Live on 7.21 at 4 PM EST, Be Svendsen, in collaboration with Android Jones and Mikelis, will release four exclusive digital works in accordance with his tracks: Falling, Andromeda, Day 3, and Flint.
Background on Be Svendsen
Over the years, Be Svendsen, a Danish musician, has gained popularity in the festival scene with his uniquely organic, nomadic style, genre-bending sounds that would be best described as ‘Tarantino Techno.’ In 2011, the solo artist released a series of EPs and remixes that escalated to live performances and an international scene breakthrough in 2014. Following the live performance success at Portugal’s BOOM, Fusion, Burning Man, Envision, and AfrikaBurn Symbiosis, the musician became a desired artist amongst the techno crowd. His exploration through numerous styles and musical traditions have developed his music into a melting pot of hypnotic desert-circus-shaman-cowboy-techno, whilst incorporating elements of vocals, teased field-recordings, nostalgic samples and live instruments, mixed up with the meditative qualities of repetition. Some of his newest work can be found on Cercle’s Youtube page, with over 2 million subscribers, in a video that showcases Mount Nemrut’s beautiful scenery, paired with his soothing melodic tunes. His performances are like no other and take the audience on a deep experimental journey.
Background on Android Jones
Lyons, Colorado born independent artist Android Jones began studying art at age 8. He attended the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota Florida, where he trained in traditional academic drawing/painting and animation. Jones was an intern at George Lucas’s Industrial Light and Magic studio, served as a lead concept artist for Metroid Prime, and later founded Massive Black, a concept art company based in San Francisco.
In 2005, Android Jones began his career as an Independent Artist. He is well known for his many layered digital paintings and his projection art. He has projected art onto the Sydney Opera House and the Empire State Building. He has also worked as a commissioned artist for the Royal Family of Abu Dhabi and his award winning 360 immersive film Samskara, has shown in domes and planetariums all over the world.
In 2016, Android co-founded Vision Agency, a virtual reality studio focused on creating software for immersive experiences, including Microdose VR, a creative flow-state simulator. A long time member of the Burning Man community, Android Jones has traveled the world exhibiting his work and has shown his art on 6 continents.
How the Trio of Be Svendsen, Android Jones, and Mikelis Came Together
Be Svendsen met Mikelis at Burning Man 2015 where a romantic and artistic partnership flourished. Together, they discovered a book titled “The Dictionary of Symbols,” and fell in love with the totem symbolizing “The Order of The Universe.”
Fast forward to Burning Man 2017, the duo met Android Jones, who revealed a personal story of his relationship to Be’s track “Andromeda” using it for his infamous VR experience “Microdose.” Shortly following, Be Svendsen released the single ‘Andromeda’ with artwork created by Android Jones and reworked by Mikelis.
NFT Collection Dropping on Portion
The merge of these artists’ worlds became the storyline of transformational experience. This has culminated in a Portion exclusive drop that fuses Be Svendsen's analogue organic sound and feel, with Android Jones' digital dreamscapes, all directed by Mikelis. With a collection of four NFTs combining video and audio, they are introducing the order of the universe: The Circle, Hexagon, Triangle, and Square.
Alongside Be Svendsen's branding and symbolism, the circle, hexagon, triangle and square are featured throughout his album 'Between A Smile And A Tear' and single artworks. Each shape relates to the essence of a title from the album, combined with vivid sensory details and enchanting melodic loops. Together the four pieces symbolize the stages of a transformational journey – letting go, surrendering, inner space, outer space, dissolving, spiritual growth and homecoming - the return to essence and form, with a change.
We interviewed Be Svendsen and Android Jones to learn more about their upcoming Portion drop in their own words…
Tell us about the pieces that you’ve created for this drop – What’s the story behind them? How do they all fit together?
Be: "Mikelis and I chose four tracks from my 2018 Album
Between a Smile and a Tear. Mikelis and Android Jones worked together to create the visual identity for this album through single covers and album artwork. Each of the four NFTs has a theme and a story connected to it, and they follow the same order as they appeared on the album.
The collection and combination of the four represents a journey and plays on the themes of abstract transformation: letting go, surrendering, inner space, outer space, dissolving, spiritual growth and homecoming - the return to essence and form, with a change. The individual tracks represent different parts/states of that journey.
In the process of creating the four audio pieces for this collection, I extracted only the essential melodic and atmospheric elements of each track, in order to create relatively short hypnotic loops that are intended to be listened to on repeat and to convey the sense of renewal and forward motion.
We approached Android to collaborate on the album art after working together on the art for the single release of ‘Andromeda’ back in 2017 - he totally got the vision, it and we started the process.
In my works I love to play with opposites and balance, so to have my analogue organic pieces visually interpreted by Android Jones in his astoundingly beautiful deep world in the digital realm, has been a good match."
What do the songs Falling, Andromeda, Day 3, and Flint mean to you?
Be: "Falling is the letting go, surrendering to the feeling you’re in, or the experience you are about to let yourself fall into.
Andromeda is the take off, the real onset of the trip/journey. Leaving the earthly ground and going through the portal. Driving in a convertible, then tires loosening their grip on the asphalt as you take off.
Day 3 is the fully immersed state. No more human form. Cosmic. Dissolved. No more you, only pure experience.
Flint is the homecoming, the return to human form. But with a digital twist. Something in the experience has changed you. Now Humanoid. Very capable of feeling everything there is."
When did you start playing music? How did you discover your own voice as a musician?
Be: "I recorded my first experimental pieces in 1994 on a four track tape deck. By 1998 I had built a small studio setup and from there, I’ve just never really stopped. I never had any training or music education, and I don’t master any instruments. I have always been composing with the mouse and my heart. Around 2009 I realized that it would take more focus than I had given it up until then, and I became super dedicated and never looked back."
How do you see your work paired with Be Svendsen's music coming together? Where do they best align?
Android: "I often listen to music while I’m working to help focus my concentration. The right music can help create a different state of mind that influences and inspires the results and directions my creative decisions take.
Be’s tracks are entrancing. There is a hypnotic element to his music that really compliments the looping format of audio visual NFTs. My team and I put a lot of energy into creating a visual component without a distinct beginning or end to help create a perpetual engagement of attention."
I like that there’s an element of time in the collection's background story. How would you describe your evolution as an artist between meeting Mikelis at Burning Man 2015 and later meeting Android Jones at BM 2017?
Be: "For the last 20 years when I’ve been writing music, I’ve always been heavily drawn to the metaphorical idea of open, endless planes. The feeling of us dancing naked in the desert-spinning. Individually infinitely small and pointless, but at the same time endlessly powerful with energy and the potential to make big ripples.
Empowered by movement to rhythm in this open space, represents the ocean of existence with an expanded mind and heart. It can be a meditative state of pure potential. Many years later when I found myself playing at Afrika Burn and Burning Man, it felt very familiar and as if I was presenting my music in the right element, almost like as if I had come home somehow.
It inspired me to dive further into that feeling, and from 2015-17 I wrote some pieces that reflect that. The difference and new turn came with Andromeda. It sounded like nothing I had done before but resonated deep within me. It was more cosmic than earthly while still heavily rooted in nostalgia. This was the song Android and I connected over, when we met. He is a brilliant visual magician and we talked about how I had envisioned the track when writing it. From that conversation onward Android and Mikelis created the single cover in collaboration."
Is there a plan for how you think about the end product when you're creating? Where do you find inspiration? What’s your creative process?
Be: "I usually don’t have a clear fixed plan for the end product when I start but the inspiration and emotion that is present when I begin a project inherently guides the project’s direction. Melody, reference era, style, inspirational sample/sound, instrumentation, mood and atmosphere, all set the scene from early in the creative process.
My process starts with one of the above and from there it can go many places. Sometimes I do everything myself from start to end and other times I call in talented musicians to play and elaborate over my melodic ideas and instructions. Sometimes a track suddenly feels like it needs vocals. So far, I’ve done most of the mixing and production myself, but I’m starting to see the potential in splitting up the process and taking stuff to other studios to continue the work. I’m learning all the time. It’s truly a never ending process."
What's your favorite emotion to tap into when creating?
Be: "I play on balance so you’ll have to allow me at least two:
Nostalgia. They are both each holding the balance in a perfect, beautiful firm grip. Once you flip the switch of acceptance of something tragic, sorrow or hurtful - there lies the key to liberation, the mental garden of Eden. Extremely empowering and heart/mind expanding - but it first takes the pain to get to the point where you are dancing again. Nostalgia holds both joy and melancholy, echoing of something almost forgotten. Whatever it may have meant to you…I’m a complete sucker for that.
Emotion is paramount. If music doesn’t touch me, there is no point to it. Music has this incredible ability to mirror us, embrace us and comfort us. It can help us to accept our fears and fragility, while also sharing great humor and empowering and mighty feelings – which can all unfold over one track. We can experience this next to a person we’ve never met, and sense that we are feeling something similar, which means that we have something in common. We are then, in a glimpse, relieved of our separateness and loneliness. Coming together over intimate feelings all without the use of words or close physical interaction. That’s pretty magical!"
Technology is ever-present in your work. How’d you end up focusing on it in your creative practice?
Android: "I employ technology as a surrogate for my mind's eye. I concentrate my attention on tools that help me work out and communicate complicated visual problems. Technology helped reduce the latency between my thoughts becoming objective visual things. The increased feedback loop between ideas and actions help me to arrive at new solutions that would be impossible to achieve through analog mediums. Working with programs like The Unreal Engine that take advantage of real time rendering and allow the creation of complicated procedural techniques have added a new dimension to my creative experience."