Bibio is a british musician, famous for his kaleidoscopic tunes, and his love of the bokeh effect – his new album is even called Mind Bokeh! Here he tells us a little about what inspires him.
NAME: Stephen James Wilkinson
Please introduce yourself
Hello. I’m Bibio, currently releasing music on Warp records and previously on Mush records. I’m a multi-instrumentalist, producer, photographer and keen amateur cook.
Tell us a bit about your music
It’s pretty varied in style, but I like to get physical with it, so I play the instruments myself rather than rely on sampled records. I’m mostly into music which fuels one’s imagination and takes you off somewhere. I also like music that makes me want to move, so I try to put all of this into my own music. I love old analogue gear, especially tape machines.
Why did you call your latest album Mind Bokeh?
I’m a lover of photography so I discovered the word bokeh through a photographer friend. The word sounded unusual in itself which attracted me, but I liked the idea of applying its context to something other than photography, such as psychology or just mental perception in general. I’m a thinker, so human perception particularly fascinates me.
Why is bokeh such an appealing photographic effect?
I guess it’s something generally not seen with the naked eye so it feels magical to achieve it with man made instruments like cameras, sure you can defocus your eyes to a certain degree, but I just love the way bokeh can turn something real into something abstract. I’ve always loved seeing bokeh in films, like the intro in Taxi Driver. And the mysterious hexagonal shapes caused by aperture-cropped lens flare in old wildlife documentaries always fascinated me as a kid, and still does now. I guess it’s an artifact, but one that can be beautiful in its own right. The closest I’ve seen in nature is the spots of light you get from sunshine pouring through the gaps of leaves in trees – I love this natural wonder.
How long have you been a Lomographer or are you new to this whole thing?
I’ve owned an LC-A+ for some years now. I love film, I particularly love what film does to bokeh – the way it dissolves into film grain. Some of my favourite shots were made with my Holga 120CN. I also love my Rolleiflex TLR, and I’ve been processing b&w film at home in the last year. I love the physical approach, when you take a photograph with an old manual camera and develop it yourself it makes you particularly proud of every shot that turns out well. Digital photography totally has its place, but the instantaneous nature of digital takes away some of that hard work or satisfaction of striving for a good shot.
Which is your favourite shot from this project?
This one. It looks like how I want my music to sound! It’s very close to what i imagine when I listen to the track ‘Mind Bokeh’.
If your photos had a soundtrack what three songs would you choose? (song title and artist please)
Riversong – Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff
Kodomotachi – Susumu Yokota
Chopin – Etude Op. 10 No. 5
What’s coming up next in Bibio’s world?
More music, videos, some live electronic sets… also some short videos/films and photo collections.
We have exclusive Bibio goodies to giveaway to five lucky Lomographers, enter the Bibio x Lomography Rumble to win. You can also read more about how to achieve the best bokeh in Bibio's tipster article
Bibio’s new album Mind Bokeh is out on March 28th (in the US) and April 4th (everywhere else)
Pick up a free track from it here