INTERVIEW: Shaun Sandor of Promute and Bicameral Mind

Shaun Sandor

Shaun Sandor

AUTOreverse #14, Summer 2011
Interview with
SHAUN SANDOR
of PROMUTE and BICAMERAL MIND
by Ian C Stewart

WHERE/HOW/WHEN DID YOU RECORD YOUR LATEST THING?
I recorded the most recent release – Portocal Sessions in the spring of 2011. It is on the Zeromoon Label as a net release, and hard copies for sale go to benefit the Sonic Circuits Festival in DC.

TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT THIS ALBUM THAT NO ONE ELSE KNOWS.
Portocal is the Macedonian word for the color orange. That is my favorite color, and Macedonia is where my wife is from.

IS THIS WORK INDICATIVE OF YOUR OTHER RELEASES?
Not completely. Rast Figment was configured in the same way, with 4 movements and a theme. Dark Moving is short form, and follows more of a song/record format. Dark Moving also has more rhythmic elements, as most of the tracks were played to a metronome. Portocal Sessions was played mostly live with some non-traditional instruments and a synth, which is more closely related to what I am currently doing live.

ARE YOU FEELING MOUTHY ABOUT ANYTHING?
I feel very fortunate to be able to experiment with sound and play the music I like, and that people listen, respond, attend the shows, and pick up CDs. I have met some good friends along the way and that helps make all of this worth it.

DESCRIBE YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES, IF YOU CAN.
Early influences: Al DiMeola and Joe Satriani. I started out playing guitar when I was 11, so when I heard these guys play they made an impression. Later, Robin Storey of Rapoon became a big influence. I always have liked his approach to music as art from creation to an end product.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR MUSIC HEADING?
Hopefully into a full-length feature film! I do plan on creating more acoustic instruments and building more analog synths. I think the electro-acoustic realm is fitting for now. I might be doing children’s music 10 years from now, though.

WHAT MUSIC SOFTWARE DO YOU USE?
I am now using Vegas for recording and mixing, and Sound Forge for waveform editing and file transfers. I have Audiomulch and mess with it some, but nothing serious. I mainly record live through a mixer. I haven’t explored what using a computer can do for making live music quite yet. I use Photoshop for help in designing artwork.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN UPGRADING YOUR SOFTWARE?
Not that I can think of.

DESCRIBE THE CONTENTS OF YOUR HOME STUDIO.
A couple electric guitars, acoustic guitars, bass, drum kit, a slew of homemade zithers with springs and gadgets, a few pedals, Kaoss Pad, a sequencer, drum machine, 2 synths, a keyboard, some analog patch synth modules, a bevy of home-made circuits boxes, mics, recording gear, and a printer.

DO YOU WRITE ON KEYBOARD OR GUITAR?
When I write, it’s on a guitar.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SONGWRITING METHOD?
I always start with a sound that strikes me, and work from there. It could be a dissonant chord, a short melody, or a drone I like.

DO YOU RECALL WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO CREATE MUSIC OF YOUR OWN?
I played with a number of bands in high school, but I soon figured out that when I was playing what I wanted, I always felt better about playing in general. I would hate for playing music to feel like a chore.

ARE YOU ACTIVE IN YOUR LOCAL MUSIC SCENE?
Yes. I have worked with a good number fo bands in a recording studio as an engineer or producer. I have also booked shows for out of town bands if the context and timing works. It’s a small community, but I think I know most of the players around here.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH?
Willing participants who feel the same way I do about sound.

ARE THERE ANY BANDS YOU’RE EXCITED BY?
Lately: Dropp Ensemble, Tatsuya Nakatani, and Joy Division

WHAT’S NEXT?
A release on Full Spectrum Records, A release on Silber Records, A release on Blondena Music, a performance at the New Music Festival at UNCG, and a performance in Columbus via The Fuse Factory. I will be exploring the electro-acoustic world via home-made instruments interfacing with an analog synth for the live performances.

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOUR MUSIC ONLINE TO PURCHASE OR WHATEVER?
go to blondenamusic.com and click on the Promute tab on the right. That’s the best way. I am not great at updating everything, but I have been trying to keep it up to date.

WHAT SERVICES DO YOU USE FOR PEOPLE TO DOWNLOAD YER STUFF, AND DO YOU LIKE IT? SHOULD I USE IT?
I think the Promute material is available on iTUnes, Amazon, CD Baby, and Reverbnation. It’s probably in other places as well. I don’t control any of that. I don’t know much about finding music on these sites, so I can’t properly endorse them. I am happy to send people CDs by mail if they ask. I usually throw in something extra as well.

WHERE DO YOU FIND THE ENERGY TO KEEP CREATING AFTER ALL THIS TIME?
I just do it. I have been doing it for years, and I can’t imagine not creating or playing music.

PAS presents Promute live at Cafe Orwell 5-4-2011. from PAS Music on Vimeo.

What’s the URL for your website?
http://www.blondenamusic.com/promute.html

And give me a full discography.
Performance credits only (I have worked on many more records and CDs for artwork, recording, and mastering):

Promute – Rast Figment (Blondena Music, 2006)
Promute – Dark Moving (Blondena Music, 2007)
Promute – Evoka (Blondena Music, 2007)
Promute – Portocal Sessions (Zeromoon, 2011)
Bicameral Mind – Bicameral Mind (Blondena Music, 2008)
Bicameral Mind – Lonely Waters, Crowded Ears (Blondena Music, 2008)
Bicameral Mind – Half Mast (Blondena Music, 2009)
Bicameral Mind – Quintet (Blondena Music, 2009)
Bicameral Mind – Birdsong(Blondena Music, 2011)
Bicameral Mind – The Holy Hills (Blondena Music, 2011)
Bicameral Mind – Sonics Circuits Live 2009 (Blondena Music, 2011)
Mighty Zorgon – Mighty Zorgon (self-released, 2010)
Silber on Silber – The Torch Marauder’s Grappling Hook (Remora cover) – You’re the One I’ve Been Waiting For (disc 1 – track 9) (Silber Records, 2007)
Silber on Silber – Promute (Clang Quartet cover) – 3rd Day (disc 1 – track 6) (Silber Records, 2007)
Silber on Silber – Shaun Sandor (Vlor cover) – Guilt Jersey (disc 2 – track 7) (Silber Records, 2007)
Silber Sounds of Halloween – Promute – Rise Up (track 18) (Silber Records, 2007)
Electro-Music 2008 Sampler – Bicameral Mind – 2 (disc 1, track eight) (Electro-Music Media, 2008)
Piedmont Melodies – Bicameral Mind – Secret Room (track 11) (Blondena Music, 2010)
Piedmont Melodies – Promute – ddrill burst (track 3) (Blondena Music, 2010)
Hellbender Rodeo – Promute – Hiute (track 4) (Blondena Music, 2011)
Hellbender Rodeo – all source material for artist to use (100 samples) (Blondena Music, 2011)
Christhole – Promute – Blister Device (remix) (track2) (The Akashic Revolve, 2007)
13,000 Milliseconds: Triskaidekaphobia – Promute – Falso Grip (track 77) (Ratskin Records, 2008)
30 Seconds of Time – Promute – Sansriba (track 11) (Silber Records, 2010)
1 Second Chip-Noise Compilation – Promute – Airer (Cementimental Presents…, 2010)
No Labels, No Musics – Promute – Grithe (Editoro do Porto, 2010)
International Email Audio Art Project Volume 6 – Promute – Dance of the Tree People (Haltapes, 2011)
International Email Audio Art Project Volume 9 – Promute w/ Jurica Jelic – Inspected Elements (Haltapes, 2011)
International Email Audio Art Project Volume 9 – Promute w/ Staplerfahrer – Distilled Missiles (Haltapes, 2011)

thank you, Shaun!

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