The relationship between music and other forms of art – painting, video art and cinema most importantly - has become increasingly important. How do you see this relationship yourself and in how far, do you feel, does music relate to other senses than hearing alone?
I’m a very visual person and often I try to score what I see in my mind or something inspired by a moving image, experience, photograph, words or painting. I would extend it to philosophy and spirituality as well. It’s all up there bouncing around and informing.
There seem to be two fundamental tendencies in music today: On the one hand, a move towards complete virtualisation, where tracks and albums are merely released as digital files. And, on the other, an even closer union between music, artwork, packaging and physical presentation. Where do you stand between these poles?
I run a vinyl record label called Hundred Pockets Records. I love the sound, packaging and physical presentation. Digital media is convenient and I use it often but I perceive it as disposable and impermanent. If available, I always try and get a vinyl copy of records I love.
The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?
For me it is all about free thought and actions. Everyone is trying to say something; some of us more forcibly and consciously than others, and my thing is about preserving free will and thought. AND maybe there is some sketchy shit being perpetrated on the people of this world and we are a bit too trusting in law, authority and its hidden architects.
Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?
I think its great that affordable technology exists to create and access music. Unfortunately, this has created such an abundance of media that it’s easy to discard something before one even gives it full consideration.
I value the times when I searched out and purchased a record, listened to it, totally hated it and then out of anger towards the record and buyers remorse, forced myself to listen to it again only to discover that I loved it. When I find myself skipping through the 45 second preview of a track I’ve never heard I feel like such a jerk and yet there is so much junk to sift through these days.
How, would you say, could non-mainstream forms of music reach wider audiences?
Invest money in expanding the consciousness of humanity? I’m sorry to observe that a certain percentage of the population appears to consume only what is flashed most often into their brains. If the music you make necessitates a probing listener, you should seek those listeners through all means possible.
Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But 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?
The ideal listener would be one who is open to considering everything and at the same time, discerning, critical and emotional.
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?
It’s a necessary evil. The more money you invest, the more minds you can influence. The most influential, in numbers anyway, seem to have the least amount of integrity. So it goes.
Visit Christopher Hoffman online at christopherhoffman.com