“Once I got my Moog Voy­ager, my world shifted. I dropped ev­ery­thing for syn­the­sis” Bana Haf­far|

Future Music - - TALKING SHOP -

>Los Angeles res­i­dent Bana Haf­far has been mak­ing quite an im­pact on the mod­u­lar synth world in re­cent years, host­ing Mod­u­lar On The Spot, a no­madic monthly se­ries of out­door synth jams, along­side her own cre­ative com­po­si­tions. 2018 has so far seen her land on Make Noise’s in­house record la­bel with Matiere, a stunning two-track EP of ex­tended mod­u­lar com­po­si­tions. FM caught up with Bana ear­lier this year to dis­cover more about her cre­ative im­pulses…

When did you start mak­ing mu­sic?

“After a se­ries of quite un­for­tu­nate pi­ano lessons at the age of eight, I switched to vi­o­lin. In my teenage years, I switched to bass and started play­ing in lo­cal metal bands in Dubai, where I was liv­ing at the time. Once I got my Moog Voy­ager, my world to­tally shifted and I dropped ev­ery­thing for syn­the­sis.”

Tell us about your studio...

“I’m cur­rently build­ing my elec­tronic mu­sic studio in my apart­ment in LA, which I share with my part­ner Ro­dent (Eric Ch­es­lak) who is also a mod­u­lar synth player. I say build­ing, be­cause in my pre­vi­ous life as a ses­sion bass player, most of my record­ing was done in pro stu­dios rented by record la­bels. Now that I’ve left the in­dus­trial mu­si­cal com­plex and shifted to the DIY elec­tronic mu­sic world, I’m hav­ing to start from scratch in a way and re­build my ar­se­nal. Most of my gear con­sists of Euro­rack mod­ules, a Moog Voy­ager, some ped­als, and a few stand-alone desk­top synths.”

What DAW do you use, and why?

“Pro Tools for ease of track­ing.”

Which one piece of gear in your studio could you not do with­out?

“This isn’t re­ally a piece of ‘studio gear’ but I use my Zoom H6 recorder a tonne, as a sort of mo­bile sonic sketch­pad. I al­ways have it plugged into my mixer and record snip­pets of ideas as I build my patches. I like to grab it and go when I go on walks or long drives, to lis­ten back to the sketches in­stead of hav­ing to mix and bounce ev­ery track from Pro Tools.”

What’s the lat­est ad­di­tion to your studio col­lec­tion?

“I re­cently picked up a pair of Fo­cal Al­pha 65 studio mon­i­tors, very happy with them so far.”

What dream bit of gear would you love to have in your studio?

“A Roland Space Echo. I’m a huge dub head.”

When ap­proach­ing a new track or project, where do you start?

“I’m con­stantly tak­ing patch notes and have an ever-ex­pand­ing list of things I want to try. If I don’t have a clear idea of the piece I’d like to build be­fore I start, I go to my patch notes and draw in­spi­ra­tion from them.”

Can you tell us about what you’re cur­rently work­ing on?

“I plan on putting out a sec­ond studio al­bum this year and I’m cur­rently sift­ing through the dozens of live and studio record­ings I made in 2017. I’d like to put out a cas­sette of live per­for­mances as a per­sonal DIY project. I’m also do­ing a short artist res­i­dency with my part­ner at the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia in the spring. The other thing we do ev­ery month is host Mod­u­lar on The Spot Los Angeles, so that’s an­other of my on­go­ing projects.”

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