15 Mar Melodical Musings: Makeup and Vanity Set
Connecting design with music has been an old tradition from days gone by, We have the ability has nothing but love for the melodical, particularly of the synthwave kind. What better way to get to know more about music than to get in touch with some of the great artists responsible for producing it.
Known for his exceptional production skills on various independent film and video game soundtracks or just his own epic filled records, This producer is truly a pioneer of his craft, we are pleased to welcome to our first Melodical Musings; Makeup and Vanity Set:
Describe what you want your music to do others?
All of the records have some sort of emotional vantage point; the truest thing would be to say that I would want people to connect to that.
When was the exact moment that sparked the thought that music was the direction for your career?
When I was a kid I used to make tapes of the themes of the cartoons I used to watch or movies that I liked. I think something about music, especially film music, always resonated with me. The decision to make music came very early on. I never made music thinking that I’d do that as a full time thing, the business/career end of that came much later on. I remember hearing “Journey to Reedham” by Squarepusher – probably in the 6th grade, it was like dumping the puzzle pieces out onto the table for the first time. I had no idea how that music could exist.
What influences in your life contribute to your creative process?
I’ve got two kids now they influence me a lot. I listen to music with them pretty constantly, seeing them react to art is pretty amazing or how they react to my music. Having kids re-orients all of your priorities. The toughest thing is balancing the work – if the material is informed by something difficult or painful, it’s harder now to stay rooted in that for long periods of time. It took nearly two years to make a record like “Wilderness”, I couldn’t do that now, I don’t think, I’d lose my mind I work faster now, as a default.
What is it about this particular music genre that keeps you inspired to create more?
I’ve always connected with synthesizers; they’ve always had a deep appeal to me because the ways to create with them are virtually endless. I think loads of kids get exposed to music in grade school in the form of some band instrument which is important but it’s such a limited explanation of what’s out there; very early on someone explained to me that the most basic waveform is a sine wave, and that the human voice is the sum of many sine waves, and so on. I think all music is endlessly fascinating because of this – it’s an objective and subjective process. When I make music with a synthesizer, it feels like I’m letting something claw it’s way into life, the process of that is more inspiring than any of the nostalgia.
Who in the genre at the moment do you think is nailing it?
Dallas Campbell. Steve Moore. I was a big fan of Mac Quayle’s work on “Mr. Robot”. Clark’s score for “The Last Panthers” was really special. I think the idea of synthwave as a genre tends to be a little too sheltered. the reach has to push beyond chrome block type and deloreans and all of that. there’s more arpeggiation in Baroque music than there is in 80s music.
Do you think commercial success is a positive thing or do you think keeping it under the radar keeps the artist aspect of the music?
I think the key is to create a work flow that keeps you out of that loop. I don’t give much thought to that stuff when I’m working, I’ve fallen into traps where I’ll start sending out work in progress for feedback and that feedback because a point of validation. Whether there is success or not, it’s more important not to poison the well. During the day when I’m working, I don’t scan my email or soundcloud or whatever, I leave my phone in another room I have to be cut off from the other stuff.
What song would you consider to be your life theme?
John Tavener’s – Funeral Canticle