Zoo Owl – The WL14 Interview

File Next To: Doldrums, The Knife
Purveyor of: Electronic hypnosis and inverted introspection
Playing: Night one of WL14 Thursday, February 13 @ The Silver Dollar Room (486 Spadina Ave.)

From the dark grassy murk emerges the Zoo Owl. His photoreceptor lenses are twin moons of unsettling light, hovering in the pitch. Heavy beats trample your world-weariness into the loam and plucky synths unfetter your feet. Marvel. Wonder. Be taken into the deep navy night.

Zoo Owl. Are you man or beast?

I am a marsh-dwelling man-bird.

What do they call you in your mother tongue?

My mother calls me Bryan, but I often channel this other being, Avem. Pronounced with an inward breath.

When you don the Zoo Owl goggles, what do you feel? A more pronounced freedom?

Actually they have their limits — which are kind of strengths. They obscure my vision, so I have to rely on more intuitive movements and trust my instincts. This is part of the self- hypnosis programming that allows me to unleash Zoo Owl.

On your secret, inaugural, leather-bound mixtape, you make incredible use of Jurassic Park samples in a dance music context. It’s pretty weird and awesome. Why Jurassic Park?

JP achieved what every blockbuster should strive for: realistic dinosaurs. Their shrieks and growls were created using living animals, and that idea was very influential for this project. To be tasked with choosing the beasts to recreate the life noise of majestic dinosaurs would be a wicked challenge. I am experimenting with my own voice towards that end.

When can we expect a full release to emerge and what can we look forward to?

It will be warm outside by then, and you can look forward to a treasure hunt.

Tell us about your new series of video collages, OzO Vision.

The programming is carefully selected at OzO Vision and released on the 14th of each month. So far it’s just fragmented pieces of Internet. The content should be sufficient enough to last you the rest of the day.

I’ve seen travel journals of yours from shows you’ve done abroad. What inspired that and do you hope to do anything with them?

I hope to add to the collection, and rely less on my camera phone. I like the patience involved… sketching and taking brief notes. Trying to describe your surroundings instead of instantly capturing them can help you merge with the moment at hand. It’s like sampling an experience with a kind of multi-sensory memory vision. My photoreceptor lenses represent this ideal.

How do you hope to expand the Zoo Owl experience in the future?

Audience driven participation! Sensory deprivation experiments!

– Interview by Adam Bradley

Zoo Owl plays night one of Wavelength FOURTEEN, Thursday February 13 @ The Silver Dollar Room (486 Spadina Ave.).