EndTitles meet the artist for a quick online chat.
ET: Colin, you are a painter and musician. How do your works influence each other?
CMD: More than anything, music keeps me painting, it’s what drives me to pick up my brush and keep working. I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve been failing my way through a painting that is finally saved when some tune fills me with a wiked energy and gives me the confidence to find a novel solution. On the other hand, I think that painting has taught me to better understand my creativity. It showed me the benefits of seeing itas an engagement with my tools, rather than a process where I use tools to depict something that I hold in my mind. Not sure how clear that distinction is, but I guess at one point I thought that a composer/producer needed to have some kind of complete understanding of their compositions – like a perfect mental map of what was happening. Since I never had that map, I thought I had no potential. I think that painting taught me how to better get away from myself and accept that the tools have their own will. I suppose that once the track (or painting) is half-finished, it becomes the primary tool itself, and hopefully carries me away to some conclusion that I didn’t anticipate.
ET: What is your new album «PHEVES» about? What was your instrumental approach for the album?
CMD: The idea with most of these tracks was to try to make something interesting with as little as possible. At the beginning, it was by necessity, because I simply didn’t have much to work with. But even after I had collected a nice pile of gear, I kept making these minimal pieces with just one or two synths and some fx. Actually, it became a way that I acquaint myself with new gear.
ET: Tell us more about your idea of building a residency for musicians?
CMD: It’s premature to be promoting this, but talking about it is a good way to feel out the interest and get some ideas moving. My plan (fantasy?) is simple, I want to give musicians and sound artists a chance to work in a studio in the remote wilderness of Canada’s Yukon, where I typically spend my summers. I am presently building a small, semi-mobile studio/living space which I intend to fill with synths and recording gear, then park it out on a beautiful piece of land my father owns. Artists will need to make the long journey to the north, and accept the rustic living which is necessitated by the limited amenities.
ET: Best loved hardware vs. Best loved software?
CMD: Best loved HW and SW are whatever I’m using at the moment. I haven’t been using software much lately, but hope to get back to it one day. Yamaha v50 is probably my most-used older keyboard. AlphaJ sees lots of action, too. I have a few of the new, affordable analogs which are very good. I always wanted modulars, and had an Elektor for a short while ages ago, but had to sell it to pay rent. Euroracks exploded shortly thereafter, but honestly, they’ve always been beyond my budget, so I never had any. Instead, I decided to invest way more and develop my own modular format, which is slowly making its way off the work bench and into my music studio.
ET: Thank you, Colin.