‘Melodic, Reflective, Spacious’ | Interview with Benya Barshai

Laced with nostalgia, a power-charged IDM groove and a glorious wonky  melodic riff, Synchronicity by Benya Barshai is a stroll through the past. Personally, with this song, I found my peace of mind.

Read our discussion with the artist below!

Describe your sound in 3 words

Melodic, Reflective, Spacious

Synchronicity has been inspired by a story of Carl Jung. Tell us a few things about it.

I came across this incredible story which took place during one of Carl Jung’s sessions with a patient. During the session, the woman being treated expressed a dream she had the night before of a golden scarab that was given to her. While Jung was sitting and listening, he heard gentle tapping at the window behind him and went towards the glistening object. There he found a scarab eagerly attempting to fly into his office and when he opened the window, he caught it mid-air and brought the scarab to her saying, “Here is your scarab”. Synchronicity was coined by Carl Jung as a way to describe the meaningful coincidences that can’t be explained in a rational way.

What I wanted to create with this piece was a mood that evoked a feeling of the unknown, paranormal, deja vu – all the particular feelings that remind you how strange yet magical the human experience can be.

What is your creative process? Listening to Synchronicity, it is very difficult to imagine what comes first in your music. This magnificent, beautifully quirky melodic riff? The IDM beat? The atmospheric chord progression? Or..?

I tend to first write out a chord progression or focus on a particular harmony that catches my ear and would then look at it as “fertilizer” for melodies to grow from. After clear progressions and themes are established, I focus on everything else from percussion, effects, to the general mood I’m aiming for.

Sometimes I run into one note that alters the whole atmosphere of a piece, like how one mutation within an organism can create a completely different animal – so I explore those possibilities as much as I can. The best ideas usually come from constant trial & errors, accidents, and attempts at viewing the idea from different angles harmonically and otherwise.

Personally, adding Synchronicity to my collection I would put it next to Orbital’s The Box, not sure if you would agree with that. Was the 90’s the golden age of IDM music? What would be your favourite ever IDM album?

I would love Orbital to be its neighbor! It’s true so many inspiring IDM records came into fruition during that time but I feel that every decade is special where music can be crystalized into something new, deep and impactful. Aphex Twin’s “Richard D. James” album was my personal catalyst towards exploring this kind of music.

If Synchronicity was a film, which film would that be?

“The Fountain” by Darren Aronofsky

If you had to choose one Synthesiser (analog or digital) which one would it be?

“Omnisphere” by Spectrasonics. The variety of sounds and textures are mind boggling. It’s become sort of an infinite playground for writing.

What is something weird about you that you are not ashamed of?

It’s become weird to be a proponent of free speech – but this is the principle of exchanging, challenging, and perfecting any endeavor. Every great advancement in society was always met with hostility, name calling… Fight the noise with harmony & speaking from your heart.

Do you have an artist that you would describe as a hidden gem that we should know about?

Poverty Island, a group led by Wesley Slover. Introspective, slightly melancholic post-classical sonic deliciousness.

Thank you!

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