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Q&A SERIES — AIDAN BAKER

In celebration of the label's 100th release we put together a Q&A for some of the artists involved to give an insight into their artistic world and how they connected with Gizeh.

GZH100 - We Hovered With Short Wings is a compilation album celebrating Gizeh's 100th release. It features 21 exclusive tracks from artists who have been involved with the label over the past 18 years.

— PRE-ORDER // SHIPS LATE NOVEMBER
— DIGITAL EDITION AVAILABLE FROM BANDCAMP
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Q&A SERIES
AIDAN BAKER
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Related releases:
GZH98 - Baker / Goff / Harris - The Bit
GZH94 - Aidan Baker - An Instance of Rising / Liminoid
GZH88 - Baker / Coloccia / Mueller - See Through
GZH79 - Baker / Goff / Harris - Noplace
GZH74 - Aidan Baker & Karen Willems - Nonland
GZH72DP - Aidan Baker & Claire Brentnall - Delirious Things
GZH70 - Nadja - The Stone Is Not Hit By The Sun, Not Carved With A Knife
GZH61 - Aidan Baker - Half Lives
GZH43 - Aidan Baker - Already Drowning

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Can you remember how you ended up first getting involved with Gizeh

Aidan: Back in 2010 or 2011, Simon from Brew Records in Leeds suggested I tour together with Glissando, one of Rich’s previous projects, and put us in touch thinking we would get along and enjoy each other's music. The tour never happened and I believe we didn't meet in person until A-Sun Amissa and I did tour in Europe together in 2012 and my first Gizeh album, Already Drowning, was released in 2013.

What are you currently finding inspiring?

Things I consume -- books, movies -- often provide me with a certain inspiration. But I also get inspired by listening to other music -- hearing things, different styles or different sounds, that I want to explore or try to create myself -- but also from books and films.

Since none of us have been able to tour this year, what have you been occupying yourself with?

I have been lucky to play a few shows over the summer months, but I've no performances lined up now until spring 2021...so, I have been trying to finish up various recording projects that I've left unfinished. And, of course, starting a number of new projects, both on my own and via file-sharing with a number of different musicians around the world. The only one of these that has actually been finished so far is my collaboration with Istanbul-based musician Ekin Fil, The Dark Well, which was released this autumn. 

Tell us a bit about your workspace / studio / the place you create.

I have a rehearsal space in an industrial corner of old east Berlin, which I use for playing with other people and/or if I want to play loud. But normally, I work in my home studio, a bit of a cocoon in the corner of our flat with my desk, computer, various instruments and gear, surrounded on one side by a wall of bookshelves and the other by shelves filled with our merch and mailorder catalogue. 

What does a regular day look like for you? Do you have routines or habitual ways you work?

I often end up working in flurries, intense work over a short period of time, which usually ends up with me forcing myself to step away and trying to do other things, like leaving the house and getting some exercise and fresh air. When I'm feeling more diligent or regimented with my work habits, I like to start working early in the morning for a few hours until noon, and then devoting the rest of the day to things other than music.

What would be your dream collaboration?

That's hard to say...maybe Diamanda Galas? It would be pretty cool to play with her.

What was your entry point into playing music?

My parents are both musicians -- I kind of felt it was simply expected that I would play music. I started taking piano lessons when I was six, I believe, before turning to flute, my primary instrument of study, at age 8 or 9. I taught myself to play guitar when I was 12 or 13.

How do you know when a record's finished?

Sometimes it's obvious -- it just feels done. Though that's pretty rare...most times, there's always a little, nagging something that needs fixing, and it takes a certain strength of will to say, no more, it's finished, let it go...

How do you balance health and productivity?

As I mentioned above, I do try to be regimented with my work habits...not always successfully. But part of that want for regimentation is an awareness of health, of being healthy, and not pushing one's self too far, too hard unnecessarily.

Do you have a favourite Gizeh release or one that particularly resonates with you?

A-Sun Amissa's Desperate In Her Heavy Sleep was one of the first Gizeh releases I heard...and it remains a favourite.
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