1.- The interviewee
Best known as Spiky, Guillaume Muller is the mysterious genius behind master works like Paleblack and Carnival Symposium. He is not only well known within the French Steampunk community, but also internationally due to his creations and collaborations with artists such as G. D. Falksen. Cinema, videogames, music… are you ready to discover Spiky’s world? Follow us!
2.- ‘Rock, Orchestral and Steampunk’
Q.- Spiky, we are very pleased to welcome you to our series of brief interviews because we do admire your creative activity. We discovered you by listening to Carnival Symposium, but Paleblack was the trigger. Are you satisfied with the feedback you have received about this outstanding music video (and making-of) so far?
Guillaume Muller (GM).- We are rather satisfied of the result (as technicians). Despite the budget we had, we managed to get a professional result which is not that easy, especially when you are shooting such elements. You have to shoot in a limited time because of the renting, the weather (night cycle), the stamina of the actress, the temperature of the bath, the electric charge, etc…. The feedback we had was very good so it was worth the time and the implication of all the team and the musicians! We really felt it like living an adventure on a difficult project and we often laugh about the rough times and anecdotes.
Q.- Paleblack is among the works we have chosen for our post series ‘A Singular Soundtrack’ and, in fact, it is quite cinematographic. You have experience in this field… what makes it so attractive for you? May we expect any new collaboration soon?
GM.- Visually I find the colors and the lights very attractive : Using a lot of brown elements is never making it dark and don’t sacrifice deepness. I am especially in love of those « slow-motion brownished » sequences because I think it is what describe my music the best and there are no coincidences as I was in charge of the accessories in this scene (so I basically put what I wanted to see here). I have new projects in mind and the team I am gathering is still not really defined so I can’t really say more regarding a new collaboration.
Q.- Youngness has not been an obstacle for your artistic activity to date, including participations in films and videogames. Would you tell us a bit about your background and education?
As per their own words, The Parlour Trick offers ‘haunted chamber music and dark, dreamy ambience composed, arranged and performed by multi-instrumentalists Meredith Yayanos and Dan Cantrell’. And we think that this is a really accurate description.
Co-founder and Editor In Chief of Coilhouse, Meredith Yayanos is a talented musician, writer and filmmaker. When we discovered that she was planning the launch of a chamber music album in collaboration with the Emmy-award winning composer for film and television Dan Cantrell, we could only think ‘hey, this looks great!’. The crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter was a absolute success and the rest is history.
Named after a well-loved quote by Martha Graham and inspired by some of the creepier and more dysfunctional aspects of Victoriana, the first full-length release of The Parlour Trick, entitled A Blessed Unrest, would be a perfect match for a séance with our Singular Talking Board and the corresponding Vigilat Planchette.
1.- The interviewee
Born and raised in New York City, Art Donovan is an artist, designer and museum curator with a lengthy career in the arts. From 1980 to 1990 he was the senior designer and head illustrator for Donald Deskey Associates, NYC. Since 1990, he has specialized in hand crafting custom lighting and illuminated sculptural objects for his company, Donovan Design, with the support of her business partner and wife Leslie Tarbell Donovan as President of Donovan Design and owner of Staging Places.
2.- Steampunk Art
Q.- Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that you came across Steampunk by accident in 2007. It combines many of your interests: science fact, speculative fiction, early sci-fi films, history, antique technologies, Jules Verne novels… What does Steampunk mean for you? Do you have your own definition?
Art Donovan (AD).- Personally, Steampunk is an artistic license- a freedom to approach a discipline, such a lighting design, in ways that would never previously have been accepted in the industries of interior design or architecture. In the very recent past, if one had produced a steampunk-looking design, it would have been solely considered an assemblage or sculptural work. But since the genre has gone “viral” among so many designers, it can now be considered a viable alternative. In architecture, interior design and product design, all involved were on the lookout for “the next big thing”- the new style that would up end everything before it. I believe this has actually happened. By re-tooling the visual language of the 19th century and combining it with contemporary sensibilities, Steampunk, in all of its varied forms, has been the first style to challenge the tyranny of contemporary modernism in many decades. I don’t have a strict definition of Steampunk, as the genre is still evolving. But because of the deep and historic well from which Steampunk draws its inspiration, I believe that it will prove to be a most robust and durable style of art and design.
Q.- Do you think that it could be considered a subculture at present?
AD.- In late 2013, there is still a very strong ‘underground’ element about Steampunk artists and enthusiasts. “Underground” being understood here as a movement that is not universally known or not generally understood in common terms.
Q.- IBM predicted some months ago that Steampunk is about to break into the mainstream. Do you see this happening? Which opportunities and threatens would arise from this phenomena?
AD. -In the previous three years or so, mass market retailers have attempted to sell Steampunk-like objects of one sort or another, but they always seem to be false starts or attempts. When they take Steampunk objects out of the context of their best venues, such as conventions and art exhibitions and place them in a big box retail environment, the objects look misplaced- almost forlorn. I am sure the retailers will continue to be influenced by Steampunk design, but they create these offerings without any passion… and it shows! Many retailers see Steampunk as an opportunity to “re-dress” their usual product line with the hopes of infusing it with something new and exciting.
1.- Intro: Eurosteam Con in Spain
After the success of Eurosteam Con 2012, this year’s edition is approaching full steam ahead! As announced by its main promoter, Marcus Rauchfuß, it is going to take place across Europe on 28th and 29th September 2013 .
Taking into consideration that Decimononic is an international project located in Spain, we would like to focus on the events foreseen within our own country. We have to say that Eurosteam Con is generating considerable buzz beyond the niche of the Spanish Steampunk scene: articles like this one published on Kultura Gótika, Leer magazine or even TV news (Cuatro, Tele 5), may be considered some representative examples.
There are seven locations confirmed at present (sorted by alphabetical order):