Artist Profile: Alan Backdrop
It’s almost fitting that Alan Backdrop calls Brugine home.
Located on the northern Italian plains halfway between the bustling city capital of Padua and the majestic Mediterranean Sea, it’s easy for outsiders to be pulled in either of the two directions — and completely miss the quaint town of 7,000.
Similarly, the Italian DJ and producer has a sound that falls somewhere between techno and abstract ambient, which is a result of living the dual city/country life. As most listeners flock to either end of the spectrum (generally towards the commercial techno of big cities), it’s easy to overlook the talent of this rising techno star.
We caught up with Alan Backdrop (real name is Alessio Meneghello) to discuss his relationship with nature and how it keeps him true to his artform.
Outside of music, where do you derive your inspiration?
Of course cinema, photography, painting, etc, but the most influential (if you agree to call it an art form) is nature and the way it expresses itself. It’s an infinite source of inspiration and I cannot make music without being connected to it.
Any works in particular?
A movie that really struck me was Spring, summer, fall, winter… and Spring by Kim-Ki-Duk. It really reflects how mankind needs to maintain a contact with nature, especially in this day of age. The film gives you 103 minutes of total peace and harmony and it offers you the vision of gorgeous landscapes…. so vividly that you almost can smell the perfume. It’s incredible how you can feel immersed in the smooth atmosphere that wraps the lake in the middle of the forest. That inspires me!
How would you describe your creative method as an artist?
I’m a great mind-traveller, so the most of times I’m inspired by the “journeys” I make with my mind. For this reason I totally agree with Steve Roach when he says that the limit of music is your imagination. So usually I like to entrust myself to my fantasy. Of course, there are so many visual artworks which help me to enlarge my imagination. For example, several covers of albums I really love like are “Somnium” from Robert Rich, “Indigo_Transform” by Robert Henke, and even the subaqueous ear of “Meddle” by Pink Floyd, which is probably my favorite cover ever… but for the moment I’m mainly related to the musical aspect.
Of your own works, which has the most vivid influence from nature?
There’s a mix I made about three years ago (one of the first I put on the web) that I’m still really attached to. It’s called “Siberut”, a vinyl-only recording totally inspired by the homonym island in Indonesia. I had a lot of fun putting together ambient and techno records, trying to keep a deep atmosphere and trying to consider all the aspects of an island that most inspire me, such: trees, plants, wild animals, presence of water, indigenous population, etc… besides, I like to include an abstract and surrealistic touch in my works. Therefore I’m always looking for the better way to combine all these aspects.
Do you have any pictures of your local town in Italy?
Yes, I’ve taken some pictures of the countryside near my house [see below in B&W]
How do you see your musical taste evolving in the future?
In the future, I’ll probably be inspired by something else, considering I’m of the opinion that all art forms are connected and influenced by the events and experiences of life.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALAN BACKDROP
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