A Musical Life: Peter Verwimp
Peter Verwimp is a producer, guitarist and vocalist based in Antwerp, Belgium. His main project is Ashtoreth, which he describes as “a guitar-driven dark ambient project with a shamanic perspective.” His recordings under that name include Heretic (with Grey Malkin) and Between Worlds (with Stratosphere).
“The most important element to get to a composition is the intention and concept behind it. I derive most of my concepts from esoteric teachings and experiences. I start by making a Foley or background sounds that that can help set the mood and inspire the music. Or even to play around with ‘mistakes.’ Experience has taught me to not always get rid of mistakes but on the contrary to highlight them.
“The mixing process is an important one; that's where I start telling the story as clear as possible and in tune with the initial concept behind the piece. During this process I strip away a lot of musical information to arrive at the essence of a piece. You could say I move from maximalism to minimalism.
“I see my compositions as shamanic journeys, especially in a live context where I improvise and feed off of the audience’s energies to create a musical journey. My intention is to take the listener on a trip inside themselves and to conjure up images and emotions. “As a one-man project it is interesting to have a musical conversation with someone else. Others can bring new ideas and different angles to the table that are well worth investigating. Usually a base track is made to which each collaborator can add. In this way, I learn a lot about my collaborator’s approach to sound, mix and production methods.
“I'd say that in an ideal collaboration there is something to learn from the other party involved. The end result should be a perfect blend of the participants’ unique musical character yet also become more than the sum of its parts.”