When did you start playing music?
I started playing music on my fisher price record player pretty much as soon as I realized that the colorful plastic 'records' stored in a tray at the bottom weren't food. I was upgraded to the white and orange record player with the beige lid a year or two later. I remember it had two super-simple controls. I began playing cello when I was 8 years old.
What's your average day like?
On my average day I drink a lot of coffee, teach two string group string classes, have a couple private cello lessons with 4th - 8th grade kids, waste a bunch of time on the internet, go to a rehearsal and then come home and brew some decaf and tinker in my bike room. When Soapbox Music had an hourly rehearsal studio I used to spend a bunch of time there recording electric cello stuff and messing around with Audiomulch. Now that our co-op members are taking charge of the space, I'm not there as much.
What piece of equipment would be most useful to you right now?
A custom tube amp would be nice, for cello. So would a macbook, though I hate to say it. I'd love a laptop that doesn't hiccup when it records and plays back audio. Alternatively I just need to destroy my computer and get back to basics. On that note, I need a set of bongos for a go-go band I'm trying to put together. Gotta rep DC!
Are there any current trends in music that you don't care for?
I don't care for bands and venues that play everything waaay too loud. Aggro shit should be be loud for sure, and so should dance music. But not everything. I guess I kinda sound like a curmudgeonly old dude haha.
Do you collect anything?
I collect tapes for my car's cassette player. I also collect vintage lugged bicycles. And half-finished to-do lists.
Have you had any recent breakthroughs or paradigm-shifts in your playing or writing? (question asked by Alex.)
Recently I've been thinking about the difference between communicating a thought or an emotion via music, or art or text or whatever, and evoking emotions. For a long time I thought of these were the same thing. Now I realize they are very different. For example it's a lot easier for me to be creative and stop the self-censorship if I just think 'I like this sound', and have that be enough, rather than worrying about getting you to like it too.
What should I ask the next person?
I think it would be cool to go more in depth into the creative processes of the musicians you interview. There are all these spaces, and what happens there? Do the musicians have a routine? Is there something that gets them 'into the mood'? It's interesting and it feels good to hear about how other people deal creatively with creativity.
Brendan's favorite songs:
(listen over here)
1. Me And Lazarus- Iron & Wine
2. No One's Gonna Love You- Band Of Horses
3. High Together- Siriusmo
4. Paper Scissors Stone- Portico Quartet
5. Bake A Cake- Tommy Largo
6. Far In Time- Mother Mother
7. Aeon- Antony & the Johnsons
8. Bury Us Alive- Starfucker