Passionate Chill musician Six Missing shares ‘Loving Kindness’
Six Missing, Nils Frahm, Brian Eno, Olafur Arnalds
Image credit: Hannah Edelman
‘Loving Kindness’,the new single by skilled producer Six Missing, isoutviaSea Level Sounds. The track is intriguing, captivating and engaging and is a compelling testimony to the musician’s potent experimentalism. It has the power to transport the listener to a place where repose is attained as well as provide great musical sounds. The re-echoing of the electronic instruments are powerful and all-consuming like the moment one realises that life is worth living without holding back acts of love and kindness. Six Missing opens up a little about himself and his musical journey to EchoRoom, read the full interview below.
The single is named after loving-kindness meditation. What other forms of meditation do you explore and what names do they inspire?
I’ve been meditating for a good number of years now and still I feel like a beginner, which in actuality, is probably meaningful. I’ve experimented with sensory deprivation/floatation therapy, vipassana meditation, and non-dual/Dzogchen. Though never having formal training with a teacher, I’ve found there are amazing resources out there these days. I truly believe that everyone should meditate and that they would find a great benefit from it if they did. The world would be a much softer, kinder place.
In which way did the track change your life?
This track, much like every piece of music I create, has a tiny piece of my soul in it. I don’t and can’t do anything musically without putting my full self into it. So when the music is released out into the world, I am also giving a piece of who I am to all those that listen. So in a way, if you’ve listened to my music, you’ve gotten to know me a little better.
Tell us about the first time you decided to become a musician
I’m not sure that I really chose to be a musician, rather, I think I was gifted with my appreciation of sound and then I just found myself when I put that gift to good use. From the really early age of two or three, I was marching around my grandparents’ living room conducting “orchestras” and plugging in toy microphones. I was always so enamored by sound; how to make it or manipulate it, what made a sound pleasant or not, and all the types of ways to accomplish that. My parents love music and so there was always something playing in the car or in the house. And when I became old enough to verbalize my desire to create it they encouraged me by getting us a piano. From there the floodgates opened and my mind exploded into a million different directions. I started hearing music in my head all the time. And it was just a race to get it out there. Now, being in my mid-thirties, that hasn’t changed at all, but I do have more tools that help me create my ideas faster and better. Music has been a wonderful partner to me throughout my life; with it, I’ve never really been alone.
When performing a live set, do you allow your music to change to the tone of the room or do you rather use your music as a tool to change the tone?
Six Missing is largely a studio project these days, though I come from the world of performing live for many years. Though the stage looks a little different from what I was used to, my studio has become my audience-and every project that comes through my studio influences the performance. I oftentimes love to sit and let my mood dictate where a piece will begin, and throughout that process, I try to stay hyper-present and aware of my mindset to try to either push the music ahead of it or allow the music to react to it. So really, my music is almost like a conversation with myself – similar to how performing on the stage used to influence my playing.
If you were told that today was your last day on earth, what would you do?
I think I would just sit down, call my family, and smile. I know people would probably tell you they’d hop on a plane and see everything they could see in that 24 hours, but I don’t think I would do that. I think I would try to appreciate every single breath, every ray of sunlight, every piece of food, and hold my partner’s hand as tight as I could. Whatever the next part of our journey is, I welcome it.
Describe a typical day in your studio space.
Each day, while very similar, is quite different, as I am a different person each day. So I do try to keep to a pretty regimented schedule since that’s how I’ve found I best work. I try to get into the studio and turn everything on because as musicians, even the smallest step of needing to plug something in could mean the difference between using it or not. When I started revamping my studio it was paramount for me to have everything connected and able to send and receive audio to and from each piece; I want complete freedom to experiment. I’ll normally start with an idea or even just with a patch and see what the sound is, see how it lands upon my ears, and then start tweaking. Or if nothing is feeling really right, I’ll just let the Eurorack start firing some ideas out to let me start noodling against. If I’m working on a film or a documentary I will take a look at the schedule and cues needed and dive straight in. Inspiration doesn’t always strike when you want it, but if you train yourself enough, you can get pretty good at knowing when it will come and dance along for a moment, and so I try to work fast when that window is open. Since I usually end my day at a normal business hour before unplugging, I try to get all my mixes in order from the day and have something to listen to in a different room of the house, which gives me time to reflect and have perspective. It’s usually then when I jot down a handful of notes on my phone and then close it down for the day-leaving a “to-do” list for Morning Me.
How do you find inspiration for your sound?
I can’t always know where or when I’ll feel the jolt of inspiration, so I just try to stay open to it. Sometimes it comes when I’m in the shower, other times it’s when I’m playing an instrument and hear a sound, or sometimes it’s during conversations when I may or may not drift out of focus… I like watching movies and listening to music that is so unlike my own. I get a lot of inspiration from doing that. Sometimes it’s frustrating to hear a piece of music or a technique that I can’t figure out how they accomplished-but that’s the fun part. Then that little piece sticks in my brain and I document my process of trying to get to that sound only to find that the journey to it was unexpectedly fun and created something I had no intention of doing at the start of it.
What is your favourite part of being a musician?
Everything. I love connecting with people through music ( it’s my actual love language). Creating music helps me soothe my own anxiety, of which I have a lot. And to hear that my music can help others going through similar things makes me so happy. Honestly, this is a really tough question because being a musician means everything to me. It’s my reason for living, my air, my food, my purpose.
Share your favourite quote/s
“When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understanding that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”
-Baba Ram Dass
What can we expect from you in the near future?
My upcoming EP Intention II is coming out December 9th and is a follow-up release to my Intention EP, which I released on New Year’s Day last year as a way to set yourself up for a beautiful year ahead. I felt that resolutions can be broken, but intentions are set and so you make a promise to yourself to do those, and I wanted it to be the soundtrack to that intention-setting. I have a handful of reworks that I’ve contributed to with various artists all over the globe, and I also have a few longer-form LPs I’m currently in the editing phase with. Aside from that, I am always open to collaborating on film projects and working closely with directors, so the music can be considered from the get-go. Lots ahead!