Immersing himself in the experience of listening and creating music, Cleveland-based Steve Hauschildt carefully crafts musical textures and has thus become a prominent figure to watch in the electronic music world as his sounds are both haunting and ethereal. Though minimalist, his most recent album, "Strands," creates a feeling of endless depth and intrigue. We reached out to Hauschildt to learn more about his inspirations and thought processes when creating work.
Describe your work in 1-2 sentences.
My work is primarily centered around exploring and expanding the vocabulary of electronic music and its various permutations.
Who/what are your influences?
Despite the tens of thousands of records I've heard and absorbed I tend to think that I'm more influenced by writers and visual artists who operate outside of the sphere of music.
Do you “deep listen?” If so, how?
I think the only times that I'm able to truly 'deep listen' are when I'm in nature and not engaged with my computer, phone or home environment. It's important to remove distractions like that.
When you perform live, do you think think the experience of your sounds changes based on the space that you’re performing? Do you consciously try to perform for a certain space? If your music had an ideal space, what would it be?
It's definitely something I consider but I normally don't create predetermined performances designed for particular spaces. I think the ideal spaces for my music would have a natural reverb that is intrinsic to the space.
In your album, “Strands,” you discuss being inspired by the movement of rivers, particularly the polluted Cuyahoga River in Ohio. You master combining social/environmental problems with musical textures. What is your process and line of thought when invoking these emotions and feelings of flowing movement in your pieces?
It's definitely a form of invocation but it serves mainly as a source of conceptual unity. I try to find and imagine allegorical similarities between movement in the environment and music as a part of the creative process.
Do sound and memory play a part in your works? If you answer yes, how so?
I don't think the idea of memory is as integral a part of my music as the work of Leyland Kirby for example. But I think music and memory are usually entangled as a part of the process whether it's intentional or not. Instead, I try to focus on my immediate surroundings as a source of inspiration.
What questions are you trying to answer with your work at the moment? How do you see your work evolving?
I've been concerned with the effects of de-industrialization on the Midwest and I've been attempting to reconcile some of these bigger issues with music as the primary outlet. It doesn't literally solve any problems but it can draw attention to issues. It's hard for me to step outside the work while it's ongoing to see where or how things are evolving but when I'm traveling or touring I am always taking in new information from the landscapes of cultural and industrial detritus.
Why do you make sound? In your mind, what can sound communicate?
I think of all the arts, sound has the furthest to go in terms of exploration. It's really a vehicle which is capable of communicating anything, so it's a very powerful medium. I think it's also vital to think of the way sound can interact with the moving image, as that opens up a lot of new possibilities as well.