What does the future sound like?
For musicians using technology, that question can resonate on two levels. It can be an attraction to imagined futuristic worlds, and the connection of synths and gadgets to that world. And, even each time we sit down to make music, it can be a dream of our own future self – if not the rockstar, that future self who has finished this track that right now is just an idea or a feeling.
In a film that’s so brief and beautiful you might have to watch it twice to let it soak in, Matthew Dear (Ghostly) reflects on how he imagined music making as a 14-year-old. Those words accompany images of two things that look best (at least in our heads) in black and white — a gear full of studio, and New York City.
Okay, so, Mr. Dear is a celebrity. But if you forget that for a second, I think you’ll hear some familiar ideas. And you might just notice that each of these futures – what he imagined as a kid, and the sounds that painted the portrait of a musical future — has a past. Some of you reading probably are 14-year-olds. But either way, you can go back to that childhood imagined self again. And it’s wonderful that, far from being a fleeting sci-fi fantasy, the future electronic musicians develop is one that grows and flourishes, from Front 242 to favorite hardware designs of the past, and the new synths and electronics they continue to inspire.
The film — produced by Ghostly International; directed, shot, edited, and produced by art director and photographer Will Calcutt: willcalcutt.com
Matthew Dear: Beams, on Ghostly now.