What's the best material you've ever written?
Richard Melville Hall, a.k.a. Moby, is one of the most important dance music figures of the early '90s, helping bring the music to a mainstream audience both in England and in America.
Born in Harlem, New York in 1965, and raised in Darien, CT, he played in a hardcore punk band called the Vatican Commandos as a teenager before moving to New York City, where he began DJing in dance clubs. During the late '80s, he released a number of singles and EPs before, in 1991, he set the theme from David Lynch's television series Twin Peaks to an insistent, house-derived rhythm and titled the result "Go." The single became a surprise British hit single, climbing into the Top Ten, and was named one of Rolling Stone's top 200 records of all time. Moby, his first full-length album, appeared in 1992. Since then, Moby has recorded eleven studio albums, including his multi-platinum breakthrough Play (1999), 18 (2002), Hotel (2005), Go: The Very Best of Moby (2006) and Last Night (2008).
In addition to his musical endeavors, Moby is the proprietor of teany cafe and teas. He is also a well-known advocate for a variety of progressive causes, working with MoveOn.org and PETA, among others. He actively engages in nonpartisan activism.
Question: What's the best material you've ever written?
Moby: Well there’s a piece of music that I wrote about 12 years ago called “God Moving Over the Face of the Waters”. And it’s a quiet, classical piece. And then it was used in the movie Heat – the sort of … – the very end of the movie. And I’d say out of all the pieces of music I’ve made, that’s still the one that’s closest to my heart. So …
Moby: Mmm … It has a … I don’t know. There’s just something about it that seems … Like it’s very … It’s very emotional, at least for me. And it’s quite powerful, but it’s also very delicate. And it’s one of those pieces of music where, when I’d finished writing it, I had no idea where it came from. Like I don’t know where the inspiration came from. You know, I mean I know it’s a tried cliché, but I really just felt sort of like a conduit. Like I wasn’t actually the one writing the music. You know, I was just the weird puppet/conduit through which the music came.
Question: Has that happened since?
Moby: Yeah. Luckily … Well, I mean, my criteria for evaluating my music is a lot different than the criteria that other people would use to evaluate my music. And from my perspective, I’ve had a lot of instances where I’ve, you know, ended up making music that’s affected me very … on a deep emotional level. That doesn’t mean that it always affects other people emotionally.
Recorded on: 5/29/07
Moby cites a piece he calls "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters" as his very best.
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