Ludvig Cimbrelius, aka Illuvia, just released a new single on Mettasonic, and it is definitely a fresh record! So we hit him up for an interview. Dive in below for some thoughts from the man with a catalog deeper than the Mariana trench…
You’ve made quite a lot of music. Please tell us about that.
Music has always been the center of my life, and there is a continuous flow of inspiration that just seems to grow. It often takes me years to finish things, and I realized early on that the way to let go of music projects and not keep on tweaking them forever was to complete them in some format. I don’t know the exact number, but according to discogs.com I have been involved in 100 releases at the time for this interview.
Performing an ambient set as Purl @ Yaga Gathering in Lithuania 2017
How many aliases do you have, and how are they different? What spawned your latest transition to illuvia?
I have lost count, haha. The different names seem to arrive together with exploring new expressions, going into new territory. Divisions between different aliases are often somewhat fleeting and sometimes based more on the emotion of the music than the actual style. Purl was the first alias I began using (around age 15), and its sound has become quite clearly defined over the years, yet still evolving. I’m trying to cut back on the number of aliases lately. Last year I felt that my house/techno oriented project Alveol had reached its final destination, and I began feeling the same about my drum & bass project Ziyal. It was time for something new. The emotional atmosphere and overall vibe of those two projects felt very similar to me, so it was logical for them to merge. The transition to Illuvia also symbolizes a new chapter in my life.“My living situation has never allowed my studio to grow very large–but as long as I have the sky and open air outside, I have no problem being crammed!”
What is your favorite equipment to work with? Where do you source most of your sounds?
Lately, acoustic piano and the human voice (not sure that qualifies as “equipment” :-). I have collected sounds since I was about 12 years old. Most of them are sounds I recorded or created myself.
What does the process of creating music look like for you?
It is always different, always new. It starts with an emotion and a longing to give form to it, to let it extend further into an expression in sound.
“I find endless inspiration from looking at the sky. It is the greatest work of art I know–accessible to all and constantly evolving.”
What advice if any would you give aspiring producers who struggle with bringing projects to completion?
What is one of your favorite musical memories?
Music is always present for me – it feels somehow strange to try to recall it from memory. I love when music brings me to tears. Last time I remember it happening was listening to some live videos of Rachelle Ferrell on YouTube. Another time was when I first discovered the music of Hiromi Uehara. In both those cases I was touched by divinity through their music in a way that no words can convey. I also remember being moved to tears when I saw a documentary about Goldie, one of my early heroes…
Outside of music, what do you like to do? what’s daily life look like?
Is there something outside of music? Actually, I have developed a deep love of silence over the years. I love to meditate and always start my day by sitting quietly. I love being in nature, walking, running, swimming, interacting with wildlife… I recently quit the last day job I had in order to give my full attention to the increasing flow of inspiration for new music, as well as trying to complete some of the hundreds of half finished works I always carry with me. I am also working to assemble a website for my musical world with a complete discography among other things – www.ludvigcimbrelius.com.
Who/what are your biggest inspirations?
There are so many. What inspires me the most in the human world is people who are authentic, not holding back on who they really are. We are all weird and beautiful in our unique way and it is always inspiring to me to see grownups still being true to their inner playful passionate Spirit, sharing themselves freely. Some people that come to mind are Reggie Watts, Rachelle Ferrell, Bill Hicks, Kate Bush, Björk, Jim Carrey, Wendy Carlos, Dōgen Zenji (based on reading him and a recent movie), Esther Hicks, Prince, George Michael, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Goldie, Hiromi, Sigur Rós, etc. Oh, and I adore Star Trek and the movies by Hayao Miyazaki.