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Natalja Mari, Minimum Of None (MINIM)

How would you describe your music?

minimalist, drone, tape music... all my songs are about humanity's struggle with what is inherent, what's natural, with what is already ecstatic and free (Nature) in an apparently dying world.

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

I like working solo on my current project because I have a certain feeling for what I want to express and it's often difficult to work with other musicians unless they themselves are on the same wavelength. However, I do collaborate with 3 other groups, and that is always refreshing. The collaborative projects I'm involved with are each different from the next... in two of them I'm usually the only female, yet it doesn't feel like a male vs female struggle... these projects involve more about going beyond "self" so being the only woman in the group goes often unnoticed. Aside from my solo project, the other acts I'm involved with are pretty organic and highly collaborative, but I am definitely not the ringleader of those... They were started by others who have asked me to participate.

Describe your gear.

Mainly use casio keyboards, a tibetan bell, a microphone, a cassette player and a dictaphone.

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

Certainly. The whole rock star syndrome really took off after the 70s and a lot of people are turned off by that mentality. It's just another form of patriarchy, which is still very much alive and causing social dysfunction. Yet, not all male musicians want to be rock stars, and not all female musicians want to be anonymous... I think there are so many layers to these questions that are hard to answer through a questionnaire. But yea, I would say that usually if you are not "plugged in" to any community that may receive your art, as a woman, it seems one has to either be dating one of the main boys in town who run the scene, or actually be active in putting on shows. Usually most women musicians don't have time to be as active as their male counterparts in the musical scenes, and unless they know people, run the risk of fading in the periphery. Most women musicians I know are either in duos with their partners, or are deeply linked in to their netowrks that that is why they have received some amount of recognition.

Related Themes: Old School vs. New School

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

Subtle differences.... The current generation of 20-30 year old lesser-known artists seem to have more of a strong sense of the feminine, a respect of the feminine, yet the popular artists are exploiting it like previous generations.

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

Allow yourself to be beautiful. Allow yourself to make beautiful sounds. It doesn't matter how well you're known, as long as there are a few who become inspired by your presence. It's all about passing the torch.

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

Minimalism can deliver some interesting results. Everything has a sound waiting to emerge. I like to cultivate something ecstatic within what would seem otherwise mundane or trivial, so the simpler the better...

Related Themes: The First Time