Where does the name ‘Empusae’ originate from?
The name comes from my fetish animal insect. A praying mantis called Empusa Pennata, also known as conehad mantis or Diablotin in French, native in Mediterranean region. They are extremely elegant and have in the same way, the look of a small alienated demon. Which is exactly what my music is about, finding the beauty within darkness, melancholy within oblivion, pleasure in pain, structure in chaos, poetry within horror and atmosphere within cold serenity.
The empusae were also daughters of the Greek goddess Hekate. A kind of vampiric seductive demons, luring their victims by irresistible beauty and sensuality, only to end up as horrific tortured bodies and souls.
How music and the essence of composing specifically became important to you?
Creating sounds and composing music has been the only enjoyable and fruitful way to deeply and truly express myself. Not only artistically, it also has a therapeutic effect. It makes me travel, away from reality, from my outer- and inner demons. I enter a unique state of mind, where everything and thought inside me and around me fade away, forming a symbiosis between me and my muse/s.
These muses can come out of my passions as well as demons emerging my personal hell. It gives me a way to give shape to passions, to ideas, to elements of my life which moves me in an emotional way. But it also helps me to confront or even embrace my demons such as social anxiety. A few years back, I got connected to a new demon (named Shabriri). In other words, I was diagnosed with an incurable genetic eye disease, called Retinitis Pigmentosa. It makes affected people blind, sometimes slowly, sometimes unpredictably fast. Empusae is a powerful spell to help me accepting it and coping with it, I would have been deeply lost into oblivion otherwise. So, music is even more of vital essence for me.
What was your attraction of Minoár and how did this inspire you to write music for this project?
When I first noticed pictures of Minoár’s garments on social media, I instantly fell in love with the style. It spoke to me like hearing a very attractive and somehow familiar piece of music. I was immediately drawn to it. After receiving my first ordered pieces, it was confirmed; those were made for me, on several aspects.
Losing my sight gradually, gives me attraction to aesthetics in which I feel comfortable in, not only visually but the very important touch of fabrics and textures. Wearing them gave me confidence and makes me feel stronger in my bubble surrounded by the approaching darkness closing in. That approaching void makes my surrounding such as people and structures feel like obstacles, alienating me from human society.
Wearing Minoár helps me in this, it has a therapeutic effect, so is music, which makes it obvious for me to transcribe all this into music. Dressed in Minoár’s garments, I was guided by them into a sonic, musical and atmospheric transcription. Minoár became the muse. Composing is the ritual. It felt like a was communicating directly with the creators on the other side of Europe, in a complex yet very natural and fluid connection. A symbiosis of sonic and palpable textures, fabrics and structures, primal natural elements, native, foreign and alien tribal influences. For some moments, I had the feeling we became one. This was a unique experience, marked for life in mind and soul.
You compose music in a different and authentic manner. What is your process, where does it all start?
It is a process of many stages, never really starts nor finishes. Merely continuous, especially mentally. Every sound, melody, song or album are a continuation of what preceded it. Inspirations and muses are intertwined. Composing a melody, creating sounds, recording instruments, structuring rhythms are only one part of the process. Usually, after finishing and album or projects, there is a period of non-activeness in my studio. It can be weeks, months and sometimes years. But mentally during those periods, the inspirations do its work, usually very unconsciously.
The muse is slumbering, then suddenly, unexpectedly emerges and then they concretize while being in contact with sound sources and instruments. I have sometimes the feeling that I improvise, but I realize more and more it’s the slumbering creative process giving fruit. It is extremely satisfying. It gives me confidence each time again, that I will never lack inspiration nor lose the composer in me.