Interview: Bronwen Casson


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Bronwen Casson
is an Irish media artist

  • artist biography
  • example of soundart

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    Interview: 10 questions

    1. When did you start making music, what is/was your motivation to do it?

    I first started doing sound work as a part of my degree course in photography and digital imaging. Initially I regarded it as an element of my video and installation work. I would use a voice over text as a starting point for my videos, and generally incorporated the voice over as the background of the video piece. I began with voice over, with some music (not my own- this has led me into difficulties with copyright, and I shall have to find another way of sourcing music) then I began adding other elements of sounds, street noise, traffic-anything I found interesting. This piece “ no man’s land” began in the same way, supposedly as a voice over- for a proposed video, but the sound took over- the video seemed superfluous. However I do want to develop it as an installation.

    2. Tell me something about your living environment and the musical education.

    I have had some training in sound recording and editing- but not a great deal. My first video was made under a mentoring scheme and I had a lot of help from the Artist Nigel Rolfe, who is very aware of sound. In my current Ma Studies I do have access to sound technicians who have been very helpful and I hope to improve my skills- being aware of the possibilities makes me very frustrated with my own shortcomings.
    I live in Dublin, and I come form a theatrical and musical family, so I suppose I have always been very conscious of voice and music, though I was not myself a practitioner.

    3.Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music nowadays?

    No, I am primarily a visual artist and photographer. I don’t think I would envisage myself working on sound pieces outside the context of video or installation- but perhaps in the future?

    4. How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?

    It is a starting point- a way round the blank page syndrome- I need to have something to work on- but I hope that it will develop into something more interesting as it goes along. It usually does change- whether for the better or not I don’t know. I do know that if I stick too rigidly to my original ideas, the whole thing goes dead. I am often surprised by things I find on my recording disk- a snatch of conversation, a traffic sound, that wasn’t really what I had intended, but is in fact much better.

    5. Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?

    Well, my own voice really and anyone I can persuade to do a voice recording. A Sony minidisk recorder and a microphone. And the computer: Editing with Adobe Audition.

    6. What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general and you personally?

    I haven’t the faintest idea; I don’t really know what it means.

    7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

    I produce and finance my projects myself, but have had the use of college facilities while working on my degree projects. My first video was, as I said made through a mentoring scheme grant.

    8. Do you work individually as a musician/soundartist or in a group or collaborative? If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

    I prefer to work individually. I do like working as part of a group, with the group critique, support and interaction, but with, each one working on their individual project

    9. Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?

    Arabic music is the only thing that springs to mind. I know many artists and filmmakers have influenced me, but that is in a general sense, I cannot say that I have followed any one individual’s work.

    10. What are your future plans or dreams as a sound artist or musician?

    To do more, and hopefully, better. To continue.

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    Examples of work may be found on website: www.bronwencasson.com

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