“There is value in all connection between humans,” says Tim Exile, “and as a musician I'd say even more value in musical connection." This bodes well for the 15th November 2015 at the Roundhouse where Exile will be connecting, in his own inimitable style, with groups of young musicians from South Africa, Nigeria and Ukraine as they perform live with Jamie Cullum as part of Call to Create’s On Mass project in partnership with the British Council. Cullum will gather hundreds of performers on stage to play together and Exile’s daunting brief is to create a “mash up” of sound to fill the Roundhouse which will also be streamed live to a global audience.
Or maybe this isn’t so daunting for Tim Exile. He’s shared stages with Richard Dawkins, Brian Cox, Imogen Heap, Machinedrum, Jimmy Edgar and Jamie Lidell and must be the only person to give a TED talk that saw the audience get up and dance on stage. He is a creator of software and instruments that allow him to fully express himself and these creations have helped him to build a reputation as an extraordinary live performer. Exile has performed over 500 shows with the Flow Machine – "a Heath-Robinson-like-contraption that crams into a single flight case" – and we can expect to see it put through its paces on the 15th November.
We caught up with him and he shared his thoughts about technology, his influences and what we can expect at the Roundhouse ...
Hi Tim, what excites you about the Call to Create gig at the Roundhouse?
"Over a hundred musicians in the main space at the Roundhouse riffing together on a single theme with the opportunity for me to live sample them. It’s a one-click-buy!"
Have you been involved in anything like this before? Can we expect something similar to your live sampling of the Heritage Orchestra a few years ago?
"I’m a big fan of live sampling, looping and remixing whatever the context - solo, duet or a megalopolis of ensembles like this. I’ll be taking a similar approach to the Heritage Orchestra project where the orchestra were mic’d up and sent to me for live sampling. The big difference is that the Heritage Orchestra project was tightly planned out. This one will emerge on the day! I’ll be using the Flow Machine, a customised instrument for live sampling, looping and electronic performance which I built myself. There’s a brand new part of the Flow Machine which I’m just about to release as a commercially available bit of software."
How did you get into making music and who were your biggest influences?
"Bit by bit really. It all started with the violin, then I discovered electronic sounds as a teenager, started DJing and producing and then eventually inventing my own new instruments for performance. Future Sound Of London set my teenage brain on fire with their sound. Aphex Twin felt like a creative production zenith … and Jamie Lidell set me off on this whole live performance path."
Can you tell us about any tracks or artists that you’re really enjoying at the moment?
"I’ve recently been introduced to Lorenzo Senni, Aisha Devi and Natasha Barrett at a festival in Tromsø, Norway. All three outstanding in very different ways. I love Arca and that whole new sound that’s emerging … I regularly listen to a podcast called Headphone Commute which features some excellent mixes of more texture-driven music. Peter van Cooten has submitted some incredibly detailed and well-crafted mixes."
You can find out more, and get hold of free downloads, at Tim Exile’s website, timexile.com.
Tim Exile’s Ted Talk
Tim Exile’s Bardo EP
Tim Exile on Souncloud