Friday, December 17, 2010

Eluvium (SCQ's Year-End Questionnaire Part I)

For months I’ve tried in vain to decode Similes’ immersive qualities, what makes it so peacefully conflicted. And although the obvious answer waving to catch my attention - that the record’s emotional tide exists because of Matthew Cooper’s tireless songwriting efforts – is likely true, I preferred to believe that Eluvium’s latest was endowed with a particular set of circumstances (in the listener as much as in the songwriter) that helped it resonate so. After reading Cooper’s back-story for the Similes track ‘Weird Creatures’, however, I can’t kid myself any longer. Matthew Cooper's genius lies in his awareness of every small, earthly significance; realities that are far greater than our daily concerns. (Photo by Munaf Rayani)

SCQ: Every list-lover's favourite question: what are your top albums of 2010? Feel free to include any older yet worthy records you discovered this year.

MC: - i haven't really had much time to listen to new music this year
and it's getting a little overwhelming
but 3 releases have stood out to me thus far
Owen Pallett's "Heartland"
Arp's "The Soft Wave"
and Wild Nothing's "Gemini"
i wouldn't have expected to like something like the Wild Nothing record - but alas - it was in my car stereo for months.

SCQ: What were you listening to a lot of while recording the excellent Similes?

MC: -- i was pretty much exclusively listening to Similes - when i work on something i generally immerse myself in it.

SCQ: Be cocky for once in your life: what was the finest thing you did all year? That moment where you actually thought "shit, I nailed that..."?

MC: i'm not really a big "shit, i nailed that" kind of guy - some chickadees moved into a birdhouse i put up this past spring - i guess i was pretty pleased with myself about that - not sure why, since the birds did most of the work - - i also beat my wife at ping-pong several times over the summer... that was fun - - "finest" thing really translates to a collective of "finer" things for me - which would include reading on the back porch, riding my bike around town, and just generally soaking in the day.

SCQ: Effect and Cause: Over Easter's long-weekend, some friends and I met up in Montreal and I brought Similes, knowing that it would act as an ideal comedown record when we'd need it. Little did I know that we'd end up playing it front-to-back during the most chaotic hour of our weekend, listening carefully as each note unfurled from the speakers. Your record struck a powerful chord in each of us that night. Okay, your turn: confess a true tale that inspired one of the songs on Similes.

MC: -- there is a large tree that towers over everything across the street from my house - while writing Similes - i spent a lot of time sitting on my front porch looking at it. watching it's leaves flutter in the breeze, i would contemplate much so, eventually losing focus of everything -- usually when this happens to humans, depending on the lighting, these things called "floaters" appear in your vision, or rather, we take notice of them - my father is a neuroscientist, his focus on the eye - and i asked him what they were called - when i learned they were just simply called floaters - i was a little disappointed - i think i was perhaps hoping for something more unique and scientific sounding- i then learned that they aren't actually on the eyes but behind them - for some reason i had always assumed that they were little amoeba living on the vitreous humor or something of that sort - at any rate - this is where the song Weird Creatures was born - the moment of contemplation where you go deep, leave everything behind, and these weird creatures appear before you.

SCQ: If all the reasonable and implausible ideas in your head came to fruition in 2011, what would they be?

MC: --maybe humans would become pure energy, but still retain the ability to consider and recognize it
or otherwise - if that doesn't work out
i would release a few eluvium related albums - start a few other projects outside of eluvium,
and travel the world with my wife (while getting to stay in each place for more than a day)
scoring another full length film would be enjoyable also.

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