On the Couch with Erkki Veltheim

Erkki Veltheim Arts Review On the CouchWho is Erkki Veltheim?
Musician, improviser, composer, Artistic Associate of Chamber Made Opera.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Live in Kentucky and play country music, for sure.

Who inspires you and why?
People who do or make things that challenge the way I do or make things or think about things or see things. Film makers like Werner Herzog, Harmony Korine and Joshua Oppenheimer, musical polymath John Rodgers, improvising trumpeter Scott Tinkler, bluegrass fiddler Michael Cleveland, artists like Danh Vo and George Condo, comic book artist George Herriman, anthropologist Michael Taussig…

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Abolishing private property would probably be high on the list if I actually had the power to change something. Failing that, I suppose acting with compassion towards everyone regardless of background or circumstance can hopefully make some small difference in day to day life.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
My mother-in-law’s bush property. It’s 70 minutes drive from my home, and has no phone reception or internet connection.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Pasta at my Italian father-in-law’s house, for obvious reasons…

What are you currently reading?
Jaqcues Rancière’s Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics – a collection of essays on the connections between art and politics, and Kelly Grovier’s Art since 1989 – an overview of visual art after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

What are you currently listening to?
Crazy by Icehouse and friends’ concerts and albums. Lately that’s been Thymolphthalein, Alex Garsden, Rohan Drape, James Rushford, Will Guthrie…

Happiness is?
A warm puppy on a cold winter’s night.

What does the future hold for you?
A premiere season of Chamber Made Opera’s Another Other at the Meat Market in Melbourne, created and performed with my close friends and colleagues, visual artist Sabina Maselli and musicians Natasha Anderson and Anthony Pateras. Fusing experimental music theatre, expanded cinema, sound art and installation, this show is based on a radical re-reading of Ingmar Bergman’s film, Persona – which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016.

Chamber Made Opera’s Another Other will receive its Melbourne premiere at the Meat Market, North Melbourne on Thursday 18 February 2016. For more information, visit: www.chambermadeopera.com for details.

Image: Erkki Veltheim