Last month saw the return of Sonos Studio AMS to this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE). Spanning Thursday 15th to Saturday 17th October, Sonos Studio took over the three floors of Amsterdam’s Mayer Manor, offering up performances, screenings, collaborations and conversations, putting a spotlight on the science and creativity of music. Comprising two permanent spaces; one in London and one in Los Angeles. Sonos Studio itself was launched in 2012, aiming to bridge the gap (sometimes apparent) between creators and their audience. Operating on the intersection between art, music and technology, Sonos Studio provides a place where artists can experiment and share ideas, and where listeners can connect to music makers on a deeper level.

This year’s Amsterdam edition featured talks and performances by a number of artists, including Osunlade, DJ Vadim, Tom Trago and Marcus Worgull. Also in conversation was Derrick May, Detroit’s early pioneer of techno (he’s the man behind ‘Strings of Life’) who actually lived in Amsterdam from 1991 to 1993. Speaking about his DJing and listening habits, he appeared to be almost split into two different personas: the DJ and the music lover.

"I have always loved genres like Jazz and ambient music, and I listen to it every day," he admitted. "Brian Eno is one of my favourite artists. Many producers consider him to be the founder of ambient music. Everyone should know him." He continued by professing love for D’Angelo: "He truly is a genius."

It’s not just the style of music, however, but the way he listens to music at home that is quite different to the loudness of DJ sets. "I prefer to listen to music at a very low volume when I’m in the comfort of my own house," he said. "I think it’s better to keep the volume lower. That way the listener can become fully occupied by the music. Playing songs loud means that often you only hear the banging aspect without really appreciating the essence of the music. When the volume is kept down, the body relaxes and the music is felt in a different mentality."

At the opposite end of the spectrum, May also talked about warming up before he DJs, saying that he doesn’t drink alcohol beforehand – but there’s a good reason for that. "Do you know what white wine or champagne does to you when you’re playing?" he mused. "It deafens your hearing!"

Relating it all back to the experience of sound, he added: "You lose a certain definition to your hearing while you’re playing, which causes you to turn the music up louder and louder and louder. The audience gets ear fatigue, and that makes people want to fuck off."

You can read and listen to the whole interview over on the Sonos Studios site.