A serious concert-addict by the tender age of four meant Art was destined to be involved with music in some capacity. In the late 1990s, after discovering Reason 1.0, the program that he claims “changed my life,” he began to craft his musical ideas into a finished product.
Art graduated from Minsk State Linguistic University as a teacher and interpreter where he worked, before making the move to Ireland. In 2003, after a chance meeting with Pulse Director Naomi Moore, he made a decision to enroll in Pulse College on the sound engineering course.
PULSE: You are from Minsk originally, what brought you to Ireland?
ART: The political situation in Belarus has been rather strained since 1994 and I didn’t see any possibility for me to live there freely. In 2002, I decided I’d had enough of it and elected to go abroad. English was my major at University, so an English-speaking country was an inevitable choice. The USA and Canada were too far though, England was never an option, thus the magical green island of Ireland became the land of choice and has been my home since.
P: You’re qualified as a teacher and interpreter, so what made you choose a route into the sound industry?
A: I’ve done my fair share of interpreting and teaching English back home, yet music in all its aspects has always been my true passion, especially recording and production. I taught myself as much as I could, but needed further theoretical understanding. Having said that, I do enjoy an occasional lecture at Pulse, where I combine my teaching and sound qualifications.
P: You were introduced to music and gigs at an early age by your parents. What impact did this have on your musical taste?
A: The first gig I properly remember was a heavy metal one – and I was only seven when my Dad took me there. A few days later, he gave me a tape: White Snake on side A and Iron Maiden on side B. This was how my insatiable passion for heavy metal music began. Nevertheless, my parents had an extensive collection of vinyl records – anything from standard jazz to some obscure Japanese artists (no idea where they got them from in Soviet times!) This influenced me greatly and my musical taste is quite eclectic: from Metallica to Depeche Mode to Acid Mothers Temple to Venetian Snares to Merzbow to Slayer.
P: You later discovered Propellerheadz’ Reason software which further fueled your love of music, tell us why?
A: Reason showed me the basics of making and producing music, the structure, and so on. It also gave me a push and guided me further in the direction of making music. Its comprehensive sequencer was a revelation, yet I was limited to its built-in instruments and I also lacked theoretical knowledge.
P: So after you moved to Ireland, you met Pulse Director Naomi Moore by chance which put you on the path to taking the Diploma course at Pulse. How did you meet Naomi?
A: Well, that chance meeting was quite memorable. I worked at a bank and signed up customers for credit cards, sometime in 2003. It was at that time that I was contemplating getting into sound engineering properly, yet had no idea whether such a course existed. The “Where do you work?” question in the application revealed the charming Naomi’s occupation, we discussed Pulse briefly and a couple of months later I applied for the course.
P: What was the most valuable part of the course that has been most beneficial to you in your career?
A: In all honesty, I wouldn’t want to single out a certain part of the course, it was the complete scope of subjects and topics that had me interested throughout the duration of studies and helped me get a better understanding of sound engineering as such – from mixing console layout to music history to measuring a tape recorder’s frequency response!
P: You started your career in live sound and also worked in radio. What made you follow that path?
A: These were the jobs that Pulse introduced me to – a number of clients would submit their requests for sound engineers and I happened to be lucky enough to apply for these positions and be selected. It was the time when I was trying to determine which aspect of sound would suit me best, something I could only really learn through personal experience.
P: Live sound is a very different discipline from studio sound. Did you find it easy to adapt?
A: We received a very solid knowledge base during the course, so getting my hands on sound equipment in live situations was not difficult, really. After a couple gigs and few mistakes as I went along, the whole picture settled in my head, anxiety disappeared and the workflow became easier.
P: You mentioned that you have more of a leaning towards studio rather than live sound, why?
A: I view music as a creative process. It is in a studio that one has full control of what is being created, recorded, and edited. There are ideas to be shared and worked on, there is room for experimenting, there is a lot of time for controlling what is being recorded, and at the end of the day, you become part of the music that many will listen to and, hopefully, enjoy. That goes in contrast to live sound, where the engineer is more of a tool for delivering what has already been created.
P: You now work with Inflight Audio, can you tell us a bit about what you do there?
A: I started there as an Audio Archiving Engineer and for some eighteen months worked on a massive project delegated by British National Library, transferring, editing and mastering analogue tape recordings into digital format. It certainly helped better understand the old-school world of tape splicing – am I glad that we moved to digital domain!
With time, I progressed within the company and am currently employed as Metadata Department Manager: we provide audio and video content to some fifty airlines worldwide and whatever the viewer decides to watch or listen to while on board has to be systematized in a very strict order and to tight deadlines to ensure that, say, once the album by Adebisi Shank is selected, this and only this album plays, the relevant images and description display, etc. It is a very laborious and time-consuming process, there are several people working in my department, and as the demand for digital content grows, our company in general and my department in particular has expanded. I essentially started it on my own, some five years later there five people reporting to me, with a few more to be hired in the future.
P: What exciting future projects are you working on at the moment.
A: I am working on my own album now and the music is a rather eclectic mixture of everything from electronica to thrash metal to dubstep to breakcore. I mainly use Logic Pro to record and mix it and am absolutely happy that back in 2003 that chance meeting with Naomi brought me to Pulse and that I now know what I am doing, what I want to achieve musically and how to achieve it technically.[openday]