SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Callard, Andrea

Andrea Callard
from USA

artist biography


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

When I was about ten, I joined a school choir. We started everyday singing together for about an hour and it felt very good. The leader, Virginia Schoeff was inspired and highly generative in our community.

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

My father woke us up by blasting classical music throughout the house. My grandfather and my sister played the flute. When I became a soloist in the choir, I had vocal lessons with Dr. Campbell at Ball State University. Later I went to high school at Kingswood School Cranbrook near Detroit where I listened to very fine chamber concerts and the traveling company of the Met Opera and the MC5 played for our dance parties. Motown in 1968 was really fun. I found out about John Cage in St. Louis around 1970.

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

I collect and edit field recordings and make photographs and draw and write and collaborate with sound artists and musicians and video makers and other people. I am musical and I get paid for creative work but introduce myself as an artist.

4. How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?
I record what calls my attention and edit with intuition and the principles of composition that are common to visual art and music: repetition, overlap, relative size or volume, etc.

5. Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?
I use simple technical strategies that are accessible…we could say “Sony prosumer.”

6. What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general and you personally?
I like to set up a weekly rhythm of “chances,” ways I collect and play with something and send it out as what Katy Martin calls “a new piece of poetry.”

7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?
It is worth writing budgets and business plans and asking for support.

8. Do you work individually as a musician/soundartist or in a group or collaborative?
both…I work alone and/or with several friends and also with the New York Society for Acoustic Ecology.

9. Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?
There are so many wonderful people working now and also good ones that I already mentioned ….years ago Harry Parch and Nonesuch recordings were good to know about. My friendship with Reese Williams was nourishing. He had worked for Don Buchla, bought one of his synthesizers and made a group of compositions with it.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist or musician?
I like to make a sound piece, a text, and a video piece each year.