Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hexagon Transmissions: Boards of Canada and Nostalgia



Q: Why did the educational TV films from the National Film Board of Canada, that you named yourself after, have such a big impact on you and your music if you'd only been exposed to them for a year?

A: We saw them in both Canada and Scotland. The films were on television in the UK for years... Back then television was a really big deal for us because we were so bored. We weren't old enough to go to the cinema and we were in a town where there was absolutely bugger all to do. So we just went out and vandalized property. [Laughs] Or sneak in video nasties from the local video store. Or got our friends together to make films. We had our crappy early-80s bikes and went out with my dad's super-8 camera making films.1



"If it doesn't affect me emotionally it doesn't interest me. I think a lot of it is trying to capture a nostalgic feeling buried somewhere in our minds. We are nostalgic people trying to get back moments from our pasts."

"Music for commercials, documentary soundtracks and children's TV themes. The spaces in between the music you're supposed to listen to. That's where our interest lies. These melodies might only last a second at the end of a TV programme but they are quietly more important to the public psyche than most pop music."2



Q: What's the fascination with children's voices? Is it to do with a nostalgia for childhood?

A: It's something that has a peculiar effect in music, it ought not to be there, especially in atonal, synthetic music. It's completely out of place, and yet in that context that you can really feel the sadness of a child's voice. Being a kid is such a transitory, fleeting part of your lifespan. If you have siblings, then if you think about it, you'll have known them as adults for a lot longer than you ever knew them as children. It's like a little kid lost, gone.3



I hereby nominate Boards of Canada as official house band of Renfusa.

1 Pitchfork, "The Downtempo Duo," Heiko Hoffman, September 26, 2005
2 Jockey Slut magazine, "Board Clever," Richard Hector-Jones, Vol. 2 No. 13 (April/May 1998) 
3 NME, "The Most Mysterious & Revered Men in Electronica," John Mulvey, February 23, 2002

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