This is the second in a new series of interviews where one artist interviews another, five questions each. Lately i’ve been hearing daily interviews and I’ve noticed too many similar questions keep coming up again and again. I’m hoping that the artist/artist format can give readers a better idea of what’s on the artist’s minds. I’ve also asked each artist to pick two songs which they’ve been listening to, all of which are posted above.
LOSCIL INTERVIEWING LUSINE
LOSCIL: If the world lost electricity tomorrow, would you continue to make music and how?
LUSINE: I would for sure. I used to plink around on the piano quite a lot. But, I’m not great at trying to come up with musical concepts before I mess with samples first, so it would be a challenge to write. And I think it would force me to collaborate a lot more, something I’m not always great at.
LOSCIL: Being a resident of the Republic of Cascadia, how (if at all) has this place influenced your music?
LUSINE: I love it up here. I think it’s nice to write music when it’s rainy outside, and it’s also a great place to escape the studio and go on a quick hike. As much as I love the big city, being in Seattle gives you a nice balance between the urban and natural settings.
LOSCIL: I’ve not heard any of your soundtrack work but I would really love to know more about this as I’m a big fan of soundtracks in general. How does your approach to music change when you work on soundtracks?
LUSINE: It changes in the sense that I’m not really making the music for myself. It’s nice to take direction and have a clear focus on what sound the director wants. And it forces me outside of my own set style limitations. It’s a good way to learn how to write different music and use instrumentation I normally wouldn’t use. But, I like to be able to balance that with the total freedom of making my own music, so I can take what I learned and apply it to my own music.
LOSCIL: Assuming music is your first love, what form of art is second closest to your heart either as a maker or appreciator?
LUSINE: Film. I am a slight bit of a nerd when it comes to movies, and maybe a bit too critical (or so my friends seem to think). But, it’s definitely my first outlet when I am wanting to think critically about an artform that I’m not completely invested in (although that has been changing over the years).
LOSCIL: What is your favourite sound and why?
LUSINE: My favorite sound?? When all is said and done, it’s probably the sound of laughter.
LUSINE INTERVIEWING LOSCIL
LUSINE: I think that maybe I hear a lot of ebow in your later releases. Regardless, it inspired me to get an ebow myself.Do you write any of your music on the guitar first, before layering it with electronic sounds?
LOSCIL: I didn’t play the ebow parts on Plume, they were played by my best friend Steve Wood and my lovely lady Krista Marshall. Despite being a guitarist, I seldom use the guitar in the creation of loscil music. Motoc is an exception. The main chord progression on that was created on the guitar and the pads are formed out of samples from those chords recorded on a classical guitar.
LUSINE: I still kind of have gearlust, despite that fact that a lot of the things I’m interested in probably won’t change my music all that much. Do you still have instruments or equipment that you would like to add to your studio?
LOSCIL: It’s funny because although I too love gear, I’ve always been a bit of an economist (read cheapskate) in this department. For years as a drummer, I didn’t own my own drums. But every now and then I certainly succumb to the desire to own some special piece of gear. The Monome is up there on my list.
LUSINE: Does making sounds for video games give you any ideas that you can use in your solo work?
LOSCIL: Sometimes. The fortunate thing about my day job is I’m always practicing and honing my sound design and composition skills. It is a real joy to spend most of my days thinking about sound. On the other hand, I tend to do a lot of the same things at work. It is a job after all. Spending long hours during the day in front of the computer does not bode well for doing the same with my evenings and weekends so it can be a struggle at times to sit down to work on loscil after working on game audio 40+ hours a week.
LUSINE: How long have you lived in Vancouver? What’s your favorite aspect of that city?
LOSCIL: I’ve been here for a little over 20 years now which is hard to believe. Vancouver’s physical beauty is pretty hard to escape. We are surrounded by mountains, forests and oceans and they are all accessible. The population is growing but it is still reasonable. The coffee and beer are good.
LUSINE: Is there any sort of emotional subtext, or something that inspires you to write such hypnotic and fluid music (possibly other artists/artforms past/present?
LOSCIL: If there’s a subtext, it is pretty subconscious. I’m ultimately inspired and motivated by feeling itself. I enjoy the moment I can create a chord progression or a particular texture that speaks to me and feels expressive of something I cannot otherwise express… it’s not something that I can put into words or draw on paper or realize in any other fashion – it is just that gut feeling of something having meaning beyond myself. Ultimately, I’m inspired by many musicians of all sorts but I think it’s that core act of searching for expression that inspires me to continue to make music.