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Lori Goldston interview

December 11, 2014

Lori Goldston interview

 Lori Goldston with
Nirvana (promo photo)
I’ve been into Lori Goldston basically since I can remember
getting into music.  Her cello is one of
the major factors that helped propel Nirvana’s Unplugged In New York to it’s
place among the greatest albums of the last thirty years with out a doubt in my
mind.  Until recently though, I didn’t
know that Goldston also has an illustrious career of solo releases and has been
a prolific studio player and guest working with literally too many bands to
begin to list here!  As she describes it,
she’s a “classically trained” cellist who then “rigorously de-trained” herself,
thereby allowing her to create some of the most interesting, hypnotic and
arresting music I’ve ever heard. 
Goldston’s released two full-length albums and two 7-inch singles, her
solo catalog contains material written and performed alone by herself on the
cello such as the Creekside: Solo Cello LP for Mississippi Records, as well as
material recorded with a drummer and other accompanying instruments like The
Lichens In The Trees
single.  Ranging
from absolutely haunting solo cello compositions that almost have me in tears
at points sometimes, the sounds of unfettered sadness and melancholy translated
through the wisdom of instinctual strings wielded by one of their greatest
masters, to these almost playful ditties, recalling the innocence, naivety and
exploration of adolescence; your first kiss and warm summer nights under the
stars.  But there are other songs, my
favorite songs, which simply seem to conjure the majesty of beauty itself
somehow.  It’s hard to explain.  Maybe it’s their simplicity, or maybe it’s
the unseen complexities of their composition, but if you put on a set of
headphones and envelop yourself in the music you can hear the sunrise.  You can hear the sounds of the sweet morning dew
that gathers on the rusty tin roof above the porch, the soft patter of rain in
an empty field.  You can almost hear what
a rainbow might sound like.  But before I
totally start sounding like that creepy kid from American Beauty though, as I
mentioned, her music really runs the gambit and there’s some seriously rockin’
stuff as well, The Lichens In The Trees being a perfect example of almost
neo-classical music teamed with an incredible improvisational psychedelic rock
edge to it.  The electrified cello, drums
and bass meld into some of the sweetest experimental improvised music I’ve
heard in a long time and I listen to a lot of it!  I don’t mean to prattle on, or be exceedingly
verbose, it’s just that doing Lori Goldston’s music any kind of justice requires
a little bit of explanation.  She’s been
so many places, been involved in so many things, and accomplished so much in so
little time that it’s difficult, actually likely impossible, to sum or her
music up let alone how amazing of a person she is.  Thankfully between tours, and rigorous
recording and performance schedules Lori talked with me in-depth about her
extensive musical career from top to bottom, as well as her background in music
and her childhood.  I’m absolutely beyond
honored to be able to share with you the story of one of the coolest and most
talented musicians you’ll ever have the pleasure of hearing.  You’ve heard her music before, now learn
about the person behind the sounds…
               – Listen
while you read: 
http://lorigoldston.bandcamp.com/
How old are you
and where are you originally from?
I grew up in the suburbs outside of New York City, on Long
Island, and just turned fifty one.
What was your home
like musically when you were growing up? 
Was there a lot of music or anything around when you were a child?  Were either of your parents or any of your
close relatives either musicians or extremely interested or involved in music?
In my immediate family there was very little interest in
music.  Once in a great while someone
would play a record maybe, but that was it. 
Both grandmothers were interested in music, and on my father’s side
there was a very sweet tradition of everyone singing old songs together at
holiday gatherings.
And what was the
local music scene like where you grew up? 
Did you get very involved in the local scene there?  Did you see a lot of shows or do you feel
like that scene influenced you very much? 
Did it play a large role in shaping your musical interests or forming
the way that you approach performance at this point?
Growing up my music life was formal: lessons, school
orchestra, etcetera.  Luckily for me, the
school district had a great music program, and there were other students who
were serious musicians.  I got a good
music education in high school and managed to play all the time.  Outside of school-related stuff, there wasn’t
really a scene there in the suburbs.  Hardly
anyone formed rock bands, in part, I’m sure, because there was nowhere to
perform.  This is in very sharp contrast
to my friends who grew up here in Seattle and had stories about going to shows
when they were teenagers.  There’s a long
tradition of it here and I think it’s surely one of the reasons the music world
here is so rich.
What would you
consider your first real exposure to music to be?
When I was very small my grandmother visited from Manhattan
on weekends.  We’d watch a lot of live music
on television and sometimes listen to the opera broadcast on the radio.
If you were to
pick a moment, a moment that seemed to change things drastically for you and
perhaps opened your eyes up to the infinite possibilities that music presents,
what would it be?
That’s a tough question; so many!  I’ve been working on organizing my life
around experiencing as many of those moments as possible.
When did you
decide to start writing and performing your own music?  What brought that decision about for you, or
was it just sort of a natural progression or extension of a deep needed seeded
need to create something or of self-expression?
When I was a teenager, I was interested in composing and
arranging, but had no context for it. 
Then I went to an arty, unconventional college, Bennington, which was
built around a philosophy of learning by doing. 
So right from the start of music class, they have the students all play
each other’s compositions.  It was
baffling at first, but as with many things you jump in and get your hands dirty
and it’s no problem from then on.
What was your
first instrument?  When and how did you
get that?
When I was seven I asked my parents about the guitar that my
brother had taken lessons on a few years earlier.  I was captivated and just kept playing it
until my parents figured they’d better send me to music lessons.  A few years later, I started taking cello
lessons when that was offered in school. 
You’ve been
associated with some of the most landmark releases of my lifetime and worked
with some of my favorite acts of all time, including but absolutely not limited
to, Nirvana, Kimya Dawson, Black Cat Orchestra and Earth, the latter two of
which you’re still pretty involved with if I understand correctly.  Who are some of the other collaborations
you’ve been involved with in the past that I’ve missed?
Lori with Kurt Cobain
Thanks for the kind words! 
It’s a pleasure to hear that something that I’ve worked on has had that
kind of impact; magical, really.  The
list of collaborators is long and crazily varied.  For the past couple of years I’ve been
playing a lot of solo shows, and various collaborations here and there.  It’s an embarrassment of riches here in
Seattle, with a crazy lot of good musicians who are also nice, smart,
interesting people.  We’re really
lucky.  So, I have several friends that I
work with on and off, and it’s very easy to pick up wherever we left off.  I’m not playing with Earth at the moment, but
maybe sometime again in the future.  I
just finished a European tour and am catching my breath, looking forward to
practicing, composing and spending time at the library to study nonconventional
music scores.  My old pal Mirah will come
through town in a couple of weeks and I’ll sit in on her set here in
Seattle.  We’ve recorded and toured
together quite a bit, but it’s been a couple years since we’ve played together,
so that will be nice.  I’m also looking forward
to playing with Angelina Baldoz in a couple of weeks, another old friend and
collaborator.  Kimya I’ve known for a
long time, but really I only played on, I think, one song on one of her albums,
which I’ve done for many, many people and bands.  I am blessed with so many wonderful
collaborator friends past and present, in the U.S. and Europe: punk bands,
improvisers, composers, music from lots of different countries, all kinds of
rock, jazz, folk, you name it.  I’ve had
amazing luck and don’t usually back away from a challenge.  Some of the people I’ve worked with closely
and repeatedly are Jessika Kenney, Ed Pias, Jherek Bischoff, Elizabeth
Falconer, Mirah, Larry Barrett, Tara Jane Oneil, Mike Gamble, Paul Hoskin,
Ellen Fullman, Marco de Caravalho, Kane Mathis, Greg Campbell, Stuart Dempster,
Heather Duby, Torben Ulrich, Jaison Scott, Dave Abramson, Mik Quantius, Thomas
Hopf and Dan Sasaki.
Earth
You always seem to
have quite a bit of stuff up in the air that you’re working on at any given
time and I know that you’re also a teacher and a parent.  How do you find time to juggle so many
things?  You always appear to be pushing
yourself, making new inlets into experimental or alternative forms of
self-expression through your chose instrument of the cello and I was curious if
the amount of stuff you work on is aimed at expanding and influencing what
you’re creating, or just born from a deep seeded need to express yourself and
create as much as you possibly can?
I’m a pretty harsh critic of my own work, so there’s always
something that’s in dire need of improvement. 
Also, I think I was blessed, and maybe have cultivated, a good
imagination, and there’s always something that I’m after that’s just beyond my
reach.  As far as time goes, I keep
charging ahead and it seems to work out in spite of my inherent lack of
organizational skills.  A friend once
told me that I was organized like an angry mob.
Is there any sort
of creed, code, ideal or mantra that you live by as far as your music is
concerned?
It’s supposed to be about freedom.
As I mentioned
before, I know you were involved in founding the Black Cat Orchestra and have
released two LPs with them in addition to collaborating on two albums with
Earth and you’ve also released two solo albums and a 7-inch.  What all are you involved in as far as active
projects and collaborations go at this point? 
The Black Cat Orchestra released four albums, a self-titled
one, Mysteries Explained, Long Shadows at Noon, and a collaboration with Mirah,
To All We Stretch The Open Arm.  After
that, we had a band that was kind of similar, Spectratone International, that
released an album as well, also in collaboration with Mirah.  At the moment, I’m playing sometimes with a
drummer friend, Dan Sasaki, and occasionally with another drummer, Greg
Campbell.  That’s really the only
steady-ish thing at the moment.  I just
got back from a pretty long tour that was on the heals of a busy spring and summer;
I’m catching my breath and figuring out what to sink my teeth into next.
Earth
Can you tell us a
little bit about the Black Cat Orchestra? 
Although I know you’re involved in working with a lot of people you were
involved in forming the Black Cat Orchestra if I understand correctly.  Who all is in that group?  When and how did Black Cat Orchestra come
about?
The Black Cat Orchestra came out of a band that my husband
Kyle and I formed when we were working with a theater and dance company,
sometime around 1991.  The
instrumentation was cello, accordion, bass, drums, guitar, voice, French horn,
usually saxophone and sometimes harmonica. 
We played music from all over, whatever caught our fancy from records
and sheet music we’d dig up at the library or second hand stores, or wherever.  I never quite know how to describe that band.
 We were making music that was nostalgic
for something that never existed. 
Black Cat Orchestra 
Where are you
located at these days?  What’s the local
music scene like where you’re at?
I’ve lived in Seattle since the mid 80s.  As I mentioned earlier, the music scene is
wonderful here.  There are a lot of great
musicians and the atmosphere is generally very friendly and supportive. 
Do you book or
attend a lot of local shows or anything where you’re at?  Do you feel like you’re very involved in the
local scene at this point?
Yes, I attend a lot of shows when I’m in town, all kinds of
stuff; rock shows, lectures, experimental, classical, international.  I’m pretty omnivorous.  I don’t often set up shows for other people
because I’m a terrible promoter, but fortunately I have many competent friends.
Has the local
scene where you’re at impacted your sound or altered your musical path in your
opinion?  Or do you feel like you could
be doing what you’re doing and sound basically like you do regardless of where
you were at or what you were surrounded by?
There’s no doubt that my playing would be completely
different if I’d ended up living somewhere other than Seattle.  This town is famous for distortion and
feedback, and that sound, feel and approach leave a very clear mark on my
playing, acoustic and amplified.  I often
make use of silence and understatement in a way that’s pretty common around
here.  The weather and environment here
are a big deal here, too, and get into everyone’s sensibilities.
Are you involved
in recording or releasing any music besides your own?  If so, can you tell us briefly about that
here?
Erin Jorgensen, a marimba player friend, just asked me to
play on a record she’s making, so I’ll do that in a couple of days.  She plays rock songs on solo marimba and
sometimes sings; really lovely.  Also, a
couple of songs with friends in Europe. 
In Norway, a couple of weeks ago, I played on a lovely recording by
Magnus Eliassen, a song by my friends’ band in Genoa, En Roco and something on
a album that just came out by Teho Teardo who lives in Rome.  Another friend’s band, Broken Water, is about
to release an album that I played on a few months ago.
You seem to simply
pick and choose where you take your cues and influences from, and as a result
your sound is just a luscious combination of different things.  Who are some of your major musical
influences?
Another tough question; so, so many!  At the moment I’m listening to cellists,
which is pretty unusual for me.  I’m
thinking about the different ways that people have approached the instrument,
about the continuum and tradition.  When
I started on guitar I learned folk and jazz; with cello it was conventional
Western classical training.  For years,
it was confusing, in that those two kinds of training were so separate; it was
as if l was a different person when I played cello than when I played
guitar.  For instance, I found it very
easy to improvise on guitar, but nearly impossible on cello.  My guitar playing had a creative edge over my
cello playing, in that, starting guitar when I was only seven gave me a kind of
unselfconsciousness about it.  It’s
amazing to think about the histories that we’re stepping into, consciously or
unconsciously, when we take up these instruments; so much cultural and psychic
precedence comes with the package.  It
took a while, but eventually I managed to put some of the expressive freedom
that can come with the guitar into my cello playing.  I was interested in all kinds of music and in
high school spent a lot of time digging around in the public library and the
music library at school.  I was really
lucky that my local library had a huge collection of old Folkways folk and
ethnographic records, which were a huge influence on my understanding of, and
excitement about, music.  I was also
listening to a lot of jazz: Eric Dolphy, Wes Montgomery, John Coltrane, Charles
Mingus, Thelonious Monk, and a little later Albert Ayler and Pharoah
Sanders.  I’ve never been a very good
jazz player, it’s just not my language, but I’ve studied and listened to it for
most of my life, and it’s a big part of my understanding.  In high school I discovered Jimi Hendrix and
listened over and over to the couple of records that I had.  Around then, or maybe in college, I got very
interested in 20th century composers like Schonberg, Takemitsu, George Crumb,
Messiaen, Webern, and Cage.  Since then,
it’s really been all over the place, often in waves.  I’ll go through periods of not listening to
anything, or stretches when all I’ll listen to is black metal, English folk,
medieval music, Turkish, Romanian, minimalism, etcetera.  In a way, there’s no rhyme or reason, but
there’s usually something specific I’m trying to understand.  How do they get that music to sound like
there’s so much space when they’re playing very densely?  How can they possibly make those melodies so
expressive?  How can their sense of
rhythm sound simultaneously, so square and so circular?  I’ll listen to recordings over and over,
sometimes for months, to answer those questions.
Whenever I talk to
artists such as yourself, I inevitably end up having to describe how a band
sounds to a bunch of people who have never heard them before.  It’s a daunting task to say the least.  I’m always freaked out that I’m putting way
too many of my own thoughts and perceptions into things.  How would you describe your sound to our
readers who might not have heard your solo work before?
My voice as a cellist is kind of rough and delicate at the
same time, makes use of a wide range of sounds and is influenced by rock, pop,
classical liturgical and folk music from around the world.  Often, the ideal is for it to be slightly
beyond my control.
You’ve released
two solo albums and a 7-inch single over the past few years.  I know that other people are involved with
the recording of the material on those albums, but I’m curious what the writing
process is like for you?  Do you usually
come up with the idea for a song and then work out the other parts of the
arrangement yourself, or is there someone else involved at that point?
No, it’s pretty much just me.  The engineers that I work with are usually
good friends that I trust, so I’ll ask for advice, sequencing suggestions and
such, but that’s about it.  I’m running a
pretty barebones operation here, which is how I like it.
What’s recording
like for you?  I think that most
musicians can appreciate the end result of all the time and effort that goes
into making an album when you’re finally holding that finished product in their
hands.  But getting to that point,
getting stuff recorded and especially sounding the way you want it to can be
extremely difficult to say the least. 
What’s it like recording for you?
I’ve always worked within tight budgets, and am more geared
toward live music than recording. So, my usual approach has been to imagine,
compose, arrange and rehearse before heading into the studio.  More and more, I’ve been inclined to add an
element of improvisation.  I’m not a big
fan of overdubbing or heavy editing, at least for my own work.  I like for the air and the moment to be very
present in the music that I record.  The
process for putting the two solo albums was very different.  Film Scores was compiled from many years’
worth of projects.  The Mississippi
Records LP, Creekside, was recorded in a couple of sessions at Mell Dettmer’s
studio.  I had just bought a new cello,
my first really good instrument.  It was
brand new, made by my friend Jason Starkie here in Seattle.  It takes a long time for that kind of
instrument to settle in, there’s so much going on with the resonance, the
individual pieces of wood, which, of course, used to be living things, the
relationships between the parts, many of which are not attached to one another
and held together only by tension.  So,
one thing that’s going on with that recording is me figuring out this
wonderful, but somewhat unmanageable, new object.  There’s an undercurrent of instability,
discovery and struggle that I’m really happy with.  The 7-inch was from a recording session that
I put together for a commission for a Sub Pop compilation.  I recorded it with three friends, Karl Blau,
Dave Abramson and Kanako Pooknyw.  I gave
them some parameters about the sound and feel I was thinking of, and some ideas
about the overall arc of the song, and we improvised together. 
© Andrea Luporini
©  Christian Anderson
Do you like to
take a kind of DIY approach to music where you handle most of the technical
aspects of things on your own so that you have to work with as few people as
possible and preserve as much of the original sound in your head as possible on
the final tracks?  Or, do you like to
head into a studio and let someone else handle that side of things, so you can
just concentrate on the music and getting the best performance possible?
I don’t like to split my focus and am very happy to let
someone else turn the knobs whenever possible so that I can think only about
the music.
Is there a lot of
time and effort that goes into meticulously working out every part of a song’s
composition and arrangement before you record, or do you get a good skeletal
idea of what something’s going to sound like, while allowing for some change and
evolution during the recording process where necessary?
It depends on the project and the musicians.  I do my best to setup a circumstance in which
the players are comfortable and can shine. 
For some people, that means having everything meticulously written out,
for others it means just saying, “Go”. 
For some circumstances or types of music it’s good to have a looser,
more improvisational sound and for others more formal.
Do psychoactive or
hallucinogenic drugs play a large or important role in the songwriting,
recording or performance processes for you? 
I don’t mean this in a negative, or derogatory manner either.  People have been tapping into the altered
mind states that drugs create for the purpose of creating art for thousands of
years and I’m simply curious about their usage and application when it comes to
the art that I personally enjoy and consume…
I have a longstanding love of many kinds of music that are
associated, directly or indirectly, with a deep desire for awareness and/or
altered states of consciousness by way of chemical or other means.  That drive is one of the most charming,
wonderful and simultaneously aggravating things about humans.
In 2013 you
released your first solo material that I’m aware of, the self-titled Lori Goldston
7-inch for Talking Helps Records in a limited edition run of 300 copies.  Can you share some of your memories of
recording that first material?  Was that
a fun experience for you, or more of a nerve wracking proposition at the
time?  Who recorded that material and
where would that have been?  When was it
recorded?  What kind of equipment was
used?
That session was, as I mentioned earlier, put together for a
song on a Sub Pop compilation.  It was a
fun and odd assignment that had me wondering where to find the intersection
between what Sub Pop does and what I do. 
I’d already been daydreaming for months about playing with Karl and
Kanako together, so, when I was hired by Sub Pop I knew immediately who I would
ask.  Drummers are often my favorite collaborators
and why not use two?  So, it was an easy
decision to add Dave, who’s a wonderful musician and always adds texture, feel
and spirit. 
Earlier this year
(2014) you followed up the self-titled 7-inch with your debut 12” for Sub Rosa
entitled, Film Scores.  It drew upon
scores and suites from The Passion Of Joan Of Arc, Bass Ackwards and Passing
Fancy as well as several others.  Can you
talk a little bit about how that album came to be and what you were trying to
accomplish with the album?  Why draw from
previously written material as opposed to writing original stuff?  Do the pieces on the album hold any kind of
personal significance to you, or how were they chosen?  Did you try and really rework those pieces of
music, or how did you approach the material of Film Scores as far as changing
or being extremely true to the source material? 
Guy Marc Hinant from Sub Rosa wrote to ask if I had material
that I might want to release on a solo record. 
I sent some things that he liked, but he asked for more.  He’d mentioned that he was a filmmaker and it
occurred to me that he might particularly be interested in the part of my work
that’s connected with film.  So, I
compiled an album from my film scores and yes, that was it.  I’ve done a lot of work with film in
different capacities and it’s been a pleasure to release what feels like a
pretty representative overview.  I’ve
done lots of recordings over the years and am in general not so focused on
putting out records, so it was nice to get a bit of what often feels like a
backlog out the door.  The pieces are
recordings I’d made at various times for film soundtracks.  Everything is as I’d recorded it for the
films; nothing was reworked or anything, just some editing.  The new films were made by friends Britta
Johnson, Vanessa Renwick and Linas Philips. 
Everything was tracked live, with all the musicians together in the same
room playing while watching the films. 
The scores for the Ozu film and Charismatic Megafauna were recorded
during live performances.  I’ve performed
live with silent films a lot over the years, solo, with small ensembles and
with the Black Cat Orchestra.  A couple
of weeks ago I ended my European tour in Oslo with a solo film score show,
performing with Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc.  That’s the film that I’ve accompanied most,
but I’ve done dozens of scores.  The one
time that I received unemployment, post Nirvana, I’m not sure what possessed me
to do this, but I offered to be the silent film accompanist for my friend
Dennis Nyback’s crazy little theater The Pike Street Cinema.  He really kept me busy, sometimes scoring
three films a week.  Often, the films
weren’t available on video, this is pre-internet days, and I’d only have a
chance to see the film once, or occasionally not at all, before performing with
it.
Lori at live and unplugged
Was the recording
of the material for Film Scores very different than the earlier session(s) for
the 7-inch?  Who recorded the Film Scores
material and when would that have been? 
Where was that at and what kind of equipment was used?
The Film Scores material was recorded over the course of
many years, all over the place and by several engineers: Tucker Martine, Julian
Martlew, Ed Haber, Moe Provencher, Johnny Mendoza and Kyle Hanson.  Everything was recorded live, often primarily
with room mics.
In addition to the
Film Scores album you also released the Creekside: Cello Solo album for
Mississippi Records in 2014 as well.  Did
you try anything radically new or different when it came to the songwriting or
recording of the material for Creekside: Cello Solo?  What can our readers expect from the new
album?  When was the material for
Creekside: Cello Solo recorded?  Who
recorded that material and when would that have been?  What kind of equipment was used this time
around?
As I mentioned earlier, I recorded Creekside at Mell
Dettmer’s studio, Aleph.  The album’s
named after the creek that runs through her backyard, Longfellow Creek.  You have to love the longsuffering
perseverance of an urban creek.  It was
nice to be asked to make something for Mississippi Records because Eric’s put
out so many excellent reissues, so it’s very comfortable and flattering company
to keep.  I thought of the long line of
musicians, and how recording shows an occasional snapshot of that flow of
music, a moment in the life of a musician or group of musicians.  So the title, Creekside, also touches on that
feeling, and in that way it was a chance to think about the meaning of the
ethnographic field recordings that have been important to me.  Mell’s an amazing engineer and a pleasure to
work with.  I think we recorded it in two
sessions in 2013.  Everything was
recorded with a close mic and a room mic, sometimes a little reverb added and
that’s it.  I like to keep it simple and
let the instruments do the hard work. 
Do you have any
solo material that we haven’t talked about yet, maybe a demo or a single that I
might not know about?
There’s the album that we did with our band, Spectratone
International, and Mirah, Share This Place. 
I got interested in insects when my son was a baby.  I felt pretty cooped up and I spent a lot of
time sitting still in the garden, looking around.  I somehow convinced Mirah and Kyle, my
husband, to go in on writing and performing a bunch of songs about bugs, and
commissioned my filmmaker friend Britta Johnson to make stop motion animated
films to go with them.  We recorded them
with Steve Fisk and Phil Elverum, and toured the U.S. performing with the
films; K Records released it as a CD and DVD. 
Spectratone was, indirectly, an offshoot of the Black Cat Orchestra, but
had a less theatrical air and leaned more toward rock, folk and chamber
music.  The instrumentation was cello,
Kyle on accordion, Kane Mathis on oud, Jane Hall on percussion, and for a while
Nina Darko Vukmanic on bass.  Aside from
that, there are some very limited run tour-only CD-Rs, but that’s about
it.  I’ve got lots in the can and hope to
get at least some of it out into the world one of these days.
Having released
two albums this year already, I have to ask, are there any other releases in
the works or on the horizon at this point?
I’m itching to do a solo record that’s mostly amplified and
one of duos with one or more drummers.  I
have some of each recorded, but I think I need to do more tracking.
Where’s the best
place for our US readers to pick up copies of your stuff at?
Probably through Bandcamp.
With the
completely insane international shipping rates these days I always try and provide
our readers with as many possible options as I can for picking up imports.  Where’s the best place for our poor
international and overseas readers to score your music?
Again, I would suggest my Bandcamp or Big Cartel stores.  I think it’s nearly out of print
at the moment, so my stash would be the most reliable source.
And where’s the
best place for our interested readers to keep up with the latest news, like
upcoming shows, album releases and tours at?
Are there any major
plans or goals that you’re looking to accomplish in the last of 2014 or in
2015?
At the moment, I’m looking forward to composing some graphic
scores, practicing, and hopefully some writing. 
Do you spend a lot
of time out on the road touring?  Do you
enjoy being out on the road?  What’s life
like on tour for you?
For the last few years I’ve gone to Europe once or twice a
year, usually for five to six weeks. 
It’s amazing to travel, but difficult to be away from my family for so
long.  Since it’s hard for them when I’m
away, I feel obliged to make good use of my time, so I work pretty
constantly.  It’s grueling but I don’t
mind, and the shows are, for the most part, a huge pleasure. 
What, if anything,
do you have planned as far as touring goes at this point?
I’ll go back to Europe in the summer and maybe for a short
tour in the spring.  I’ve been feeling
very overdue to play in California and will probably get there in the spring;
maybe an east coast trip in there somewhere.
With all of the
various methods of release that are available to musicians today I’m always
curious why they choose and prefer the various mediums that they do.  Do you have a preferred medium for releasing
your own material?  What about when
you’re listening to or purchasing music? 
If you do have a preference, what is it and can you tell us a little bit
about why?
I’m happy to listen on any format.  Vinyl’s wonderful except for when you need to
drag it around on tour.
Do you have a
music collection at all?  If so, can you
tell us a little bit about it?
I have a pretty big LP collection, and I still have CDs and
cassettes.  It’s a very quirky
assortment, but for me, it’s packed with treasures.  I’m only interested in listening and not into
collecting, so when I go record stores I’m alarmed to be reminded of what old
records are worth now.  For a long time,
records were the cheapest way to buy music and now they are the most expensive.
I grew up around a
pretty massive collection of music and while I was encouraged to listen to
anything that interested me, it was taking me around to the local shops and
picking me up random stuff at the local shops that really had the biggest
impact on me.  I developed this whole
ritual for listening to music that I’ve never really outgrown.  I would rush home, snag a set of headphones,
kick back with the album, read the liner notes, stare at the cover and just let
the music transport me off on this whole other experience.  Having something physical and concrete that
is connected with the music has always made for a much more complete listening
experience for me.  Do you have any such
connection with physically released music?
I love vinyl.  I’ve
also got a soft spot for cassettes and have been happy to see them make a
comeback.  I miss buying them in Asian
and African grocery stores.
Like it or not,
digital music is here in a big way these days! 
That’s just the tip fo the iceberg though, when you combine digital
music with the internet that’s when things get really interesting.  Together, they’ve exposed people to the
literal world of music that they’re surrounded by and it’s allowed for an
unparalleled level of communication between bands and their fans for the first
time in history, almost eliminating most geographic limitations that would have
crippled bands in the past.  On the other
hand though, while people are hearing all this new music, they’re not
necessarily interested in paying for it at this point.  Getting noticed in the insane digital scene
is harder than ever and while I don’t think that anyone on the independent
level was getting “rich” off of album sales, illegal downloading has definitely
impacted the bottom line for a lot of people as far as album sales go.  As an artist during the reign of the digital
era, what’s your opinion on digital music and distribution?
As a listener, I’m happy to use any and all formats
depending on the music and the situation. 
I download mp3s, play cassettes, CDs, vinyl, everything.  As a musician, I’ve always concerned myself
much more with playing live than with selling recordings, so personally, I
haven’t been hit by the new digital reality as hard as my more practical
colleagues.  The internet is a blessing
and curse.  On the one hand, everything
is accessible for free, and people have gotten out of the habit of paying for
recordings.  For sure, it’s a bit sad
that, apparently, listeners don’t feel like people should be paid to make the
music they like to listen to.  On the
other hand, the amount of dialog between musicians past and present keeps
growing exponentially, which has got to be a good thing.  I still find it completely astounding that I
can spend a whole evening watching pop music from 70s Azerbaijani TV or whatever
on YouTube; really unbelievable.
I try to keep up
with as much good music as I possibly can but with all the amazing stuff out
there right now it’s hard to even know where to start sometimes!  Is there anyone from your local scene or area
that I should be listening to I might not have heard of before?
A few Pacific Northwest favorites are Heatwarmer, Perfume
Genius, Corey Brewer, Lozen, Jessika Kenney and Eyvind Kang, Pran, Thousands,
Hive Dwellers, Diminished Men, Sue Ann Harkey, Wolves in the Throne Room,
Marisa Anderson, Michael Hurley and Dead Moon.
What about
nationally and internationally?
On these European tours I’ve had the pleasure of hearing and
occasionally playing with, some wonderful people with excellent projects,
including Dagora, Frankenstein’s Ballet, Mik Quantius, Bob Corn, Be My Delay, R
in Parenthesis, Julian Gasc, Bellini, and Le Ton Mite.
Thank you so much
fro taking time out of your insane schedule to humor my insane questions!  I’ve been listening to your music since I can
remember having actual taste in music and it has led me to a lifelong
appreciation for and obsession with, cellos. 
I don’t like to gush but I did want to take this opportunity to thank
you again for sharing your time with me and the readers, it was a real honor
talking to you.  I swear though, I’m
done; no more questions from me!  Before
we call it quits and sign off, I’d like to open the floor up to you for a
second though as you were so generous with your time.  Is there anything that I could have possibly
missed at this point or that you might just like to take this opportunity to
talk to me or the readers about at this point?
It’s a pretty epic interview!  Thanks again for the kind words and your
interest in what I’ve been up to.   My
parting advice for musicians is to keep your overhead low and pay close
attention to your muse.  
DISCOGRAPHY
(2013)  Lori Goldston
– Lori Goldston – 7” – Talking Helps Records (Limited to 300 copies)
(2014)  Lori Goldston
– Film Scores – CD, 12” – Sub Rosa Records (Black and Orange Vinyl 12” limited
to ? copies)
(2014)  Lori Goldston
– Creekside: Solo Cello – Mississippi Records
(2014)  Lori Goldston
– The Lichens In The Trees – digital, 7” – Talking Helps Records (Limited to
300 copies)
© Ezio V Spano
Interview made by Roman Rathert/2014
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2014
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