SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Cantrell, Joe Leo

Joe Leo Cantrall
US artist



Interview: 10 questions

1. When did you start making music, what is/was your motivation to do it?
I have always been surrounded with music and sound. One of my fondest memories growing up was when I found a piece of my father’s electronic test equipment in our garage and found that it reacted to radio frequencies and spent hours making it shriek and howl.

2. Tell me something about your living environment and the musical education.
I currently live in Montecito Heights, California, a region in the Los Angeles area.
I studied classical guitar at California State University, Northridge, and most recently, Multifocus Music technology at the California Institute of the Arts.

3.Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music nowadays?
I currently work freelance as a Creative Research Specialist for a large exhibit and environmental design house. I also do graphic design for several record labels. Music informs almost all of my artist practice, which ranges from sound art installations to electro acoustic music performance and recording.

4. How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?
My inspiration comes from varied sources. An overlooked sound source: an antiquated technology: an observation about interactions surrounding the music making and distribution process: these have all been subject for conceptual pieces and compositions. Whatever the impetus, I try to imbue a sense of social context in my work, while never losing sight of the ultimate musicality of the end product.

5. Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?
I use a variety of traditional instruments like guitar and bass, as well as non-traditional acoustic instruments like my home-made drone machine fashioned from a recycled accordion. I typically use some sort of computer processing and arrange everything in a digital audio workstation. Software I have used in the past includes Max/MSP, Live, ChucK, Reason, and FL Studio.

6. What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general and you personally?
Although I enjoy a healthy skepticism of using new technology for the sake of its novelty, technology plays a large role in my practice, so I imagine I will continue use a goodly amount of it.

7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?
My productions are largely self produced and financed except where funding is available through a grant or award.

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 have done both collaborate and solo work and there are positive and negative aspects to each. When you are working with others, you can have a wealth of ideas that may not have occurred to you, as well as a forum to receive feedback for your concepts. When working alone, you do not have the aforementioned, but you also avoid the pitfalls of artistic disagreements.

9. Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?
There are too many to list here. I think that inspiration does not have to be limited to notions of style and composer but can be received constantly from natural continuously occurring processes that surround us in our daily lives.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist or musician?
I plan to continue and expand my practice to include other mediums such as interactive environments and video production as well as sound compositions and installations.

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

An online demonstration of project can be found at : on the projects link and the sound link as well.