Derek Piotr – “You are either ‘feathers or fur’, and I am certainly feathers… as far as birds go… undeniably friendly, not too large, not too small”

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Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich and other minimalists… You’re not the first in this filed here on CS, but I always like to explore what does ‘minimalism’ mean to people, in your case both as listener and as musician…

Pärt and Reich were very important to me early on in my listening days (16-18). Morton Feldman is actually my favourite composer ever, but somehow Pärt’s CDs are generally more available, so I have plenty of him. One of my top 10 desert island discs is Pärt’s “Te Deum.” About Reich, I recently released a new track for my upcoming record called “The Sign” – I sort of imagine this piece sounding like “Steve Reich with a laptop”.

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Laurie Anderson and Joanna Newsom are two other ‘heavy’ presence. I really like the first, but I never got in love with the Newsom, maybe it’s my limit. Are you found of female vocals?

Hmmm, I think these are just CDs that were readily available. I adore both ladies. Joanna Newsom is going on tour this fall and I will see her. I was lucky enough to be a two meters away from Laurie Anderson for an intimate performance at the Stone In, I think it was, 2014, with Anne Carson reading overtop. A magic, magic night! You may also notice their heavy presence because I just bought “Mister Heartbreak” (which is another top 10 desert island disc for me) and “Have One on Me” (which I really don’t actually care for – but it was a three discs second hand bargain for 6.99 £ – how could I refuse?!).

They are both singers, and I’m curious about the use of the voice you do… can you tell me about?

I have been using my voice since I was a child, before I had heard of either ladies. I definitely have an incredible utmost respect for them. “Ys” by Joanna Newsom is one of the most sublime records ever.

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It seems that you wanted to point out that CD with an amazing photo of a clarinet (?) player in a pool, from Paul Meyer. Is totally unknown to me!

Another recent purchase… Nirvana, please! and the music on it is excellent — Stockhausen, Messiaen, Stravinsky

Yes, you’re right, it reminds me “Nevermind”! Do you think it’s made on purpose?

Well, I have no idea, seeing as I was not the graphic designer. But it’s a hilarious attitude to take for a “New Music” release. And what is inside is just as enjoyable.

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You told me that this CD marked “educational” is a handmade mixtape from Matmos, whose CDs are in the shelves! Tell me about that… is it a sort of compilation they did for you?

Yes, Matmos made me this mixtape for my 18th birthday. They definitely introduced me to some stuff I would later naturally become aware of… but it was a very good intro sampler and a lovely present.

Well, ok, but M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel never sent me any gift for my birthday! How are you in touch with them? Are you long time friends? Perhaps you made some collaborations that I’m not aware of? I see you also worked with Scanner

We fell out of touch but we talked a lot on MySpace circa 2008-2009. But no, we have never worked together. I wrote Drew about a remix this summer, but he was busy with outher projects, so i commissioned Don’t DJ instead.

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It seems that you like chickens! Why?

Well, you are either “feathers or fur”, and I am certainly feathers… as far as birds go… undeniably friendly, not too large, not too small.

I also think I told only a few persons that I like chickens and now I have a steadily building flood of tchotchkes… be careful what you say you enjoy!

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Ah, ok! So I know what will I buy as a gift for your birthday (a chicken, not a mixtape!). Anyway, I see a box full of brand new CDs: yours. Is your album out in these days?

Yes, the box below is a new stock of mine. My new album is called “Avia”. I am pleased to say the record will be out in August. It is a chamber-electro-acoustic album dealing with the memory of my grandmother. “Avia” will also be released on tape with a UK label in the fall. I am very excited for both releases!

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I also notices a sacred image on the top of shelves… I know you are from Poland, a country known for being strongly connected to catholic religion. Are you a believer? In more general terms, now that you live in New England, how is your relationship with your mother country? Why did you move?

The Virgin candle was an impulse gift from a friend one night after she shopped for dinner at a latinx restaurant. I despise organized religion.

I am definitely a full on New Englander, though Poland is nice too. I really enjoy my home in the woods though, and I feel tied to the John Cage/Meredith Monk tradition/flavour more so now in my career, than perhaps anything that is happening in Europe now.

Derek Piotr (b. 1991) is a Poland-born producer and composer based in New England, whose work focuses primarily on the voice. His work covers genres as diverse as glitch, leftfield pop, chamber, dance, and drone; and he has collaborated with artists including Richard Chartier, Don’t DJ, and Thomas Brinkmann across various disciplines. He has been intern to Meredith Monk, had his work nominated by the jury for Prix Ars Electronica (2012), and featured on Resonance FM and BBC.

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