Photo Credit: Christopher Parsons
Random thoughts are always entering and exiting my mind. One of them is, “When will we ever run out of songs?” Meaning that music has been around for quite some time. Won’t the ideas ever end? As long as an artist like Stergin exists, the answer is no. His inspiration for his latest project is definitely one of the most entertaining and sound ZO has come across. Feeling the need to break out of his so-called “bubble” he looked beyond his surroundings.
Stergin sent a Polaroid camera around the world. The dozen pictures he got back were to be the basis for the 12 tracks on an album. When asked if there was any place on the map he wishes he could’ve penned a song from that a picture was absent from he wasn’t too worried about what he didn’t have. He was more focused on what he did saying, “As chance was dictating where the camera goes I’m happy as it is.” Happy is where he stands as we go back and forth about the 12 Photos 12 Tracks project.
Kendra: Did you go into this project with Adam Betts or on your own?
Stergin: I started the project on my own. At the moment I’m talking to quite a few artists about possible collaborations. The plan is to write each track with a different co-artist. I have lots of artists, friends, and ones that I don’t know personally, that I admire and with whom I would love to combine brains with. Adam will be one of them.
Kendra: You mentioned feeling like you were stuck in a bubble. Due to that, were there any other ideas on the table to break that bubble that got shelved for 12 Photos 12 Tracks?
Stergin: I did lots of photos and short stupid video clips on Instagram. At some point, I thought I might do a film. I have a couple of film ideas that I want to explore in the future. Maybe that is a bad idea but I just like experimenting and I’m not too precious about screwing things up or making a fool out of myself. Doing something which I didn’t learn/study opens up new approaches. Always when I’m stuck creatively I start experimenting and most of it won’t go anywhere but very often it leads to a new place that I didn’t see before. One morning the idea for 12 photos 12 tracks idea came up and I focused on that then.
Kendra: What was the thought process of picking the countries/people who participated?
Stergin: It was all pure chance. That was kind of the point of it. I wanted the universe to decide what will happen with this project. I had the idea and thought I’m going to do a Facebook call if anyone is up for this, and I didn’t know what to expect. It was just another shot at an idea. Very soon I found out that it is resonating with lots of people. I then looked at a world map and tried to make up a journey that goes around the globe. I wanted the camera to at least visit each continent.
It seems that we are all overwhelmed with the digital world, at least I am sometimes. You can get an app to perfect every step of every aspect of your life. It’s your own “fault” if things don’t work out to your desire. It is bottomless. I wanted to get some meaning back into my life and artistic creations without thinking of how to perfect it. Chance and chaos are my favorite things when it comes to art. Phones and apps take that away and make us think less. Having no idea what will happen whilst being aware of the process and being totally ready to react if opportunities come up, feels very exciting to me.
Kendra: Was the writing process the same with each photo when it came time to pen the track around it?
Stergin: I just received my first couple of images back and started to get the first ideas down. As my plan is to collaborate with different artists I assume it’s going to be different for each track depending on the collaborator. I want to keep the writing process as free as possible and come up with as many ideas for each track as possible. Finally I’ll piece it together in the studio. I might start with a beat, a melody or a sound and kick off each session with the artists like this. We might use it or throw it away.
Kendra: Has this project inspired you to pack a bag and travel?
Stergin: Yes it has. Hopefully, I manage to do that soon. Meeting strangers and seeing new places/things has always fascinated me.
Kendra: Would you ever tour the 12 countries the pictures and songs are based on?
Stergin: I would love to do that very much! Depending on how it all works out I will totally try to make this happen.
Kendra: This is quite the achievement. How are you planning on topping this?
Stergin: I have a follow-up idea in mind for this project but first I need to finish part 1. More in a year hopefully.