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In pictures: JVSY’s ‘Gradually’ 2.0 launch party was a stimulating experience for the eyes & ears

We take a deeper look into the producer duo’s joint project with photographers Charles Wan & Jeff Phancy

Late last month, ‘Gradually’ 2.0 was held at Hong Kong’s Major Pop Art Gallery, showcasing a joint project between electronic music duo, JVSY, and photographers Charles Wan and Jeff Phancy.

The multimedia exhibition features photography artworks of four different models accompanied by music and video that highlights capturing a fleeting moment in time before it becomes a mere memory.

Four compositions were written exclusively for the project and became the focal point of the exhibition. On top of that, there was a live electronic music performance by JVSY which left a lasting impression on visitors with a stimulating and intertwined experience full of visual and sonic elements.

JVSY is made up of Jovin Lee and Atlas Iu, also known as BURN and telvanni26., who first debuted as techno producers in 2021.

In addition to being known for their cross-genre explorations and strong classical and pop background, both are also adept as film scorers, composers and session musicians.

After their launch event, JVSY shared with Mixmag Asia about the musical direction for their newly-launched ‘Gradually’ 2.0 EP, visual inspirations behind the project, their view on how Hong Kong has shaped their music and more.

Read the interview with JVSY below.

What was the context for the music direction of the ‘Gradually 2.0 EP’?

Most of the tracks from the ‘Gradually 2.0’ release were originally written with collaboration in mind. What went over our expectations was that we always meant for the tracks to become a medium for musical collaborations with other musicians, the fact that they ended up becoming a collaboration with photographer Charles and Jeff was both surprising and fresh for me. We were compelled to revisit the tracks after looking at the video and picture material they sent over (that was semi-inspired by our music) and managed to maintain the minimal nature many of those tracks began with while making both additive and deductive changes again, inspired by their material.

And how did you bridge that with the photographers for the exhibition?

As we mentioned above, the music was born before we even realised they were going to be displayed along with Charles and Jeff’s works. Knowing our music inspired their visual creations also inspired me to make more appropriate changes to the music themselves. After all was done we really felt like the music and their visual material did become one.

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In 5 words, describe your music.

Just fun enough for us.

Are there any particular visual sources that inspire your cinematic take on composing music? (e.g. films?)

Mostly textbook sources like Drive (2011), Tron (2010), Interstellar (2014) and the like. The main lesson we learned from studying the soundtrack from these films was the technical side of things. Conveying and reinforcing emotions and scene actions is more straightforward to me with acoustic instruments, whereas with electronic instruments as the main focus, it becomes more open-ended. It’s more challenging to come up with good ideas that work I guess? But all the more satisfying when it works.

Can we expect more hybrid presentations of your music from you in the future?

Most definitely! We recently dreamed about our music being presented alongside a physical contraption (Not necessarily a contraption art piece). But the thought process of presenting a piece of music directly tied to a physical object that exists and will be displayed in the real world must bring me new perspectives both on the creative and technical side of things.

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What is it that keeps you making live electronic music?

Accidents; musically and technically. We can confidently say accidents happen all the time during our live electronic music performances. Sometimes happy accidents create unexpected results and we think they are “pretty cool”, and we’re usually happy about them. Often they are real unforeseen accidents that can potentially make our set “not cool”, and we are forced to deal with them creatively on the spot and again, it creates unexpected results that are satisfying for us. The chaotic nature of playing a live electronic set is what keeps me doing it.

In what ways has Hong Kong shaped your music and creative scope?

As we often write tracks specific to venues we are going to play at, they place a certain “limitation” on us as not all kinds of music are appropriate for any one venue. We really enjoy these kinds of limitations as they force me to filter my ideas and preferences when making artistic decisions on how the track should sound. For Hong Kong as a whole, we enjoy slipping in rather domestic sounds we hear on an everyday basis in Hong Kong subtly into our music. Often they are not THAT noticeable to the listeners but these little touches make me happy.

What is one emotion you expressed through ‘Gradually’ 2.0 that you want your audience to walk away with a feeling of?

We usually refrain from explicitly telling with words what emotion(s) our music is trying to convey, so I’m just going to say it in the vaguest way possible; Sitting back slightly, bopping your head.

Follow JVSY on Instagram here.

Adrianna Cheung is Mixmag Asia’s Culture Curator, follow her on Instagram.

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