How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
I think they feed each other. I look at both processes as a form of creating.
How do you see the relationship between sound, space and composition and what are some of your strategies and approaches of working with them?
I think they all inform each other. I haven’t experienced anything like “writers block” before. I feel like I'm able to approach composition from multiple angles be it writing to paper, or recording ideas to tape or sampler or computer, in any space. And one of the most beautiful things about sound is that it is an unlimited resource. It is everywhere and can be organized in any way.
What's your perspective on the relationship between music and other forms of art – painting, video art and cinema, for example – and for you and your work, how does music relate to other senses than hearing alone?
I think music and other art forms are entirely connected. I can be inspired by a panting or a sculpture or a film just as easily as I can be inspired by a piece of music. Some of the best musicians and artists I know are adept at both practices. I’m not sure how my music relates to other senses. I think it is kind of up to the listener to discover it and figure out how or if it fits into their environment.
What's your view on the role and function of music as well as the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today – and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?
I not a super political person but I do have issues with the way many facets of society are being controlled by multinationals and government. My response to this has been to try and remove myself from the system. Not necessarily from society but the system ems that have an increasingly tighter grip on the way people can function in society. Four years ago I moved from the oil capital, of Canada, Calgary Alberta, to live rurally on 6 acres of land in the province of nova Scotia. It is the goal of my wife and me to become increasingly more self sufficient as a family and as a community. This has changed my artistic approach by imposing more limitations on my artistic process which in turn has made me a better artist, I think. Because I live in a small community I feel more connected to how the community functions which is kind of empowering. I love that I'm not bombarded with advertising at every turn, that shit sucks.
Listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?
This might sound self indulgent but I don’t really consider the listener when I’m creating, I just make or channel whatever needs to come out. I guess the role of the listener is to consume, digest, and reflect what they hear - or not. Sometime they are just by standards. And they can participate if they want to.
Reaching audiences usually involves reaching out to the press and possibly working with a PR company. What's your perspective on the promo system? In which way do music journalism and PR companies change the way music is perceived by the public?
Now in music it seems as though sometimes there is a secret hand shake that people need to know in order to get themselves heard. Sometimes it seems like the whole thing is run by rich white kids, much like government. In Canada there is a government funding agency called factor, that funds a lot of pretty mediocre stuff. Because this mediocrity is so well funded it has a chance to bubble to the top and be heard first thus changing the perception of the public first, which is making “indie” music, in Canada any ways, pretty watered down. There is a lot of really good stuff as well. I try not to think about all of that stuff to much. I just make stuff and send it out into the world, and keep doing it over and over again. At this point I've been doing this for awhile and know some good people. So I guess it comes down to who you know but I like to think that its what you know and what you do that leads you to who you know.
Do you have a musical vision that you haven't been able to realise for technical or financial reasons – or an idea of what music itself could be beyond its current form?
I’m a true believer in using what you have. I have found that the financial limitations I have had since moving to Nova Scotia have been incredibly beneficial for my creative process. I have had to use new creative ways to use the tools and instruments that I have. There will always be things that will be on my wish list but they definitely don’t control the creative output or vision.
Find out more about JOYFULTALK on Drip Audio Soundcloud page.