Who is independent Moldavian artist Serge Bulat besides exactly that? His new single ‘Sanity Mantra’ was just released featuring Icelandic artist Katie Buckley and will also make an appearance on the upcoming eclectic album ‘Similarities Between Fish And A Chair’, which is due for release on the 30th of April. The multi-format release is renewing and nothing like the regular indie and rock music you have recently listened to. So, perfect time to have a chat with Serge and talk to him about his art and inspirations!
Could you briefly introduce yourself as an artist and explain a little on how you started to make music and what inspired you to start doing so?
Serge Bulat here, born in Moldova, nowadays residing in the USA! I make music and experiment with sound until I find something that resonates with me. As an artist, I’m interested in the intersection of disciplines and like mixing things such as sound, visuals, psychology, writing, technology, performing arts, and other random stuff.
I went to music school, then Moldovan Academy of Arts, and later moved to States for a fresh start. I’ve been meaning to write my own music for a while but began only after I got a synthesizer for my birthday. At this point, I didn’t have a choice but to live the dream.
What do you love most about music and what do you try to tell with your music?
I like music for the natural ability to bring different states, so a listener can just explore his mind. Not all music does so, but that’s what I cherish personally. With my work, I wouldn’t dictate anything, however, there are themes and concepts that are present. But I always encourage an individual interpretation and thoughts rather than my own ideas. If we are on the same page that is the best feeling ever. It is rare but makes my work worth it. And occasionally someone can take your concept even further and see or hear things that you planted there unconsciously. This is when it gets really fun. One of the projects connected to my new album is called ‘Inkblot’. It is made to do that: invite interpretation and exploration.
What do you hope to achieve as an artist within the next two years?
The future is always awesome. But I don’t really look that far. (Or at least not anymore.) Pandemic was a very brutal example of how useless planning is. I love spontaneity, so it completely makes sense now to operate this way both artistically and personally.
I do want to write tons of music since I’ve just acquired a taste for it. I’ll do my best to evolve. And there are projects that I need 2 more lifetimes for, so I don’t pressure myself by overthinking the near future. I look back at the last couple of years and see many things completed – a few releases, videogames, an interdisciplinary installation, some writing, and none of it was planned. The same happened with my newest record ‘Similarities Between Fish And A Chair’.
What other art forms do you enjoy practicing when you are not making music?
I love writing, and there are a lot of experiences I’ve been accumulating over the years. Writing is very efficient when it comes to capturing ideas rooted in feelings. I operate the same way in music, but the word is easier to save. I do not carry my keyboard to grocery stores, but a notebook or phone is always on me.
I also enjoy making art with my friend and collaborator Michael Rfsdhir of Russia. He is such a special person and a giving artist. Always great to brainstorm ideas, put a project together, stress over deadlines, and be semi-satisfied with the results. We both are workaholics but love zen-ing out for months hahaha. All about balance I suppose. Our recent adventures are in video gaming, and, that is something I’m totally fascinated with. Not for the sake of passing time, but for the interactivity gaming can offer. As an art tool, it is quite wonderful.
Aside from the “creating” factor, there are books and films. I watch a movie every single evening, lately international cinema. Reading is also something that I need to do on a regular basis, since it gives a ticket to someone’s story, and leaves room for imagination. I’ve done lots of research on my latest project, so I’m a little overloaded with information, but cannot wait for my next fiction book!
What wisdom have you taken from the break we all unwillingly had to take the past year?
That there is no time to lose. And there is more time to reflect. A lot of things have become unnecessary, and some were exposed to the fact that a happy life can be low maintenance. All that really mattered was inner peace and framing experiences into artsy frames, not dwelling on the past. I think the inner peace part was the toughest, because one thing is to balance when you have a busy life, and another when your life is seemingly on pause. You have to avoid jumping into the future and always stay present. So, staying in present was a great muscle to train.
Are there any others you would like to collaborate with in the future and why?
These couple of years were a lot about collaborating. Different styles, various instruments, many countries: Japan, Argentina, Italy, Russia among them. I worked with a number of wonderful musicians whose talents are special. One of them is Katie Buckley from Iceland, we’ve done a few cool things together, and also became friends. I love when people can connect on many levels. It’s awesome talking about high art, soap operas, and tahini recipes at the same time. Creatives are not all about art 24/7 and can be as human as anyone else.
Another one is Pavel Vit, a musician from Ukraine. An epic guy who makes his own instruments. I have so much admiration for people like that. This is what kind of collaborators I’d welcome since these connections are extremely rare.
I also keep in touch with artists Miriam Garcia from Argentina and Oyme from Russia and will work will them again in a heartbeat.
Aside from that, I’d like to learn more about cultures, make music with artists from other countries. Incorporate such instruments as kora or shamisen etc. Oh, and a performance piece that will mix mediums, that would require an extensive tour!