different formats for almost 15 years. Some tracks had very little noise, some were harsh noise oriented, but most of them were in the drone style, as well as the variations of deep and dark/abstract ambient. Drone became a hype a certain time ago, now it's even banalized. People also started to release their music on tapes again, and I followed that trend too and had a few tape releases in my discography.

Do you spend a lot of time with books?

I started to work as a librarian four years ago. It's a peaceful workplace and I like it, it was my wish and it came true. I'm happy that I’m able to spend a lot of time researching different and various kinds of literature either at work or in my spare time. I’ve read a lot of esoteric and occult literature that also influenced some of my music releases. I often take a title from a book as a title for my music releases. I believe in the connection between music and literature, especially in the esoteric inspiration for creating music or at least that works best for me. Let's say in the way some of the more recent bands were doing it, for example Coil and Throbbing Gristle (both don’t release music anymore) - but I believe that many of today's new experimental artists are finding a lot of inspiration from those mentioned bands and from their legacy.

Both philosophy and esoteric themes have influenced what I’ve achieved with music and sound. So far I've managed to achieve enough in that direction, so in the future, I plan to put my music activities on a minimum. With that being said, I will only release collabs with Sound_00 – Toni Dimitrov’s main music project, and I'll try to focus more on literature, maybe I’ll start a publishing house which would focus on esoteric themes (including my own translations), continue with the post-graduate studies and so on.

What ideas and concepts from Esotericism and Philosophy are mainly related to music in your opinion? Maybe you want to write a book about that?

Actually, I'm writing several books simultaneously. I truly believe that a lot of the production of the new experimental music today and especially drone is connected to some esoteric sources and inspiration.

Also, about my post-graduate studies, I'm working on two theses - one of them is titled Jung and the Occult and it's almost finished now. I'm planning to present it at the department of Philology, General and Comparative Literature. And the other thesis is titled The Spirituality in Byzantium in the Context of the History of Religions and I'm planning to present it at the Institute for Macedonian Literature. Hopefully, one day both of these research projects will see the light of the day in a form of books.

How are Jungian Esotericism and Byzantine spiritual traditions reflected in your music?

As I mentioned earlier, I just take some terms from those psychological and spiritual theories as a title for my track or an album. But as I go deeper, I believe I can find some more connections and relate even more of that literary inspiration to my music.

Does it mean that each musical work requires its own research?

Yes, I can say that each individual musical work requires its own research in a form of a theme around which the work will then be developing.

How do you feel about the concept of authorship in contemporary music? How important is the author's idea today compared to the very essence of music? Or have we nevertheless come to that moment in the history of art when an art object carries more meaning than the author intended?

Having in mind the overall massive production of all kinds of music today, it seems that the final product is the most important thing.

If you ask me, I believe it’s best when the work’s title is written on the top of the cover and the artist’s name is at the bottom. That way more importance can be given to the work itself.

You pay a lot of attention to noise in your music. Why?

I have a few harsh noise releases but most of them is drone. But even when I make drone, I like to also add some noise elements to it for two reasons. First of all, I like noise and the second reason is because I know nothing about the music production so when I make music I’m guided only by the style and that’s why other elements of noise are appearing in the form of a hiss and such.

It’s so easy for you to say that you don't know anything about music production even though you've already released so many albums.

Yeah, I've released a lot of music throughout the years but all of the releases are made by me guided by the style of the sound that I wanted to achieve and total experimenting.

What equipment and instruments do you use to create your music?

I just experiment with different sounds and effects and manipulate with field recordings with the program Ableton.

Do you have any special ritual for getting the inspiration necessary for making music, or you can create at any time in any state?

Most of the music that I’ve created in the past was made without any special preparations. I would just set myself in the mood for making music, so I guess I can say that I can create music and sound at any time and in any state. But as I mentioned earlier, my plan now is to put my musical activities on a minimum and to focus much more on literature.

Interviewer – Dionis Afonichev (Dionisaf)

Edited by Iuliia Rychkova

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