Interview: Michael Perera

    London-based composer Michael Perera is making some noise in the sphere of music.

    Having released his single, ‘Time and Memory’, the ear-pleasing Michael Perera joined us for an interview to talk about music and culture.

    Hi, how are you?

    Hi there, I’m fine thanks. How are you?

    I am great, thank you. So, how did you find music in your life and when did you decide to become an artist?

    I started learning the piano from a young age. When practicing I gradually became more fascinated with creating ideas, rather than focusing on the pieces I was supposed to learn.  However, as I entered my teens, the music I had more of a connection with at the time was guitar music. So, through my twenties I was in and out of bands, singing and playing mostly guitar. Only after years when those projects came to an end did I rediscover the piano.

    After coming across more modern composers such as Nils Frahm and Jon Hopkins, I felt more inclined to work on ideas that eventually turned into songs. Through some encouragement from musical peers, I finally had the courage to record some of the songs, hearing them take shape was the catalyst for me to keep making piano music.

    What inspired ‘Time and Memory’?

    Time and Memory is one of the first pieces that I finished; genuinely it stemmed from me just aimlessly noodling away at the keys. Looking back, I can see that it’s influenced by Vessel by Jon Hopkins in parts, in terms of how it progresses, but nowhere near as good or accomplished haha.

    What’s the biggest challenge you face when creating music?

    Focusing and not procrastinating. I find it very hard to have the discipline to focus, constantly work and finish songs. There’s always a convenient distraction that scuppers me making the most of being ‘in the zone’ and finishing songs quicker. I’m not sure what the remedy is, maybe gaffer taping myself to my chair.

    Do you have an artist you look up to when creating your work?

    There’s quite a few really. I’d be lying if I said that Nils Frahm wasn’t the catalyst. He made me realise that piano ideas could be layered and completed songs outright. Chilly Gonzales and Yann Tiersen write the most melodically rich stuff, some of their songs I consider masterpieces.

    I’ve recently tried to take example from other modern composers such as Goldmund and Joep Beving; both have a real knack for making the simple very impacting. Though the biggest ambition would be to create anything close to La Ritournelle by Sebastian Tellier.

    We love Beving, Tiersen, and Frahm at Our Culture Mag. So, what three words describe your music?

    Continuous, spherical, pianoey.

    What about three words that describe yourself?

    Random, immature, lad.

    What do you hope to achieve with your music, what is your mission?

    Not sure to be honest, I’m just happy having a new project and to be making music at the moment. I like the idea of people listening. I guess the next step would be to make another EP or album, then work out how to incorporate the music into a live context.

    Our final question, what is your definition of culture?

    If you have a spare month or so, I feel the best and most extensive definition of culture I’ve come across was illustrated by Yuval Noah Harari in his book ‘Sapiens’.


    Modestas Mankus
    Modestas Mankus
    Modestas is the Editor-in-Chief at Our Culture Mag. He regularly delves into modern art, fashion, and photography. Modestas is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

    Arts in one place.

    All of our content is free, if you would like to subscribe to our newsletter or even make a small donation, click the button below.

    People are Reading