Peter Farr is the man behind the sexy aquatic glitch sounds of Urple Eeple. He has recently given fans a peak into daily, hour-long studio sessions through his Microwave Beats Project. These clips will be crowdsourced to determine which should be developed into complete tracks. His venture into remixing Destiny’s Child‘s Say My Name really caught our attention and we have decided to give it a special release. In celebration of our first exclusive track, I sat down with Peter to discuss Microwave Beats, inspiration, and why people undervalue recorded music. Check out Urple Eeple’s Tumblr for the latest Microwave Beats and to vote on your favorite tracks.
Let’s start by briefly talking about the scope of the project. You’re spending about an hour per day on a new track for 30 days, and then asking fans for input on which ones should be completed. Are there any other goals such as experimenting with genres you’re not used to or challenge yourself in some way?
Definitely. Sometimes I’m just in a certain mood and am really feeling like writing a certain style so I’ll dive into that, but other times I want to experiment with something I’ve never tried. The other day I asked my fans what ideas they might have for me to try out, and I attempted one fans suggestion of remixing a Bossa Nova Jazz track. That was totally different from anything I’d ever done before! And really rewarding.
That’s one of my favorites so far, it’s very different but still has an Urple twist to it. Where do you look for for inspiration in your music? What are some of the less obvious influences of yours?
The music itself is sort of a self inspiring thing to me, which seems a little strange, but it’s what guides me. I start messing around with a new rhythmic concept or melodic concept and when it starts to feel really good something inside me just starts driving and pushing forwards. The elements in a song have a way of relating to each other, and those relationships are almost otherworldy to me. The exploration itself is my biggest influence I’d say. Outside of that, I get really inspired by innovative things other musicians are doing around the world, and art I find around the world. When I was younger I used to do a lot of psychedelics and that’s definitely influenced the way I approach music. I find a lot of inspiration from past mind opening experiences I’d had and creating music that tries to open other peoples minds to the world around them. And love is a very inspiring emotion to me. That rush and exhilaration from being in love is a very strong driving force in the Urple Eeple landscape.
Totally, I’ve noticed a very sensual vibe throughout your music, especially on these recent tracks. That artist’s intuition is the ideal condition to create under, but many find it hard to tap into constantly. Do you feel that your approach to making the Microwave Beats differs, having to stick to a schedule of writing something daily instead of when the moment feels right?
Oh, yeah, good question. What I can say is that the approach is different for sure but the outcome can be very surprising. Sometimes in those hour long chunks of time I end up writing my best material. I might sit down and not feel inspired but after working with something, the sound does something you don’t quite expect, and that starts to drive the project. In the end I think inspiration can be trained actually, and daily production trains the creative muscles so the say. At least, that’s been my experience. Microwave Beats started as sort of a private thing between myself and a bunch of my producer friends. We’d write for an hour and then critique each others beats. I simply decided that I wanted to try out 30 days of doing it publicly, which has been a huge challenge, but it’s also taught me a lot. You’ve got to squeeze out something that’s fairly good within an hour because your entire fanbase is going to hear it. Maybe I just work well under deadlines, but I find the challenge to often times surprise me with what comes out of it
“Say My Name” was the first remix in the project, is there anything special about this song?
Not in particular. I made it on a day where I was feeling inspired by that specific song and couldn’t get it out of my head, so I made a slow beat driven jam of it, multi layering the vocals and getting something juicy out. I got a lot of really great fan feedback, people loved it. I never know exactly what I’m going to get out of a Microwave Beat when I dive in but this one came out particularly nice.
It certainly takes a lot of bravery to publicly show work that fans would likely otherwise not see. How do you plan on polling fans for feedback on the tracks? How many of the songs do you anticipate completing?
I anticipate completing as many songs as it seems like people really want me to complete. In terms of polling, I want to try an organic approach. If my fans want me to complete a song, favorite or comment on the track and let me know. If i get enough feedback, then I’ll finish it up. It’s as easy as that. I really wanted this project to help facilitate a deeper interaction between myself and my fans. I was bummed out that I’ve been sitting on songs, waiting to show them to my fans because I’ve had to wait for release dates on compilations and EP’s. I wanted a way for fans to see into my process, and let me know what songs they’d want me to finish. Fan driven content, so commenting/favoriting a microwave beat is a great way for fans to let me know that I should finish it, and I will!
I think having insight into the process from an artist is really awesome. A lot of people don’t really understand how electronic music is made and, in a way, I think that has devalued it in their eyes.
I can definitely agree with that. Also what has led, I believe, to a devaluing of music in general is it’s ease of reproducibility. With music there is no “original” like there is with a painting. An art collector may spend a million dollars on an original painting from a famous artist, but with music, there is no original. Every full WAV quality you purchase is identical to the original. Nothing is degraded from copying the way it is with physical art mediums such as oil painting. Who knows though, if you’ve been following the news, Wutang Clan may change that as they just decided to release only one copy of their newest double LP, thereby making that album like an original painting. Only one of it’s kind exists in the world.
That’s a really interesting idea. It’s fascinating to see how musicians have adapted themselves and the industry with the time of technology. Before music was recorded, none of this was an issue, and every performance was unique. At the same time, now artists have the ability to build an audience all over the world without leaving their home. Ok, well that about covers my questions, thanks so much for chatting! Anything else you’d like to say?
Enjoy the music!