albums : cray

CRAY : undo
(Bleep 09)

Cray is the current outlet for Australian sound merchant Ross Healy. On his second release, “Undo” on the BiP_ HoP label, Healy presents the adventurous listener with etched sound worlds; carved sine waves,slices of twisted time, but with a faint memory of melody.

Not content with fixed perceptions of how ‘music’ should sound, his work relies on found sounds and random processing to create his abstract soundtracks. “The key element in Cray’s music is to experiment with sound and to create sound images” states Healy. “Over the years I have tried to put less control in my works, as I get very bored with a fixed way of doing music”.
how to order
press review (pdf)  
1) mothersboard
2) forna
3) usker
4) mar562001  
5) wdd56-boradband  
6) _rvrsdle
7) rahos
8) rd0blst
+ Enhanced Forna video

Biography :

Originally a drummer as a child, Ross Healy has been an active member of the Melbourne music scene since 1988 and has released recordings with projects such as Eden, Amnesia, 56k and This Digital Ocean. Cray’s first release was the “Comment” mini-cd for Irish label, Fallt. Influenced by both contemporary digital technology and early sound pioneers like Pierre Henry, David Tudor and Tod Dockstader , Healy has abandoned traditional instruments and structures, opting for a more open ended creative methodology that allows for accidents and contrast. “Everything is meant to be in the music , if an accident happens I leave it in. There is no right and wrong in sound"

Using field recordings from mini disc and microphones to scrape and explore his immediate environment, Cray uses a PC to layer and manipulate these recordings. “I usually create lots of sounds first and these will start me off writing a piece or I may also have a mental picture in my head that I want to create a soundpainting for”. Healy has openly embraced the virtual digital studio concept to the point where, “I like the idea of the computer being more important than the musician. I am interested in the conversation sounds have with one another. I’m not so interested in human conversation, which is one reason I find lyrics in songs unnececessary. I like the idea of this music being almost a painting, that you could stare at in a gallery”.

Healy is currently finishing Cray’s next release, “Zen and The Art Of Hard Disk Recording”. “This is a focus on Japanese stillness of mind, the afterlife and pools of mystery, all done to hard edits”.

Interview for a magazine from Macedonia

1. can u first introduce yourself... a short bio ?

I , Ross Healy have been involved in music since I was a child, always playing percussion and writing songs at age 5. I fell in love with electronic music at a early age and have always enjoyed the abstract in electronic sounds. I also use to spend a very long time listening to shortwave radio, which in Australia is a lot more sparse, no voices like in europe, just phasing sounds....i guess it all started from there.

2. your music background include many bands and projects. when and how did u start to make music ?

Carring on from the previous answer I had a girlfriend who played music too so we started making music, kind of industrialish with electro beats, my best friend Pieter Bourke joined us , and we became Eden with another person, we released records in UK and USA, but I was playing bass , and it was a guitar band with synths, i wanted pure electonics, so I started This Digital Ocean which released records in Germany, Australia and USA, this was really me trying to write songs again and release who i was through vocals, I then was so into techno that i became Amnesia, I released a techno album, also later a drum n bass ep on SOUR in UK, then a full cd as 56K, i then went through a phase of not enjoying music, i had done all i could and needed a change. Cray was that change where i could get rid of beats, chorus etc, and just be with sounds as sounds.

3.what does cray mean ?

Cray means sound as sound, I also like the name from supercomputer, as we have powerful computers now.

4. i think i saw in your mail signature all your releases. is that all your full disco and tell us something about all your releases by now ?

That is all Cray releases to date, although I do have odd tracks on servers, like microsound etc. All releases are just me exploring sounds, i like the idea of painting music in my mind.My past music is around but it is the past.

5. how did u get in touch with bip-hop ?

I must say that my mate Pimmon in Sydney put me onto Bip Hop, I kept playing him tracks and he was saying I was mad not sending them out, I got hold of some Bip Hop releases and liked where their head was, sent a CD and Philippe loved it, Philippe and I both get on well and we love to talk about music and life.

6. your album undo is functioning from noise perspective same as it functioning from glitch perspective. where will u put your self into ?

I think with noises you are more open to the abstract, the surreal, but I am not sure what noise is, i know it is non melodic , but thats all i know about it.

7. on your page writes: The key element in Cray’s music is to experiment with sound and to create sound images - how your creative process is unwinding ?

I just make sounds from real world or made up inside teh computer or synthesizers, i then throw it all together and see what it is talking to me about. I do have some control over the arrangement fof a track, but i like to keep my options open.

8. i agere with you about your statement that there is no right and wrong in sound. everything is music, even mistakes. all that skippes and glitches that happened through making procces. there is also process of making whole music with mistakes. making with skipp cd like oval and taklemura do showing up all that mistake aesthetic. what is your position about all this ?

All new musics over the ages hascome about by error I believe , people on drugs writing music, technology making errors, or by just opening your mind to hold an instrument differently..I love the honesty in error. I was working with skipping Cds back in 93 unaware of Oval, but i must say they did do it better. i just loved the sound of the glitch sound the CD player made. I did not develop it as such like Oval.

9. im also follower of the idea that this days computer is more important than musician/artist and that this isn’t wrong like some of more conservative musicians and artists think. technology is moving paralel and along with art. how technology is developing, art is taking technology as an instrument and medium... what do u think about this procces of changing position of artist, instrument and medium ?

I like the idea that you look at art as art, not as what made the art, but I think this is changing as robots are painting pictures and music programs can compose music, it is all art , saying that I love technology, also a paint brush is technology ( a tool) so technology has been with art for ever. i am not so interested in human voice in music id rather listen to sounds interact and speak with one another. I have never thought of my computer as an instrument but i do play it to get the results i guess.

10. "Over the years I have tried to put less control in my works, as I get very bored with a fixed way of doing music”. how will u comment this sentence. what is fixed way of doing music and how do u put your work out of control ?

I use to be very controlling with my music, everything had to be right, over time i found that mistakes make up a part of a song if you leave them in, I had learned how to program and write music, now I want to let go and just let sounds talk, i dont care so much where a sound comes in or goes out, i like to listen to the end result, i know what i would do as I have been me for my life , but if i let go I get more .

11. i dont know any experimental projects from there. i accidentaly found one site for some experimental radio program on community radio station 3ccc-fm, -possible musics-, presenting experimental music...from australia and all over the world... we talked about changing some music... it is broadcasting from bendigo, victoria... what is the situation now with experimental scene in australia ?

Wow I did not know about that, i must check them out. Australian music is quite large and experimental, since the days of Severed Heads to today, Pimmon, Oren Ambarchi, Cray etc. I think Australians have a less chance of releasing music than say Europe or USA, as it is really these countries that control music to some degree, so Australians have more scope to just do what they are evolving to do. When the "what is music festival" is on each year we have 3 days of experimental music, and many people play and come to listen, so australia does have a good sized experimental scene as no one knows about us so much.

12. where do u see the future of music if continue to progress so fast...?

I have always wanted to be one with music to live inside it, i know this sounds vague, but i hope music will be another thought or emotion in the future.I want to create rooms of time, not a room reverb as such but want to create a moment in time in a ficticious room, i am interested in how sound will react when i make my imaginary room, what will happen in there, and then listen to the results.

13. who is markus struzina and how come to cooperate with him for the video ?

Markus is a great photographer and friend, he loves computers as much as i do and early electronic music , he asked me if he could do a video clip after i played him one song Forna, he then got the images and we both sat down and worked on it together, I taught him some things about playing the programs to make a scene, and he brought me into the world of video prodction, and all the great ideas available. We plan on playing live with live video manipulation, also a new video clip will be made. Everything he touches has his mark on it.

14. design on your release is also awesome (work of julien berthier). bip-hop is one of the labels that care much about design of their releases. there are couple of labels that gives attention to desing same as they give it for music, like 12k-line, mille plateaux... For you is design as important as music itself ?

I love design, and architechture, it is so close to music, abstract music, I think a lable with a strong look shows it is serious, but it could be minimal like Enigma lable or the Designer Republic and Warp, or Mille Plateau etc

15. what r your direct influences, and what are your favorite bands/projects... that u r listening most...?

I prefer music with electronic sounds, but also love all music and the environment, my favourite sound at the moment is a tea cup chipping another china tea cup. I listen to so much music that i rarely take my headphones off I live with my minidisc on where ever i go and enjoy natural sounds, birds sound like electronic music , and so does the human body, or is that the other way around?