Luc Messinezis − MA Sound Arts
Luc Messinezis was one of the first graduates of the MA Sound Arts and Design course at London College of Communication. Today he works as a sound designer on feature films and is pursuing his research interests in sound arts, with a view to attaining a PhD.
What did you study at LCC and what year did you graduate?
I was in the first group of students that attended the MA in Sound Arts at LCC and graduated in 2008. Having seen the way the course has evolved and grown since then, I have to say that I feel rather lucky and proud to have been one of its first graduates.
What made you want to study Sound Arts?
I was always drawn to sound due to its ethereal nature and I found it challenging that something immaterial could be used as the main medium for creative practice (outside the canonical musical approach that is). It is also very important to me that sound art has a strong relationship with philosophy and psych geography - fields that are of great interest for me - providing great ground for research.
What was the best part of Sound Arts at LCC?
First of all, I really value the fact that almost all of my tutors were actual sound artists and most of them successful and active practitioners. Additionally the practice-based research approach that we were encouraged to follow during the course was something that influenced my career and nowadays still continues to affect the way I work a lot .
Where are you from in the world?
I was born in Athens, Greece but lived for a lot of years around Europe including the UK of course, where I completed my studies. Currently my base is in Athens but due to the nature of my work I travel lot.
What are your fondest memories of LCC?
Generally the best memories I have are related to the communication I had and the time I spent with my colleagues. I had a very good relationship with all of them but above all, my fondest memories are those of the days when we were preparing the final show ‘Audio Forensics’ at IMT Gallery, London, where our individual projects were presented to a wider audience.
What are you working at the moment?
During the last few years I have worked as a sound designer in a couple of Feature Films including the animated adaptation of J. Verne’s ‘From the Earth to the Moon’, but what I am really putting my energy on is sound art practice and research.
My recent work focuses on approaching the soundscape for artistic purposes by following existentialist principles. In other words, I am trying to answer to the question if existence precedes essence (essence being the aural reality of a place at this instance) and discover the potential creative value such an approach could carry. Additionally I am always interested in the aural equivalent of hyper-realism. These two strands of investigation were the starting points for the creation of ‘IsReal’, a hyper-real existentialist aural appreciation of the region of Palestine. This piece of work will be presented at FKL Symposium ‘Soundscapes and Sound Identities’ (Castello Di Beseno, IT) in May 2015.
What is your favourite sound?
The crackling sound of a dying fire in a fireplace when all else is quiet.
Name three things you couldn't be creative without:
It is not possible for me not to be creative. Of course the proper means and conditions always help in terms of productivity, but I believe being creative is something that comes from the inside and manifests itself no matter what the current conditions are.
If I have to choose though, I’d say the most useful things for my practice is a recorder, a computer and peace of mind.
If you could collaborate creatively with anybody in the world who would it be?
I have had the opportunity to help out Dr John Wynne with a couple of his projects but I would really like to actually create something with him. He was my thesis supervisor when I was a student at LCC and we met again at the Global Composition 2012 Symposium. Since then we have kept in contact and helped each other out in several occasions but never truly created something together from scratch. I am an admirer of his artworks and he has been a great influence to my practice.
Tell us about your future plans and ambitions:
I would really like to work as a research fellow for an established organisation within the field of sound arts and to be able to continue my creative practice as a freelancer sound artist presenting my work around the globe. Due to financial reasons mostly I did not have the opportunity to go for a PhD – which has not been an obstacle for my artistic career – yet it is an ambition of mine to find out a way to achieve this (maybe a funding opportunity), as in regards to research opportunities and teaching it is essential.
Finally, a dream of mine is to work as an artist in residence in CERN or an astrophysics-related establishment and be able to realise a few designs I already have in mind.
What drives you to succeed?
My general aim is to achieve the conditions under which I will be able to work and be creative undistracted. Also I want to be able to realise my ideas and to present them to a wider audience. Sometimes it feels like that sound artists create works so that other sound artists or the academia will take notice. This needs to change. We need to communicate the outcomes of our practice in a way so that it will be more accessible, understood and appreciated by a larger group of people. These aims are just a few of the driving forces to keep going and try and be as productive and resourceful as possible.
What three words would you use to best describe LCC?
Open-mind, Creativity, Internationalism.
What piece of advice would you give to new students?
Just to realise how lucky they are to be able to study what they like (if this is the case of course). That realisation will help them achieve the maximum of what the establishment has to offer and I would advise them to exploit the opportunity that was given to them.
Where in London do you go when you need a little inspiration?
Three favourite places of mine are the BFI, the V&A museum and a walk across the Southbank.