Groundislava: Synth Symphonies and Digital Dreamscapes | KCET
Groundislava: Synth Symphonies and Digital Dreamscapes
In partnership with Friends of Friends, a record label and creative marketing hub based in Los Angeles linking like minded artists, labels, brands and media outlets in unique and forward thinking ways.
The airy, minimalist sounds of Venice Beach-raised Groundislava, aka Jasper Patterson are laptop jams at their best. Digital textures flow alongside, lushly orchestrated sine-wave sweeps; further proving that electronic artists aren't just musicians, they're composers, laying down beats and synthetic symphonies one note at a time. He grew up a video game fiend, and their 8-bit, bloop-bleeping soundtracks, interweave into his songs. Game composers scored adventures, encapsulating emotions in just the few tones possible in the caveman days of gaming. Amid these constraints, they found freedom; the way that haikus grow within the rigid structure of syllables. Groundislava does the same; he creates simplicity, in a world of infinite possibility.
We recently caught up with Groundislava to talk about his oceanside stomping grounds and the intricacies of composing via computer.
How did growing up in Venice influence the way you learned to play music?
It's a very art and music kind of neighborhood. It didn't teach me about my craft so much as set the tone that it was acceptable and normal to focus on creativity over other things. A lot of my friends had parents that were studio musicians or music teachers, artists, etc. I never thought of this as anything but average - probably the reason why I never thought twice about putting my musical "hobby" in high school before all my other school work.
What art forms outside of music influence the way you make music?
When I was younger, I always had illustration and comic book-style art on my mind. If were to peer inside any of my notebooks, middle through high school you'd find every margin filled with characters and explosions, guns and writing and shit. Just like visual throw up on every possible surface. At a certain point I found myself getting my ideas across better through my side hobby, music, and just changed my focus. Now I find myself really influenced by film and video games -- not so much the sound work, although that is a big part, but more the atmospheric qualities these mediums can invoke. I seek to create these same sorts of environments in my music -- specific elements that invoke tension, tranquility, etc.
What is your songwriting process like?
I get ideas and stuff during the day, when I'm walking around, driving around. I sit at a keyboard at least once a day. I've got them set up all around my computer. Each one has different qualities that change the workflow and therefore the songwriting process -- some of them can only play one note at a time, others are tiny and sound like toys, some sound wide and lush, and of course there's the computer which can basically do its own version of any of these sounds. From there I start working on melody. This is the first and most important part of the process for most of my songs. For most of work, my process centered around the computer, with any sort of hardware supplementing that. Right now I'm working to shift my process to favor hardware. I've found the tangible and hands-on quality of working with hardware to be very inspiring and enjoyable.
How does electronic composing differ than traditional music composing in regards to process?
It all depends on how the user approaches and uses the software, and I think this is the biggest part that makes it unique. Of course, there are different ways to approach real instruments, musical notation, etc, but the number of ways in which you can approach software like Ableton live, Reason, or Logic is infinite. You can cobble together real music with no knowledge of theory, structure, etc. If you're willing to put the time in, you can really create anything.
When do you feel most creative?
I often make stuff right when I wake up. There isn't much going on in my head yet. This isn't necessarily the most productive time, but definitely one of the most creative.
How do you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
This is one of most difficult things for a lot of electronic music makers right now. I have really stopped trying to describe it when people ask. I make stuff that can fall into so many genres, too, so I really feel like I limit myself by trying to put a few broad keywords on top of my music.
What is the perfect environment to listen to you music?
I like the way it sounds in the car, on the freeway (sans traffic).
The Yurok people care for all of their family members, and their kin — including condors and salmon — reciprocate the care.
Astrophysicist Andrea Ghez, user experience designer Evan Sullivan, and choreographer Kyle Abraham talked about everything from what it means to be creative to how we can overcome creative fears.
Places like Taylor Yard give us a window to explore ways to balance the city's critical needs for green space, livable space and climate change strategies.
A Q&A will immediately follow the screening with actor Susan Kelechi Watson and production designer Jade Healy.
- 1 of 220
- next ›
From the typeface of “The Godfather” book cover to the Noguchi table, the influence of Japanese American artists and designers in postwar American art and design is unparalleled. Learn how the World War II incarceration affected their lives and creations.
"Artbound" looks at the dinnerware of Heath Ceramics and a design that has stood the test of time since the company began in the late 1940’s.
Inspired by Oaxacan traditions, Dia de Los Muertos was brought to L.A. in the '70s as a way to enrich and reclaim Chicano identity. It has since grown in proportions and is celebrated around the world.
Gospel music would not be what it is today if not for the impact left by Los Angeles in the late 60’s and early 70’s, a time defined by political movements across the country.
A behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary art world through the eyes of a legendary art dealer and curator, Jeffrey Deitch.
- 1 of 11
- next ›