Neo-classical composer/producer Emiji has released his new album My Journeys. We asked him the BIG questions . . .
Emiji aka Marcin Ciszczon is one of the Directors of the successful record label Diffusion Lab (home to Soulé, Jafaris, Nealo) and is passionate about the use of psychedelic plants in psychotherapy.
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He has now recorded an album that explores the concepts that music, nature and psychotropic plants can be of therapeutic benefit to one's mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing.
Tell us three things about yourself?
I started learning piano when I was 19, which is super late, but still managed to put in a lot of effort and get pretty good technically and I'm self-taught.
I naturally stopped eating meat over four years ago. It works for me. Everybody is different though, so I wouldn’t be like, "hey I’ve done it and you should too" but it helps the planet, so it gives me a bit of a feeling that I contribute.
I like a DIY approach to life. You can learn just about anything and everything on YouTube nowadays (you can? - Ed). YouTube it and just start! Yes, there are obstacles and I know you can achieve more when partnering but still, YouTube is your friend and I always encourage people to use it for learning.
How would you describe your music?
Ambient/cinematic/neoclassical to put it into these "musical styles drawers". Emotionally it gives you a whole range of feelings - from pretty, nice, and calm sounds to harsh, mellow, and dark motifs.
Who are your musical inspirations?
Not gonna be too original here - life, whatever happens or has happened before, and music I listen to through the years. To be more specific, I love Peter Sandberg, especially Deep, and what Sting has done with orchestra, on Symphonicities - I Burn For You. These would be two big inspirations, though there are more - Vangelis and Thomas Newman, or Nigel Stanford.
How are you occupying yourself during the coronavirus lockdown?
Apart from the fact that I live near a lake and a forest where I’ve been going for walks and jogging a lot, I basically went creative with photography, with my drone and camera and making more music. I've restored a super cheap upright piano that I bought for like 100 quid, including delivery. It took two months to get it to the point that’s above my skill set, but I’m gonna leave it there, so it still sounds home-ish, a bit clicky and not "professional."
What’s your favourite song right now?
I listen a lot to super calm and a bit dark dub techno these days and a lot of ambient and world music. I guess this is a come back to when I listened to techno in general (1994-1999). Still like jazz and funk, neo-soul, but If I really had to pick, I’d say End of the Affair by Ben Howard. This guy is on another level emotionally and the way he is connected with his guitar, I’ve come across it on YouTube and it blew me away, the somewhat psychedelic vibes, Pink Floyd-ish guitar, delays, and his vocals - amazing.
Favourite lyric of all time?
Whole song actually - Adam F - The Tree Knows Everything feat. Tracy Thorn (1997).
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I have many memories connected to it and somehow it stays in my mind since I first heard it. Its meaning is actually changing from time to time, but it always comes back to ". . . but, the tree wasn’t blind". I love this song, the whole album was a fresh approach to drum ’n’ bass back then and when I listen to it, it still sounds fresh to this day. The song is jazzy, atmospheric, and melancholic. I guess it’s about love, like so many songs are. But the tree wasn’t blind - trees live longer than us, even hundreds of years, so they’ve seen what we have not. Obviously, this is just my interpretation, but I like it, especially given what’s happening with this world nowadays.
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Then it would be silence (I mean quiet sounds of nature). This is what psychedelics have shown me too - silence is as important as music, so I choose "silence" in this case. But if it really has to be a song - this is going to be really difficult to choose, there’s so many of them. I’ll go for Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond for the rough, organic sound that I love. It’s not cinematic though.
Where can people find your music/more information?
I’m doing a live meditation and listening party of my debut album on Sunday, March 28th at 9.00pm on Facebook.