Sunday, September 10, 2023

Interview with Michele Malavasi by Dave Wolff

Interview with Michele Malavasi by Dave Wolff

It has been long since you contributed poetry and reviews to Asphyxium (as Abyss Forgottentomb). How have you been occupying your time since then, and what projects are you currently working on?
Well, several personal issues were fixed, I moved to another flat, have a normal boyfriend for five years now. We are both bipolar and I am also hyperactive (is it the correct word?), I mean I can't stand to be not busy, I need to be busy and my brain never stays calm, haha. I mean that I need to think and imagine a lot to be really inspired. Stagnation is not my cup of tea. It was fun to participate for Asphyxium zine, and it has helped me a lot for the grammar. I wanted to get a job as a funeral adviser but the price to get this job is very expensive. Since I like death in a poetic way, I have decided to be inspired by Vincent Price and Tim Burton. I have started to create animated/stop motion videos. It's funny to see how it works to make a doll come to life. The movie “King Kong” in black and white is a good example. It takes several days until your movie is ready. I'm interested in stop motion creations, it's my new goal: I want to create stop motion videos. I also play music using Musescore 3, a piano application and some free soundfonts (harpsichord and piano).
You can listen to my Youtube music channel, I have for the moment one track on Spotify named “Crépuscule ET Ciel Nocturne” (it means Dawn and Nocturnal Sky). I always play sad, disturbing music, joyful things are not for me.

What appeals to you more when it comes to sad and disturbing music than music that is joyful? Are you able to sense its inherent beauty or does it convey something personal to you? How would you define sad music and disturbing music?
My own sadness and the beauty of the night inspire me a lot, it makes my spirit fly in some ways. Sad music is a way to express dark art, animated videos. I can also be happy and play sad music because it talks to my soul more than happy music. Music is much than words and it help to reach darkness that sad people do not want to explore. Dark and sad music is a hidden path that belongs to our personality. Between dark and light, there is something to explore, equilibrium of senses. When it comes to disturbing music, it reminds me of old black and white horror movies and some metal bands like Vader, Carcass and many others. Dark music is a way to explore myself through my hidden darkness.

How much have you improved your poetry writing since you last submitted it to Asphyxium? In what capacity have you been able to write lately?
I have not written poetry for a long time, but I have played some music instead of writing words. I transpose poetry to music because I actually feel inspired by deceased classical artists like Scarlatti, Bach, Beethoven, and I have another inspiration by Verne Langdon. Music is words we cannot express easily, in my opinion.

How would you describe the characteristics of death and morality that resonate with you, and how do you see them reflected in the works of Vincent Price and Tim Burton?
Death is a part of life and we must accept it as important because when it comes to a dead animal, flowers and other plants can grow. The soil works with the corps to make things grow, flowers, mushrooms, etc. If you love death you cannot despise life except if life is shit because of big problems. To me, Death is a creative entity, from bones grow flowers, this make me think about La Santa Muerte that I admire a lot. A lot of Mexican bands adore death as a part of life. Without life death does not exists and without death can’t exist life. Death and Life are like yin and yang, they are complementary and between both there are shadows (penumbra), I don't know the correct word. There's a part of life in death and a part of death in life, that's why I compare both to yin and yang. It's a wheel of destiny.
About Vincent Price and Tim Burton, they play with their vision of deeds, despair, sadness, because in my opinion they see the same way as me. Death is a piece of theatre like life and we are actors. Most of the people are asleep and not a loke are awake.
Vincent Price and Tim Burton understand monsters like me and some others, they play with people's fears and this is funny. Bela Lugosi is also one of my favorite because in some ways he represents his own contemporary time.

How do your views on mortality and your preference for dark and sad music come through in your stop motion videos and musical interpretations of poetry?
I create puppets with some pieces of bones or other materials, then I take pictures from each movements with my tablette. I do the same kind of thing by using sketchbook using calcs of each movements, then I put all together in the video app named power director. I do not have big engines to do the work as great movie makers but it's stunning to see it's possible with small materials. Everybody can do it if they want to create. Creativity has no limits. It's the animated Vincent movie that has given me the opportunity to create stop motion videos and Scarlatti/Bach/Verne Langdon for the creepy music. I like to interpret death this way because it's an important part of life. Sadness is a part of life as well. Without darkness, life would not exist, and without joy darkness would not exist as well. I like to explore dark existence because people are afraid of their own darkness which is a part of the living.

How did you go about finding equipment for recording music? In order to create stop motion animation, what equipment do you use, and how does it help you achieve your desired results?
To record music, I simply use piano applications and Musescore 3 on my laptop, then I can send to Youtube .And the only equipment I use is my tablette and my laptop. And Sketchbook. I have the images I desire because I pay attention to details. It's funny to play with dolls image by image with a simple tablette and sketchbook. 🙂

How do you think Bela Lugosi's role as a horror villain in movies such as "Dracula", "White Zombie" and "Son of Frankenstein" continues to resonate with horror fans today?
Well, he's a great reference as a villain, as Dracula. I watched “Vampire Over London” many months ago and I found it funny with Mother Riley. This actor is capable of scaring people because his roles are convincing; he played perfectly. Nowadays movies are a bit boring. Old movies are more magical with a few equipments. It's the magic of cinema, nowadays it's too much special effects and the stories are not as they used to be. Bela Lugosi is dead, it's a tragedy but he's still haunting his fans because he's an iconic symbol of old horror movies.

Has the overuse of special effects and CGI in modern movies contributed to your interest in older films for inspiration, or have you always preferred the classic eras? How did the first "King Kong" film capture your attention and inspire you to become interested in stop-motion?
Well, it's important to know the basics that came before the new technics, of course I am interested in how “Aliens” (H.R Giger) was made in the movies, as the case for “King Kong”. New technologies are important if you know the older processing of special effects. Cinema, new or older, is a scene full of illusions we name special effects. I hope someday I will be more talented as my idols. But to tell the truth, I have always had a preference for the oldies special effects even if I can admit that some new effects are really impressive and interesting. It's another way to enjoy one's job.
I have always had a preference for the classic eras. For example, the way “King Kong” was made is a very interesting process, and this is also the reason why I want to create stop motion videos.

What appeals to you personally about classical composers such as Scarlatti, Bach, and Beethoven? Verne Langdon: who is he, and how did his work inspire you?
To me, Scarlatti, Bach and Beethoven are as dark as Edgar Allan Poe and Baudelaire; that's why they are some of my favorite musicians. Verne Langdon was a musician and inspired me a lot with “Vampire to the Harpsichord” and “Music for Magicians”. You can find his albums on Youtube, it's more like cinema music, like his other music “Carnival of Souls”. It's important to have a colorful palette of musicians, movies, especially for the inspiration. I can be inspired by shadows on the wall and sceneries I imagine, and say to myself “what a nice idea”.

In listening to Vampire at the Harpsichord, what are some of the movies that come to mind?
One movie especially, it's interview with a vampire starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt and of course (even if it's less impressive) the movie of Dracula (1931). The whole album make me think about the movie “The Pit and The Pendulum” starring Vincent Price long ago.

Are there any other death metal or extreme metal bands that you have been listening to besides Vader and Carcass? Over the years, have you observed any changes in extreme metal?
Recently I have listened to Cathedral’s “In Flames”. It's a bit different for death and black metal but they sound great. One title has helped me a lot “Release The Pain” and “Not A Vampire Song”. There are not so many old school bands nowadays, but the influences are still there so it's cool.

For a similar effect, do you also listen to radio serials or horror programs? There are quite a few streaming on YouTube, some of which date back to the 1930s. Have you listened to any that you would like to share?
Long ago I used to listen to Pierre Bellemare. He was French and told thriller stories on TV. I have never heard him on the radio, but I would like to.

What do you do when you compose your music using Musescore 3 to arrange the piano and harpsichord sounds?
There are arranged sounds so I use the keys and imagine the music I hear in my mind. Then I can save it into mp3, wav, flac etc. Someday I would like to try to write metal music with Musescore 3.

Since you released “Crépuscule et Ciel Nocturne”, what kind of feedback has it gotten? Also, you just released “A Titre Posthume” at Youtube Music. Can you describe this track and the inspiration behind it?
“Crépuscule et Ciel Nocturne” has been approved and available on Spotify but not a lot listen to it. I'd like this track to be heard worldwide “A Titre Posthume” is all about my sadness and loneliness and was inspired by Scarlatti and Max Ablitzer (Youtube).

I noticed that you display your work on your Facebook profile. What is the extent of your portfolio that can be viewed there? Is there a community page as well as your profile?
I have Instagram, Soundcloud and Facebook. One title you can hear on Spotify, and most are available on Soundcloud and Youtube Music.

Are you planning to create an official website to showcase your work in addition to your profiles on the sites you mentioned?
I'd like to create an official website but I don’t know how I must proceed to and for this I need help to have an official Facebook page but I think I must have CD on stores and a lot of followers or fans.

When you have designed enough material to include in a book or eBook, are you contemplating publishing your artwork? Are you considering releasing your music on compact disc?
I'd like to put my music on compact discs but my laptop do not have a CD thing. I will see if it's possible to do it at the local library since they have computers .It's not that I admire my artworks but some of them fit some music I have written.

-Dave Wolff

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