SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Ayers, Sara

Sara Ayers

  • artist biography
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    Interview: 10 questions

    1. When did you start making music, what is/was your motivation to do it?

    I started singing as a child and I’ve never stopped. I’ve always liked the way singing feels – physically and emotionally. Also, I like to make noise, and there’s something about the human voice that entices people to pay attention.

    2. Tell me something about your living environment and the musical education.

    I studied music in grade school but after that I went my own way. I listen to any and everything, sometimes not for very long, but I try to listen long enough to at least discern why someone created it. It’s important to keep your ears open. No one creates music in a vacuum; it’s always synthesized within a cultural framework and if you’re unaware of how that culture is changing, you’re just re-making old music.

    3. Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music nowadays?

    I make about a third of my income from music – teaching and software consulting make up the rest. Music is something I have done and will always do, regardless of whether there’s a financial payback. It’s an obsession – the way I define and control the world. I’ve even tried to stop a few times but I eventually I always come back for more.

    4. How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?

    It varies – sometimes I start with a detailed composition already mapped out in my mind; other times I simply experiment with sounds and wait for an fortuitous accident. I find that as a general rule, the more restrictions you place on a composition, the more interesting the result will be.

    5. Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?

    I record my voice digitally onto my computer hard drive. Once I have some vocal samples, I manipulate them, again digitally, to create a collage of sounds. It’s more akin to visual art. such as painting and collage, than to traditional recording techniques.

    6. What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general and you personally?

    The music I create would be difficult, if not impossible, to produce on an analog system. The flexibility of digital systems means that even though music is experienced in a linear fashion, it needn’t be created that way.

    7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

    My motto is “keep it in the realm of the possible.” I don’t like to write grants, so my projects are done on a small budget.

    8. Do you work individually as a musician/soundartist or in a group or collaborative? If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

    I prefer to work alone when I’m recording; it’s much faster and easier for me than trying to communicate with one or more collaborators. I sometimes work with other musicians in live performance situations. Working in a group, I’m exposed to new, sometimes brilliant, ideas that I would never have thought of.

    9. Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?

    New music is the result of combining and re-combining existing musical ideas in new ways, an evolution of musical DNA. Everything I hear influences me.

    10. What are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist or musician?

    I simply wish to continue what I’m doing. Digital recording gives me the ability to create and record my work. The Internet allows people to hear it. All my dreams have come true.

    11. Can works of yours experienced online besides on SoundLAB? Where? List some links & resources