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Interview with Gav Mee, curator and director of Derelicht

Vist Emily Godden's Profile

Interview with Gav Mee, curator and director of Derelicht

Derelicht is an innovative series of electronic music events that rejuvenate redundant architecture in an exploration into electronic arts. Derelicht’s finale of the 2013 series, D03, landed in Ipswich in August 2013, when this interview with curator and director of the series, Gav Mee, was first published.

More events are scheduled for summer 2014. Follow Derelict so you don’t miss a beat…

Can you describe the sound of Derelicht?
Our underpinning concept is to promote live electronic performance, so in terms of nailing down exactly what sound will be created on a night is a very difficult question.

I think one needs to bear in mind that our artists are manipulating sound throughout their entire three-hour sets, creating and rearranging tracks on the fly using an array of technology including midi-controllers, keyboards, analogue synths and effects units to name a few. It’s always going to be very difficult to pigeon-hole Derelicht, however, what I can say is that a lot of deliberation goes into sourcing artists that we feel are pushing the boundaries of house, techno and electronica.

What is the philosophy of Derelicht?
First and foremost it’s about exploration of the electronic arts and bringing the something very creative and unique to the East of England. In doing so we provide a bit of a breeding ground to allow creative individuals to flourish alongside international talent. Everyone is accepted at Derelicht, and we don’t have a circa 1980s “shoes-only” door policy. We’re here to promote talent and provide a very immersive atmosphere with some pretty amazing backdrops.

The visuals at Derelicht are a mean feat of wizardry, have you got anything hiding in the shadows for D03?
Personally I’m inspired by the works of Romain Tardy, Joanie Lemercier and the AntiVJ crew who are really pushing the visuals scene forward. Rather than using light to mask the architecture or blast lasers at people with Derelicht, we focus on the architecture and promote the inherent features/facades within. Without giving too much away, D03 for me is about exploiting the shadows, and really exposing people’s perceptions of what can be achieved with light.

What have you learnt from the experience of the previous events (D01 and D02)?
There are lessons to be learned at every event no matter how polished and professional your surrounding team are. I’m quite lucky to have the support of an amazing team who all acknowledge that we can get better every time and strive to give our audience the best experience possible.

How has Derelicht helped fuel creativity in Suffolk?
We’ve created a whole family really of unbelievably talented people, many of whom are still working within their own field; if not ever so slightly out of their comfort zone. As we are about exploration we actively encourage using new techniques and innovative technologies to really expand individual skills and gain experience at the forefront of event production. A few have furthered their own careers off the back of this. For instance,Tom Mountford our photographer and videographer, has produced some really impressive imagery for us and since has been inundated with offers of work. One of his images for D03 has already won him a photography award, and to add further validation to this it was his first ever night shoot whereby he was challenged to use an array of flashes to produce silhouette and shadow with almost zero ambient light!

So in summary, we are really championing a local talent ethos and we’ve formed a number of healthy partnerships with local brands across the whole spectrum including fashion (Empire19), design (Trebuchet), photography (Dan Fisher), video (Tom Mountford), visuals and lighting (Scarlett lighting) to name a few…

Any unusual influences or sources of inspiration dotting around?
One of my man sources of inspiration for Derelicht is a book by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre entitled The Ruins Of Detroit.

What’s the secret behind getting access to the secret locations used for Derelicht?
I suppose it comes down to sourcing a suitable venue, being able to persuade the landlord that your intentions are good and that you are going to respect the building, creating really good working relationships with the landlords and authorities, and above all having the passion to continue whatever obstacles are thrown at you.

Hypothetically speaking, if anything (I mean anything) could happen at D03 – what would it be?
Well we’ve got a pretty amazing line-up at the moment but if anyone wanted to bring the remainder of the Innervisions family over with them I certainly wouldn’t say no to Dixon and Henrik Schwarz!

Is D03 the end or the beginning of something fresh for Derelicht?
I’m not into repeating anything I do and I constantly have a desire to innovate and bring something more creative to the industry that isn’t focused on profit or commercial value. D03 for me is the end of our 2013 series and will pretty much sum up an amazing year. I already have some interesting ideas for 2014 – so yeah, you can expect something completely different next year.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Nothing springs to mind immediately… Just a big sincere thank you to all the insanely talented people that have supported us through 2013.

Derelicht 2014 event ipswich

Words: Emily Godden
Photography: Tom Mountford


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