Freeman, Jason

Jason Freeman
is a US based soundartist.

  • artist biography
  • —>

    Interview: 10 questions:

    1.
    Question:
    When did you start making music, what is/was your motivation to do it?
    Answer:
    I started making music when I was 10 or 11 years old, sitting down at the piano and improvising, and occasionally writing down bits of what I played. I started doing MIDI sequencing a couple of years later. I had fun making music, that was really all the motivation I needed.

    2.
    Question:
    Tell me something about your living environment and the musical education.
    Answer:
    Growing up, no one in my family was a musician (amateur or professional) or knew much about music. I had instrumental music teachers growing up who encouraged me to study not just piano and saxophone, but also improvisation, composition, and computer music. I went to concerts at the local university and symphony. And there was an eclectic and wonderful new music festival in Miami every year that was my first exposure to a lot of experimental music. After this kind of unconventional and serendipitous early education, I ended up having a pretty traditional academic college education in music — very traditional programs in theory, history, composition, etc. It wasn’t until much later that I started to figure out how all these different things could fit together in my identity as a musician.

    3.
    Question:
    Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music nowadays?
    Answer:
    I’m a professor in a music department, so my time is split pretty evenly between teaching music, writing music, and administration. During the academic year it can be tricky to find long blocks of time to compose, so I tend to get the most work done over holidays.

    4.
    Question:
    How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?
    Answer:
    It varies significantly with each project. I sometimes write out instrumental music by hand, intuitively; I sometimes write software that algorithmically generates music (either notation or sound); and with more complex interactive projects, there’s usually a significant amount of engineering and design work that I do before anything else happens. I have two sketchbooks — one with music staves and one with blank sheets — that I alternate between using, depending on the kind of project.

    5.
    Question:
    Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?
    Answer:
    Either I sit in front of the piano with pencil and paper or I sit in front of my Powerbook with speakers or headphones. On the Mac, I use a ton of different software for different projects: Finale, Max/MSP, and Eclipse (a Java development environment) are my primary tools, but then I end up using everything ranging from OmniGraffle to Illustrator to Flash to GoLive to put together smaller bits and pieces of different projects too.

    6.
    Question:
    What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general
    and you personally?
    Answer:
    Sorry, I don’t really understand this question.

    7.
    Question:
    How about producing and financing your musical productions?
    Answer:
    I try to do things as cheaply as possible so that money is not so much of an issue — for my online works I try to rely on open-source development tools as much as possible and find ways to get free hosting, so these usually don’t cost me anything beyond my time to produce. Performances obviously take more money to put together, but I’m usually able to get enough through commissioning organizations and grants to make things happen.

    8.
    Question:
    Do you work individually as a musician/soundartist or in a group or collaborative?
    Answer:
    I usually work individually, though sometimes I collaborate with engineers, visual artists, or other musicians on a specific project.

    Question:
    If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
    Answer:
    I like working by myself when it’s practical, because I can work at my own pace and do things in my own way. When I do work collaboratively, I like to have a very clear division of labor so I can still do most of my part independently.

    9.
    Question:
    Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?
    Answer:
    One group whose influence is underrated, I think, both for me personally and in general, is Fluxus. Among other things, they’ve shown me that the performance of music can be fun!

    10.
    Question:
    What are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist or musician?
    Answer:
    I feel lucky that I’ve been able to make a living doing what I love and that there is a (small) audience that is interested in what I do. I just hope that all of that continues.

  • List some links & resources
  • http://www.jasonfreeman.net
    (Has links to all of my online projects.)