Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Loscil (SCQ's Year-End Questionnaire Part III)

Scott Morgan hardly requires an introduction at this stage of his career; with a number of singular electronic albums under his belt, including this year’s Endless Falls, Loscil remains an elusive talent forging new territory. As the following interview argues, however, Morgan still hasn’t found “that moment”; the sound that will complete – and thus likely end - his musical vision. Although his points of view regarding Loscil’s recording process and 2010’s best albums are fascinating, I wish I’d asked him a few extra questions about beer. If you follow Morgan on Twitter, you should know that he’s quite the connoisseur.

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.

SM: Landings - Richard Skelton - only learned of Richard's works this year. Bought Landings and really enjoyed every minute of it.
Ritual - Solo Andata - I love what these guys do. Haunting, textural soundscapes. This is a great follow up to their 12K release.
The Art of Dying Alone - bvdub - a rich, moody record. Beautiful.
The North Bend - Rafael Anton Irisarri - a fellow Cascadian and incredibly talented composer.
Monocoastal - Marcus Fischer - another fellow Cascadian from Portland who's blog is ultra-inspiring and who's 12K release is really good.
The Effective Disconnect - Brian McBride - label-mate and old pal Brian with another brilliant creation. This time in soundtrack form honouring bees. Brilliant.
Shoals - Taylor Deupree - this record made some positive impressions on me mostly for its sound palette comprised of a lot of Gamelan samples... I studied Gamelan while in University so I have a soft spot for these sounds.
The Road (Soundtrack) - Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - I love what these guys do when they get together to do soundtracks. Clean, transparent and beautifully simple recordings with a lot of emotional depth.
Double Sextet / 2x5 - Steve Reich - Classic Reich. the eighth blackbird performance is so tight.

SCQ: What were you listening to a lot of while recording your excellent album Endless Falls?

SM: Nothing. I tend to go into hibernation when working on a record and don't really explore other music. I like to do that in bursts when I'm not working on things. It's about balancing input and output I suppose. Plus, when you spend that much time actively listening to something, it is a good idea to give the ears a rest.

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..."?

SM: Seriously, I don't think in those terms with music. Honestly, I am rarely satisfied with my creative output. That is what drives me to continue. I am self-critical and cannot stand listening to my own work once it has been released due to the pain it causes me not to be able to change any of it. I don't think I have ever thought to myself "I nailed that" regarding music. I do enjoy the process of searching for that moment but I've never achieved it and I suspect that if I do I will quit.

SCQ: Effect and Cause: Released on the cusp of Spring, I welcomed songs like 'Fern And Robin' into my life no differently than the season itself, taking it on longwinded detours through the drizzle of my new Ottawa neighbourhood. Okay, your turn: confess a true tale that inspired one of the songs from Endless Falls.

SM: Well, Fern and Robin is a good place to start. Those are my daughters' middle names (their first names being Sadie and Clara). They are a big inspiration to me. They bubble with creative spirit and as you might already know, Sadie is responsible for all the photos used on the Endless Falls cover. So I get a lot of inspiration from them.

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

SM: I would be living with my family on a hobby farm in rural BC separated from the need to be employed, living half off the land and half off the meagre income I get from music. I would brew beer and write music. I would fly to Prague to record with an orchestra and make a new record from it and then I would make waffles for my kids for breakfast. That last one is not that implausible I suppose.

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