This week sees the release of ‘Addendum’, the second single from experimental artist Mircha Ivens, aka The Vaine Man. John Clay caught up with Mircha to find out more about the track and the Vaine Man persona.
John Clay: Normally the worst question to ask an artist, however, the story behind your name needs sharing. Go!
Mircha Ivens: I have been searching for a method of exploring my ego and at the same time reflect upon the collective ego of my generation: therefore I’ve come up with this avatar named The Vaine Man, I drew inspiration from expressionist cinema works such as: The Man who Laughs, The Invisible Man, The Elephant Man, Nosferatu, Dr. Caligari, etc. and literary works like The Little Prince.
John Clay: How has this persona affected your songwriting?
Mircha Ivens: I think it allowed me to have a more concise direction in terms of where I want to go with my music. It’s more like the songwriting’s got a new coat … hahaha.
John Clay: Was there any concern that others might consider the moniker an indication of indulgence or simplistic self involvement, or do you shut audience concerns out of your process?
Mircha Ivens: I invite them to do so. What triggers us is usually a sign of something within us that we don’t like but identify with. Otherwise it wouldn’t affect us.
John Clay: Intriguing. Let’s talk about your latest single then. How did it first arrive as an idea?
Mircha Ivens: I was at the time writing a lot and started to go through some transformative internal experiences. I was helping one of my best friends to float a canvas on the river in Hackney Marshes for an art project. The lyrics originated out of the conversation we had and was followed by a personal reflection. How would I deal with the situation if it was me at the other end of the story. I came to the conclusion that the best thing to do is to learn to let go and not be attached (at least not in a toxic way) to things in life. I know, it’s easy in theory but it has been the beginning of a new chapter in my spiritual journey which coincided with the inception of this song. I also got fascinated with the amount of concrete around the Olympic Park and I was making a connection between the landscape of the ever changing city and my emotional landscape. The background is meant to represent a block of concrete slowly being eroded by time sprinkled with crystalline reverberations of light that come in the morning. So I guess it came out of a place of friendship and introspection.
John Clay: Tell us more about this spiritual journey. Has lockdown interrupted it significantly, or allowed new opportunities to present themselves?
Mircha Ivens: Yes lockdown has been a blessing in disguise. It allowed me to face my demons and to shine a light in all the darkness that was presented in my first single. It has allowed me to direct myself towards new skills and offered me a significant amount of time to improve myself.
John Clay: Great. More on that shortly. First, your latest single. Unlike a lot of solo work you don’t try to create the sound of a band. Intentional?
Mircha Ivens: No not really. I guess everyone is a sum of their influences.
John Clay: And you’re more comfortable now that you can do your own thing, yes?
Mircha Ivens: Yes, I realised I like to know what I am doing with my music but I am also happy to collaborate.
John Clay: Cool. Before we end and mention your livestream, could you detail one of the ‘demons’ you had to confront over lockdown?
Mircha Ivens: Fear… Anxiety, Fear of fear? Haha …. Well in my case my own fears have manifested physically as Psoriasis and it has been quite violent. I have never experienced anything like it in my life. It has been a shock and also I am grateful it happened because it humbled me. Also anger is a big one.
John Clay: Well that’s a shame to hear. You’re marked determinism is going to prove useful. Tell us about your live stream. When is it on and what can we expect?
Mircha Ivens: The livestream will take place on Friday the 26th of March at 20:00 in partnership with Beatstream Live. It’s going to be an exclusive journey through sublime soundscapes and quirky musical worlds that I have created over the last year. A combination of Dark Pop Electronica and experimental electronica vibez.
John Clay: Sounds great. Plug your single and we’ll call it a wrap.
John Clay: Thanks a bunch dude. Look forward to speaking with you again.
Mircha Ivens: Thank you!
‘Addendum’ is out now as a digital download via Bandcamp and on all of the usual streaming platforms.
Interview by John Clay