SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Scott, Ashley

Ashley Scott
from Australia



Interview: 10 questions

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

my parents were musicians so I think I became accustomed to the constant presence and activity of music.

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

I work full-time and practice as a visual artist in addition so I often need to be brutal in finding time to create music. I am both self-taught and formally trained in all these things: media worker, visual artist and musician.

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

I work with computers now – after years as a sound engineer, lighting technician etc. The music work I do intersects with the technologies I use everyday but it is there as an alternative to work: something that remains an activity & knowledge that is intuitive & enlightening for me.

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

The work I’ve submitted here – ‘mfv’ is probably the last I will ever do with the attitude of ‘electroacoustic’ art music. For me this means something that is self-sufficient as a musical work that – in a tradition of art music – it is meant to to maintain it’s identity no matter where & how it’s performed or experienced. This is important from the point of view that such a work might render itself immune to use as the music for a Nike commercial.

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

In terms of the audio technology involved in making work I have made the trek from analogue studio to hardware to computers to my own software & back again. I don’t think I’m at all unique in having followed this route. My pride & joy now is an MPC1000 sampler.

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

Where I live – in Sydney, Australia – there is an vibrant new media, live-art & music scene that exists at a grassroots level – self-financed & organised by the artists. This is in contradiction to the officially & corporate-supported culture & media which is exceptionally sterile & boring.

7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

Everything I do is self-funded – this has the drawback of taking up a great deal of time. The key is to not losing sight of ideas, to keep producing & showing work even at a quite slow rate.

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 almost always work & perform alone. It’s a hard thing to start up some kind of collaboration – I’m very open to the idea but it’s not something that arises for me very often.

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

It’s a huge benefit to have gone through studying & really listening to 20th century composed music – one could say the same about folk music too – and early Western music. It changes how you think & hear forever really.

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

I will be performing a number of times this year under the identity of ‘catfingers’ – mostly at small art galleries – performing works with a hardware sampler which draw something from the sound world like that of ‘mfv’ but are probably far more accessible. I expect that things will continue very much as they are now, although I’d like to perform more often.