Soundscapes Volume 2: A conversation with Perila
Soundscapes Volume 2: A Conversation with Perila
Perila is a St. Petersburg-born, Berlin-based sound and visual artist, DJ and performer who works to explore the sensitive borderlines and depths of subtle matter. Her music explores thick narratives with shifting moods and textures, allowing the listener to drift through a rich psychedelic sound palette. Perila’s passion for radio led her to curate and design Berlin Community Radio, where she hosted monthly for four years, and to co-found Russian online station radio.syg.ma which specializes in experimental soundscapes. In addition to showcasing her unique ventures through ambient music, her show has also welcomed the likes of Andrew Pekler, Dynamo Dreesen, and Tomoko Sauvage. Perila also curates an online community WET (Weird Erotic Tension), which explores ideas of sonic sexuality in mixing spoken word, poetry, ASMR and field recordings. Since 2020 Perila has been involved with the musical projects Aseptic Stir, LOG, and Critical Amnesia.
We are happy to connect visual artist Diana Lynn VanderMeulen with Perila to learn more about her multifaceted practice. This conversation offers insight into Perlia’s flow between the waking world, deep immersive states, and the inspiration that comes from carefully listening to the world around us.
LD: It seems we are in a time of obsession with immersion, as if every individual wants to collectively, separately, dip into a different reality. In your process of creating comfort spaces for emotions to float, merge, evaporate and ride in a deep context, does this sense of immersion connect? Or would you consider it to be more of a psychedelic inward contemplation?
P: I think it is both immersion into the self into the present moment to discover new hidden corners of realities. I’ve always been interested in creating sonic spaces which can help to detach from a daily rhythm and looping train of thoughts and experience new layers of being. In order to experience all that one has to listen, trusting the flow to carry mind and sensations wherever the subconscious desires. The beauty of these immersions is that everyone will feel something different. Sound is an initiator of the movement be it internal or external.
LD: As your compositions incorporate layers of audio from many sources, it seems that your sonic interest goes far beyond what one might traditionally think of as music. How does your process flow between field recordings into musical creation?
P: The more I listen, the more I'm mesmerized by soundscapes which surround us daily. Practicing shifting perception to imperceptible subtleties of sonic textures around and then feel this rich silence breathing in between. I realize how important for me the nature of sound, its origin. I have a strong physical connection with its movement in space where recording took place. It is a very special metaexistence of space acoustics. I really like this notion: aural architecture. It is capturing the intention of my current obsession. Creating physical spaces by means of sound, other reality rooms.
LD: Can you tell me about how engaging with public spaces might inform your work?
P: I guess I always try to create a sonic space for detachment as an exploration and challenge to expand my practice and share my recent discoveries with a listener as they help to grow and heal, so maybe they can support others too.
Lately I’ve been thinking about insane speeds of life which just keep getting faster and faster. As a way to find balance I'm trying to find my own intrinsic rhythm which makes me feel myself. Slowing down and getting inside sound evaporations makes me really calm and I'm sharing this feeling when performing as a way to show other possible ways of interacting with life.
LD: Likewise, how might elements of nature inform your work?
P: Recently, I think a lot about the cycle of growth as a symbolic union representing sound evolving and evaporating, and voice emerging from breath. It is an endless vibration space always morphing, always teaching us deep wisdom. My biggest inspiration. Answers to all questions if you slow down and learn to listen.
LD: It seems as though social engagement is very important to your practice, as you have co-founded both a radio station and an online community through WET (Weird Erotic Tension). Could you tell me more about these projects and how fostering connections might propel your practice?
P: For me it's more invitation to open your perception and self expression wider and release whatever comes up. I’ve always looked at it as a very freeing ritual, at least for me it works this way and I'm sharing this experience because it feels great. I guess it's all about sharing practices which really can change you for better, help open up.
LD: Was there a search for your style and identity, in expressing yourself through music?
P: I would say it is a never ending journey of finding true self, constant challenge and change. Transformational experience to grow through practice, deep observation, silence and solitude.
LD: Was pursuing your art a conscious decision or one that felt instinctual to you?
P: Somehow it feels that it has been a process of becoming who I am and searching for freedom. I’m still on that road. I think it's a natural flow of things when you question life a lot and make moves toward what feels good and harmonious with self.
LD: I personally feel I can hold onto projects for too long.. Fighting a desire for perfection which also sparks a vulnerability in sharing the work. What is your relationship with completion? Is a project ever completed fully?
P: I used to hold more but then I felt it was very limiting. I’m more of an expressionist type. I feel – I release and it usually feels the most honest in the moment which will never be the same if you postpone. Feeling every sound as a painting through space, a moment. If I sit too long on a piece it loses its energy. It should be alive, the creation, the ocean filling the space. For me works have certain completion, they represent my current state of experiencing life through sound. And they are so vibrant in the moment, I see my reflection there, other sides released and then I change and these sounds become a diary.
Listen to Soundscapes Volume 2 on Soundcloud
Discover Perila's Sound