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Taylor Deupree: simplicity. honesty. purity.

September 15, 2009
  • Is life an inspiration to make music or is music inspiration to live?
    >it is both absolutely.<
  • What would you do if there wouldn’t be music, starting with tomorrow?
    >photograph.<
  • …and what if you had to produce in a different music genre? What would that be?
    >quiet, sparse, folk music.<
  • The beauty of silence or the chaos of noises?
    >what? I can’t hear you over this horrible racket of city noise….<
  • What’s your favourite album ever?
    >Brian Eno “Thursday afternoon”
    New Order “power, corruption, and lies”
    Great Lake Swimmers “great lake swimmers”
    Mojave 3 “out of tune”<
  • …and your favourite album cover?
    >too many to list. New Orders die-cut “blue monday” comes to mind though.<

  • Is there some music you like – but ashamed to admit it?
    >never.<
  • If you could be a rock star, who would you be?
    >none of them.<
  • Do you have a role model?
    >not particularly.<
  • Who would you like to meet the most?
    >someone from the far, far distant future.<
  • What are your favourite movies?
    >i don’t have a lot of time to watch movies… but some favorites: 2001, Primer, Blade Runner.<
  • If you had to direct your own movie, how would it look like?
    >it would have a very narrow color palette, be quite empty, quiet, calm and slow… and mostly devoid of people.<
  • What’s your favourite food?
    >sushi.<
  • Is there a band/music genre you can’t stand listening to?
    >R&B.<
  • What’s your (original) profession?
    >graphic designer.<
  • What’s your next plan musicwise?
    >travelling to York University in York (UK) for an artist-in-residency program at the end of this month. i will work on new material hopefully for a forthcoming solo release. i am also hopefully finishing up a collaboration with Shuttle358 soon and starting a new collaborative project with the band Hammock, which i’m really excited about.<
  • Which language would you like to speak most and why?
    >Japanese. I have a lot of friends and business there.. would be great if my Japanese was better.<
  • How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
    >shy. passionate. overworked. materialistic. logical.<
  • What are your vices?
    >studio equipment.<
  • What is the most unusual comment anyone has ever made about you?
    >i wish i could remember.. there have likely been some good ones!<
  • The best moment in your life?
    >too many moments. the birth of my son was one of them. also, standing in what seemed like the middle of the ocean in Bora Bora ( see photo )<
  • What does beauty mean to you?
    >simplicity. honesty. purity.<
  • What would you do today if the world would end tomorrow?
    >play With Lego with my son.<
  • Which places you love the most?
    >my home, Harajuku, the American SouthWest, NYC, Hawai’i, Kyoto.<
  • Who’s your favourite superhero and why?
    >when I was a kid i collected comics quite a bit. i was really into Daredevil… he was sort of a quiet, mysterious type who had a lot of confidence despite his shortcomings (he was blind).<
  • What’s your favourite flavour?
    >lime.<
  • Three things you could never get rid of?
    >if you mean objects… i feel that no objects are sacred… otherwise, i would hate to get rid of my eyes and ears (that’s 4 things)<
  • Your three favourite websites?
    >whichever ones i need at the time to find answers or research whatever is i need. one of my favorite music websites is gearslutz.com (but you can’t take it too seriously), for photography i like dpreview.com. i use the internet mainly for research and info, not so much for entertainment.<
  • What’s your favourite picture about yourself?
    >i’m not terribly photogenic, so it’s hard to find pictures of me that i like… but this one taken in April by friend/artist Corey Fuller i like.< (click on the image for larger size)

  • What’s your most favourite picture you made?
    >i take a lot of photographs! so it’s hard to pick a favorite. i guess my photography website (taylordeupree.com) has my favorites of the hundreds/thousands that i take. this one (attached) is one of them. it actually looks quite a bit like my movie (see above question) may look like. it’s a photograph of an empty room in an old salt-storage warehouse in Santiago, Chile.< (click on the image for larger size)

  • What is the question you always would have liked to be asked but nobody ever did?
    >in interviews i like to be asked questions that i wouldn’t have thought of myself. so it’s hard for me to answer this. i can tell you what question i don’t like people asking.. and that is “what do you see as the future of electronic music”…..<
  • What do you see as the future of electronic music?
    >and i can answer : “i can’t see the future.”<

Taylor Deupree (b. 1971) is a sound artist, graphic designer, and photographer residing in New York. On January 1st, 1997, he founded 12k, a record label that focuses on minimalism and contemporary musical forms. In 12k’s 10 years of existence Deupree has released over 40 CDs by a roster of international sound artists and has developed 12k into one of the most respected experimental electronic labels in the world. In September 2000, Deupree and sound artist Richard Chartier formed LINE, a sublabel of 12k that curates its continuing documentation of compositional and installation work by composers exploring the aesthetics of contemporary and digital minimalism. In January 2002 (as a celebration of 12k’s fifth anniversary) Deupree launched term., an online series of MP3 releases. While 12k’s emphasis lies not only in sound but also on design and presentation, term. exists entirely in the digital domain with no physical object or package. In September, 2003, Deupree started a 3rd record label called Happy to promote unconventional japanese pop. Happy was born from Deupree’s interest in Japanese pop and the fact that it is quite unknown outside of Japan.

Since 1993 Deupree has created critically acclaimed recordings for labels worldwide including Spekk, Plop, Noble (Japan), Ritornell/Mille Plateaux, Raster-Noton, Disko B (Germany), Sub Rosa (Belgium), Fällt (Ireland), Audio.NL (Netherlands), Room40 (Australia), Instinct Records, Caipirinha Music, Plastic City (USA), Dum (Finland), and of course 12k and LINE, among others. In January 1999, Deupree currated a compilation for New York’s Caipirinha Music label that he titled “Microscopic Sound.” This release was among the first to gather together artists of this style and helped put a name to a then-rising genre of electronic music.

His solo works in recent years have explored a fusion of digital sound manipulation with organic and melodic textures that take influences from his interest in architecture, interior design, and photography. Themes of minimalism, stillness, atmosphere, nature, and imperfection prevade throughout his work . An intense passion for recording and studio technology creates a strong technological backdrop for all of his compositions.

Collaboration with other musicians is also a very important aspect of Deupree’s work. Working with other artists is a way to not only create unique works beyond his solo recordings but to also expand his own techniques and processes as a learning experience. Over record years he has collaborated with a wide variety of artists such as Christopher Willits (US, guitar), Kenneth Kirschner (US, Piano), Eisi (Japan, 3-piece acoustic ambient-rock band), Tetsu Inoue (US, sound artist), Frank Bretschneider (Germany, sound artist), and Richard Chartier (US, sound artist). Deupree feels the importance of collaborative work is to not layer two individual styles but to create a 3rd, fusion sound that incorporates the strengths of each collaborator yet sounds like a unique, 3rd identity.

Deupree continues to evolve his sound and approaches each project with a new direction and different process. Continued shifting and sound exploration is vital to his work. He has many recording and remixing accomplishments and a substantial, varied, discography formed over 14 years. His design and photography work has appeared on dozens of projects and record labels around the world and published in a number of books in Japan and the UK.

Next to checking out his astonishing artwork, feel free to listen to some of his music on 12k, last.fm and MySpace. For full discography click here.

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