Name: Andrew PM Hunt (AKA Dialect)
Occupation: Sound artist
Current Release: Under~Between on RVNG Intl’
Recommendations: Mutual Causality in Buddhism and Systems Theory by Joanna Macy / Technic & Magic by Federico Campagna, which makes a case for an ontology based on poetry and ambiguity rather than binary logic, I found it very inspiring and surprisingly easy to read.
Visit www.andrewpmhunt.com for news of current projects and blog posts.
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
I was pretty instantly drawn to music-making, I was definitely doing the whole banging on pots and pans thing and making stuff up on the piano from a pretty early age. Both my parents are musicians and I grew up playing music with my brother, playing in bands and exploring recording fun little things together. In our early teens, we discovered stoner rock and that sort of opened up a huge area of psychedelic music. I can barely listen to most of that stuff now but it opened a door and I’m still exploring. I think it’s just the pure thing of being able to create a new feeling or sparking a sense of wonder that attracts me to it all. Why does this chord or that sound make me sense reality differently?
For most artists, originality is preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you: How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice?
Endlessly trying things and moving on from what doesn’t continue to feel right over time. I have made so much bad music :~) Eventually you learn to trust your instincts but also to question them. For me it’s not necessarily about creating some ‘signature sound’ but just living a life through music and sharing that changing perspective.
How do you feel your sense of identity influences your creativity?
I’d say my sense of identity is pretty bound up with being creative so it’s hard to separate the two. I feel pretty connected to being from the North of England and to a certain kind of psychedelic melancholy. :~)
What were your main creative challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time?
When I was starting out making recordings as a teenager, the challenge was always creating a convincing atmosphere. Like…the notes are all right but why doesn’t it have that seductive sound that a ‘proper’ record has…Over time you learn how to put sounds into a space together, create a mis-en-scene - arrangement basically. These days the challenge is how to move from release to release. Your sensibility can evolve quickly but the challenge is about making compelling connections between each step.
As creative goals and technical abilities change, so does the need for different tools of expression, be it instruments, software tools or recording equipment. Can you describe this path for you, starting from your first studio/first instrument? What motivated some of the choices you made in terms of instruments/tools/equipment over the years?
My first instrument was the drums, I started playing when I was around 10 and continued right through to my early twenties playing in loads of bands with my brother. I guess when you’re playing in bands you inevitably get into recording. Me and my brother had a Tascam 4-track when we were teenagers and we’d experiment with recording all kinds of stuff, sort of psychy classic rock, gradually getting weirder and more over-dubby over the years :)
Working in a DAW obviously opened things up enormously but I came to that comparatively late I guess? Maybe 23/24. Then gradually getting more into techie, hacky software bits. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been using Arudino to make my own controllers that respond to different positions and gestures which opened up a different dimension to what I was doing.
Have there been technologies or instruments which have profoundly changed or even questioned the way you make music?
I guess ultimately just the computer. It’s impossible to ignore what a big role it plays in mediating my creativity now in comparison to even 10 years ago. Just the way it visualises time is kind of profound in itself. I don’t know if time moved from left to right before Ableton. Did it? I guess it does on notated music but I never really got into that.
Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?
Collaboration was a big part of the making of Under~Between, both working with the ensemble but also players from Liverpool’s improvised music community and beyond. I’ve also been living in various big shared houses with other creative people for most of the past 10 years and so a sense of creative community and pooling of ideas has always been a big part of my life. I play in a band called Raft of Trash and a duo called Land Trance with Ben from Ex Easter Island Head and we are constantly exchanging ideas, or having big discussions with my housemates after watching a movie etc. I really value this.