Monday, October 6, 2008

Artist Statement

For many years I have denied my love of artistic audio editing in favor of more practical endeavourers. This is not to say my previous work did not contain certain sound sculpting qualities, but producing radio documentaries and features only allows so much room for creative editing. My portfolio of these radio programs transcended their initial function or education and entertainment and became sound sculpted narratives.

I began my journey into sound in Fort Worth, Texas. It was here that I first discovered my love of music and was introduced to editing and manipulating audio. I moved to London in the mid 90’s to work on my undergraduate degree. I was introduced to an album that changed the way I thought not only of music, but what could be done with sound.

‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’ is an album recorded entirely of samples. By today’ standards this might not mean much. Most albums, especially electronic/dance records are comprised entirely of samples. But in 1981, they were not.

What set this album apart was how this album was recorded. The content was good, but the recording process was great! The album was created entirely from found sounds. Tape loops contained pre-recorded sounds that were sampled and played back as specific parts of each track. This had never been before.

I was inspired to learn how records were made. I wanted to record and sculpt sound. I wanted to record a door and a tin and manipulate the sounds so they became a drum kit.

I finished my degree and began working in recording studios in London. My love of music exploded as I began referencing recording techniques on a variety of albums. My ears were beginning to change and I heard music in a different way.

As I moved through the studio system, I was getting deeper into music. I became in the stories behind the recording process. I know how records were made, but not I want to find out why. Recording studio would never be able to do that.

As my record collection grew, I noticed that certain records fit together. They were the same label, had a similar sound or were just an incredible body of work from a particular artist. I wanted to tell the story of these albums.

When the BBC launched 6Music I found my home. My love of audio and music were combined. It was here I began making radio documentaries. My collection was exploding and I found myself with many records from the label 4AD. The music was incredible, but the record covers were unlike anything I had seen before! 4AD and more specifically the work of Vaughn Oliver became my new inspiration.

Maybe it was due to the lack of open doors or maybe I wasn’t done with my radio work yet or maybe it just wasn’t the right time to fully explore my love of sound and vision.

I became a freelance radio journalist and in 2005 I found myself living in Brooklyn. My interests had moved beyond documenting bands and scenes. My features and documentaries were encompassing more arts and culture. I was growing, but my heart just wasn’t in it. I would labor over features and documentaries sculpting sounds and creating narratives. My editors did not share my love of sound. I began to feel as thought my sound sculputes were falling on deaf ears.

In 2008 it looked like I would forever be stuck in a rut of producing boring radio features. I have too much passion for sound and my love of visuals was growing on a daily basis. I wanted to find a way to combine my love of sound with my growing desire to work in a visual based medium.

I can no longer deny my heart and soul. I must find a way to express my love for sound and vision in a beautiful way. At 33 years of age, I feel as if my life is about to begin.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So you are never going to get married and other lies

Another week and more lies. This one is a bit bigger than “I’m not going to ever play video games”. This one is huge and life changing. “I’m not ever going to get married”. What can I say? I suppose I always knew, but never thought it was possible. Then I met Annie. She destroyed my old life and made me realize I am to become the man I am meant to be. Without her, I doubt very much I would even be here writing this blog (no, I still don’t enjoy them)

It seems to me, this year has been all about self-exploration and really looking at who I am and what I want my life to be.

I know I love Annie and want to be with her forever. So, I am getting married. I also love art. So, I am going to declare myself an artist.

This is what I am going to do with my life. No more radio journalist, no more radio presenter or producer. No more musicology and defiantly no more real estate. I have always been an artist, but I have never thought of myself as one. Until now, I didn’t know what I was. I was just me. I did lots of different things, but I didn’t know how everything fit together. This is what I want. This makes sense. This is my future and the future is now!

Artist statement next week