Zenon Marko
Interview

Zenon Marko Interview on Nagamag.com on Nagamag.com

Photo by Eva Mueller

Nagamag:
What are the genres that describe better your music style?

Zenon Marko:
Ambient, Neoclassical, Electronic, Downtempo, Electro-Acoustic, Traditional/”World”, Dub, Techno, House, Rock, Funk...

Nagamag:
Few words about your musical background and career?

Zenon Marko:
Music has always been a presence and love in my life. As a child, I studied piano and classical guitar, but drums soon became my primary instrument: acoustic drums, electronic drums, percussion. I became obsessed with the rhythms and sounds of drums. At the same time, I was also fascinated with the effects and possibilities of harmonies and timbre and texture and tonality, the “vertical” as well as “horizontal” axes of music. In my first university degree, I studied physics, but also studied music theory and composition; I continued on afterwards teaching myself more and more of these areas, along with production, engineering, sound design, synthesis, acoustics, psycho-acoustics, philosophy and aesthetics of music. I began a Ph.D. in physics, then switched tracks and instead completed a second undergraduate degree in philosophy. I am currently completing a Ph.D. in metaphilosophy, on the problem of beginning, or ultimate justification of knowledge. All along, I have been involved in music, as composer, producer, drummer, and DJ. As the list of genres suggests, my love of music embraces perhaps seemingly contradictory territories: from the most subtle ambient sound with no trace of rhythm, to extremely rhythmic music forms like dub, bossa, funk, techno, and rock. I have hundreds of musical works and ideas in various stages of completion, but perhaps it’s time to finally finish more of these and let them out into the wider world. There have been a number of releases with my on-going collaborative project Metasonica; I’ve just released my first solo album, the completely symmetrical instrumental ambient/neoclassical concept album “Symmetry”; there will be a rhythmic version of “Symmetry”, an entire video cycle related to the philosophy and concept, and live performances; there’s a completed ambient piano album to be released this year; I’m developing a dub techno project; also many tracks are already completed for a rhythmic downtempo project, featuring vocals in various different languages. Many more projects ongoing and in development, in and around my studio and production company, Disreality, here in downtown NYC.

Nagamag:
Do you remember your first connection of love to music that was the right impact to be a music artist now?

Zenon Marko:
Our family home was always full of music: piano, guitar, singing, records playing in every genre. However, my first distinct memory of experiencing music is that of hearing and seeing the Philadelphia Orchestra for the first time as a child. I was fortunate that my family introduced me to such experiences at an early age. I especially recall the overwhelming sense of awe and wonder at the beauty and power of this ensemble, in the grand space of the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, as the orchestra was tuning in preparation for the performance. Surely that sonic experience, of individual instruments beginning from a state of chaos and dissonance, gradually cohering into an immense and sublime coherence, has always remained with me as an ideal, not only of music, but of emotion, of something like (for lack of a better word) spirituality, and even of other-worldly perfection.

Nagamag:
Why do you create music?

Zenon Marko:
I often ask myself this question, actually. At times, from my more strictly rational, scientific, even somewhat brutally utilitarian, side, I question whether music, culture, art, and so on, are excessive luxuries and self-indulgences, in a world of so much suffering, of all creatures, human and non-human. This concern is magnified by my sense that the world is sliding towards some sort of apocalypse. Should I better apply my efforts elsewhere? Of course, I do work in philosophy as well, but one may raise similar doubts about the value of philosophy in the face of urgent practical crises. Should I only be working towards practical, measurable goals of world improvement, perhaps in a mode like effective altruism? Although these doubts never disappear, I do believe that our needs and aspirations go beyond the purely material, that one also needs what these cultural, aesthetic, intellectual, and spiritual activities provide. The material problems are urgent, of course, and demand our attention, as these address the functional basis for life; yet I believe these other regions of values, beliefs, and experiences are what render life beautiful and worthwhile. They offer a kind of transcendence. Certainly music has dramatically enriched my own life; it seems to offer a radically different kind of “answer”, compared to those offered by science and the more rational forms of philosophy; so how can I then deride it as a mere luxury or excess? After all, the music of others has given me so much. Therefore, my hope is that my music can give back in some way, and can bring to others, perhaps even to those in the depths of despair and suffering, some solace, beauty, and inspiration.

Nagamag:
Music has no borders and many of us we may listen to more genres that we are mainly involved. So share with Nagamag which track comes first in your mind from music but is NOT similar to your genre?

Zenon Marko:
Miles Davis “He Loved Him Madly”

Nagamag:
Of Course Nagamag would love to listen also which track from a similar artist you admire?

Zenon Marko:
Harold Budd & Brian Eno "First Light"

Discover & Listen to Zenon Marko

Zenon Marko on Spotify

Zenon Marko's Signature Track

Zenon Marko on Social Media

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Zenon Marko's Website

www.zenonmarko.com

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