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  • Ellie McGuire

Interview - Harry Klein

Sydney based audio-visual artist Harry Klein has released his debut 14-track album, And Then There Was None.

Featuring experimental dance production alongside tunes with a melancholic pop flavouring, whether you're looking to dance or for a moment of introspection, there’s something for you in this full length release. This album's overarching objective is to explore uncomfortable questions about relationships, community and social constructs of power.

We sat down with Harry Klein to discuss his music and much more. Here is what he had to say:

Hey Harry Klein, welcome to FLEX! How are you?

Hi! I’m doing well. I’m answering these questions right before I'm about to teach my first class for the semester.

Congratulations on your brand-new album, ‘And Then There Was None’ - what inspired this particular project?

After the dissolution of my previous band, and moving into my own apartment, I felt empowered to make music entirely on my own. Just the idea that I didn’t have to rely on other people was something that was really freeing. Throughout the making of the album, I was exploring questions about relationships, community and social constructs of power. In this way, the album reflects many of the conversations I was having with my partner and close friends while the world was shifting under our feet. There are also autobiographical stories throughout there too.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this album?

This project was born from a feeling of having wasted over a year not making any music. I had left a household that had become really tense, and wasn’t safe to create in. When I moved into my new apartment, I had this massive burst of energy and a large sense of urgency. The next COVID lockdowns happened in Sydney, so I spent most of my time making music.

And do you have to be in a certain mood to write?

Not particularly. Lately I've been in a big writing vortex, working on the next album but I could often go for months not writing anything, then write heaps of music in a short amount of time. It’s kind of like an addiction, I’ve been unhealthy in the past, where I've put music before anything else. I’m starting to have a better relationship with it, and know when to write as much as when not to.

How was the recording and writing process?

The recording and writing process are intrinsically linked for me. In my home studio I have everything linked up to Ableton, and when I'm writing I’ve always got the red recording button on. The writing of the sound-design came to me quite quickly, but I spent a very long time tweaking and mixing it. I also spent a long time getting the vocals and lyrics right.

For viewers that don’t know Harry Klein, how would you describe your sound?

I feel like my sound has evolved through the projects I have been involved in and is likely still evolving; however, for this project, I'd describe it as polyphonic electronica, polyphonica perhaps. I have always been captivated by polyphony in music, where the simultaneous combination of tones or melodic lines speak to and play off of each other.. Polyphony is very pronounced in Orchestral music, but I wanted to bring it into a pop/dance contemporary framework. An example of a great polyphonic album is Foals first album, Antidotes. In my sound there's also a range of influences including glitch, hyperpop, drum and bass, and new rave.

And what are some of those activities that you engage yourself in when you aren’t writing or recording in the studio?

I’m a technical officer and educator at Sydney College of the Arts so I dabble in lots of other mediums, including film production, experimental video art, ceramics, and drawing. Aside from creative pursuits, I’m an avid fan of sci-fi and I love spending time with my partner and our cat Cinnamon, camping and swimming at the local baths.


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