Montreal-based producer, DJ, and electronic musician Michael Silver, also known as CFCF, has recently taken time out from his electronic creations and remix projects to embark on a new creative detour. On his April 2012 mini-LP, Exercises, CFCF stresses the beauty of classical music.
Each track on Exercises is titled simply with a number and a one-word description, leaving listeners with the sense that the collection is one of experiments. Visually-evocative and conceptually-rich, Exercises sees Silver connecting his electronic roots wiht a desire to pay homage to musicians like Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Sylvian.
This interview explores Exercises track-by-track, with insight from CFCF and a complete album stream. Where it is applicable, we have paired the tracks from Exercises with a supplementary influence. We begin with "A Flower Is Not A Flower," from composer Ryuichi Sakamoto's Playing The Piano, the album CFCF credits for sparking his initial interest in this project.
Exercises Full Album Stream
Track-By-Track Conceptual Analysis
Exercise #1 (Entry)
This marks a beginning, an entrance of sorts to the Exercises album. What got you interested in doing this more structured and piano-driven piece considering so much of your music is electronic-based?
It began because I became addicted to Ryuichi Sakamoto's Playing the Piano
. It was the soundtrack to my fall and winter, in late 2010 I guess. And from there it went to Chopin's Nocturnes
and Glenn Gould and Philip Glass and some of David Borden's piano counterpoint pieces. So I decided to make a version of a track from my EP The River
, "It Was Never Meant To Be This Way", that was mainly piano with some kind of reverb-drenched, non-lyrical vocals over it -- moaning I guess. And I cut together some footage from David Cronenberg's Stereo
over it, and then it kind of became clear that this was something I wanted to explore a bit further and build a world [out] of. The piano patterns and the harsh lines of the brutalist architecture, and with the songs, [they] kind of fill in some kind of drama.
CFCF's "It Was Never Meant To Be This Way (Piano Version)"