SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Bolte, Jason

Jason Bolte
US sound artist


Interview:10 questions

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

I started making music when I was around twelve years old. Like many American Midwestern kids, I started learning an instrument in grade school band, in my case, the trumpet. But before my formal music education, I was surrounded by music at home. My father played in several country-western bands when I was growing up and I remember listening to him and the band practice (I never saw him play at gig. I was a little young to go to a tavern.)

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

Well… to take a little different slant on this one… When talking about my music education, I have to credit Cleve Scott (Emeritus Professor at Ball State University) for opening my ears to the possibilities of electroacoustic composition. Without his guidance and mentoring, I would have taken a completely different road.

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

Yes, music is my profession. Along with being a composer and performer, I also teach music technology, composition, and theory at the University Central of Missouri.

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

I usually start out with some sort of overarching idea about what the piece will be about or what I plan on exploring in the work. This idea could influence what sounds I use, form, structure, pitch content, etc… I have a tendency not to do a lot of precompositional thought… just get the basic idea and go and see what happens. This may not be the most economical way to proceed, but in general it seems to work for me.

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

There is not a lot of fancy technology going on in my music. In my electroacoustic music I tend to use field-recorded sounds as the basis for my work with little or no synthesis. I also use freeware processing software while composing. In my instrument and electronics works, lately I have been using MAX/MSP, although I have use Kyma in the past.

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

Pretty good, I hope.

7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

Right now my teaching job is fulfilling my music financing needs. I do have to thank my wife for the years of financial support while I was studying at the university. I have also been working with a local group: Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance ( Over the past several of years, we have been putting together some wonderful electronic music and art events around the city.

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?

Most of the time I work as a solitary composer. I have been involved with a few collaborations and would be interested in dong more.

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

This question is a little difficult… I’m not exactly sure if I could point to just one group, composer, or style that has influenced me.

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

Continue making music

out of competition:
Can works of yours experienced online besides on SoundLAB? Where?
List some links & resources