Ludus: The Sound Project of Emma Bernard
Ludus: The Sound Project of Emma Bernard
Soundscapes and the natural world
Read Time:
9 Mins

Ludus is the captivating musical venture curated by the multifaceted artist Emma Bernard. Her creative inspiration spans across the worlds of electronic music, audio engineering, sound design, and written word. She has lent her talents to compose evocative film soundtracks, full-length dance productions, and sound art commissions. Her artistic journey is an exploration of the intricate relationship between soundscapes and the natural world, striving to deepen our understanding of the world through sound. 

Ludus has been featured on Flying Nun, RNZ, Under The Radar, SOUNZ, RadioActive, BFM, and held playlist spots with the Student Radio Network across the country. Emma's compositions are a dynamic, ever-evolving tapestry in the electronic music genre, with live performances and DJ sets taking her music to various corners of Aotearoa.

Ludus marked her debut with the 2021 release of the album 'Two of the Same,' by Pōneke label, Strange Behaviour. Congratulations to Ludas. Let’s get to know her.

Her artistic journey is an exploration of the intricate relationship between soundscapes and the natural world, striving to deepen our understanding of the world through sound.

Tell us a bit about Ludus Music

Ludus is a small portal into my personal sound work. Everything from DJing, production and sound design. It’s constantly evolving and keeping my mind busy in what feels like a whole different realm to everyday life.

Tell us a bit about your biggest inspirations for your craft

So many Aotearoa artists. I get pretty obsessed with whoever I’m working with at the time.

At the moment I’m looking up hugely to the Mouthfull crew, Keri-Mei Zagrobelna, who is an amazing jeweler and director, and the ACP crew.

Anyone creating and adding to spaces which encourage experimentation and an intimate sense of community is inspiring to me.

Best party tips 

Comfy shoes always!

Best hangover hack 

A cliche but for every drink, have a glass of water. Just do it. A couple hours before you go home, swap drinks out for a litre water bottle and you’ll end up drinking the whole thing in no time just for something to do with your hands. 

I also swear by doing something creative when I get up the next day. Something low physical effort but mentally occupying like playing the piano works a treat. Works while you’re doing it anyway. 

Night out pet peeve 

I had a break from drinking recently and now 2 drinks can wipe me out. As great as it is money wise, it’s a pain in the ass to manage and way too easy to go overboard. 

Night out routine

Getting ready with good tunes is a must, putting the whole wardrobe on the floor, picking 3 things from the pile, putting it all back again.

Favourite music related experience

Opening for Kevin Saunderson was pretty unreal. It was my first big opener and the second time I’d ever used CDJs, but the energy was amazing and everything just flowed perfectly. I am extremely grateful for that experience. 

Top 3 artists / tunes to look out for 

  1. NVT / Logan_olm - WE INSIDE (CULEBRA VIP)
  3. Mohammad Reza Mortazavi, Burnt Friedman - YEK 128-10

What you wish you knew 10 years ago about the music industry 

Not everything is a good opportunity just because it’s presented to you. 

How do you practice safe Sets?

I don’t often get tinnitus, but one night a couple of years ago after playing I couldn’t sleep because of ringing in my ears. 

I’m not sure if it was my headphones being too loud or the speakers, but either way it freaked me out. That was a couple of years ago and I’ve always brought earplugs after that and turned down my headphones when mixing. 

It’s so scary that with so many other practices, there are signs to stop before irreversible damage is made. But with hearing once it's gone it's gone. Say if you start getting RSI from drawing too much, you can rest and rehabilitate before drawing more. 

There are obviously extreme cases of all injuries but I just mean that any hearing loss is permanent.