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6 Questions to Composer Darren Copeland

Darren Copeland (1968) has been composing exclusively in the studio since 1985. He has been focusing on imagistic properties of environmental sounds since 1989 and is facing an impossible future in Realism.

[1] Briefly describe your musical / sound art background and education, formal and informal.

1985–1987 — private study of electronic music with Pier Rubesa
1989–1995 — undergraduate study at Simon Fraser University
1996–1997 — masters study at University of Birmingham

[2] Could you briefly describe your current musical activities, private, within the community, and public?

[3] Please briefly describe your uses of technologies in your creative life. You may want to include a short description of the equipment and software / services you use (number of computers, phones, scanners, Facebook, Skype etc.).

Laptop computer with Logic Pro, Amadeus, Soundhack, Soundplant, Kenaxis, Macpod, Audiomulch, Max/MSP, Soundflower, Radiologik, various audio unit plugins, as well as Open Office, Mail, Safari, QuickTime, Skype, Preview, etc.

[4] How do you feel that the use of these technologies has contributed to those areas of your creative life where you employ them? You may also wish to comment on those that you don’t use (and the reasons).

I find that working on a computer that houses everything has its advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is that a lot more tools are available inexpensively then what was possible before I worked with computers. The main disadvantage is the reduction of physical interaction to mousing and typing. All decisions are performed and executed with the same body posture and movements whether I’m doing email or composition, which is destructive in the long term.

[5] Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Skype, Twitter, Blogs … are part of the lingua franca of the students I meet every year. Are there ways for the older generation to use these technologies to communicate our values to those who were born after (about) 1988?

It seems people my generation (40s) also use these tools but not as frequently or perhaps more selectively. I have seen many established professional artists use YouTube and MySpace to disseminate their work for free, which has lead concert/exhibit presenters such as myself to offering them presentation opportunities based on what I saw on YouTube, MySpace and personal websites. I personally am not comfortable with the privacy aspects of Facebook so I avoid that, but that along with Twitter are certainly another avenue for disseminating notices of activity. But seeing and hearing the work on-line creates the most impact.

[6] Open area commentary.

Overcoming the rudimentary notions of physical interaction is the last frontier of the digital age.

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