Friday, October 23, 2015

April Gee - Containher


What do you do?
I’m a composer/vocalist and an artist

Where can we find your work? You can find my music on

What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when things get tough?
I can’t help but create, even though I often move at the pace of a dreamy turtle. It’s my catharsis from this often alienating life. I feel like I can get in touch with a deep place within myself and share it with others through music. It’s also my main form of play, something I look forward to, and a better challenge than any puzzle or video game.

What do you think is more important content/finished product or technique/process?I think it’s important to practice getting to that high quality, brilliant, shining diamond in your mind’s eye. So don’t just zen out into a blob, but keep unfogging that view of your piece while you swim forward towards it. As artists, we can all see where we want to be with one work or another...and we should all strive to get there and surprise ourselves with some twists and turns for the better on our way to what feels “finished” on any particular project. Nothing is more gratifying. Who are some people who influence and/or inspire you?

I especially relate to women that have squished their way into the music industry with their own style, completely their own. The kinds of women that you can’t say “Oh she’s the next (fill in the blank)” Sade,for example, was rejected by everyone when she came out with her first album. They didn’t know how to categorize it. She got herself an interview at a hip fashion magazine, sold out her first show and then all the same labels that rejected her wanted her signed with them. She allowed it on one condition..that nothing on the album be changed one bit. Her, Bjork, Enya, Beth Gibbons from Portishead who formed a unique sound as a farm girl listening to very old records. As a composer/producer I’m also all over the map. Like Duke Ellington said..there’s only 2 types of music. Good music and bad music. hehe. So I like whatever feels fresh to me from any era or genre. Whatever feels fresh and juicy!

What is the most incredible art moment for you so far?
It’d have to be right now. I’ve developed myself a lot in the past couple years. I used to only be able to sing and tinker on the guitar. Now, I feel like I can be an architect of sound..building around my voice. I still have a lot to learn and a long ways to grow, but things are more exciting than they are frustrating. I know that I can figure just about anything out. I have the confidence to go for it, and the humility to know where and how to ask for help.

When do you get your best ideas? I get my best ideas in echoey places. I usually find a good tiled bathroom and set up my laptop there and then get all witchy. In any case, the best ideas come when I’m wandering around with my voice and having fun with a beat or pretending I’m some sort of mad genius.

What materials/tools do you use most to create your work?
I’m usually sitting somewhere with my laptop and a portable midi keyboard, or I have a monster version of that at home when I need to get serious. I also like to hash things out on piano or try out different approaches on guitar...and plenty of time is spent with the reverb on high just singing into a cheap microphone.

Are you self ­taught or formally educated? How do you think that has influenced or affected your work?
I’m mostly self taught. It’s hard to know how that has influenced my work. I’m guessing that it leads to a western pop pallet that I’m working with as opposed to having true classical training. In any case, I’m learning whatever I can about the language and theory of music now. I try to keep a positive outlook on it, and hope that I’ve developed a somehow “unspoiled” style of my own that I can fortify with continuing education.

Who would you most like to meet living or dead and why?I’d love to meet Bjork and sit in some cave in Iceland singing with her and maybe just one beat machine. We could bring lunch and a giant keg of hot tea. I think it would be the greatest jam ever. When you are not creating what do you like to do? These days, I like to sit outside with this orange cat that I know named Little Buddy. He stares out into the sunset, and I can really understand that. I like quiet things like that, and drinking tea all day. I recharge alone. When I feel active, I dance like a crazy person. How did you learn to access your creative talents and gain the confidence to put it out there for everyone to experience? I’ve only recently done this public thing. It’s still kind of an experiment. When you put something out there for people to kind of have to disconnect a little bit so that you can stand back and calibrate where you really are. There are several levels going on: 1) Do you like it, you, yourself personally. If so...then that should be satisfying enough to show it even if you like the rough edges around it and things that people won’t necessarily get. it is authentic if you feel it. 2) Is it good? come on, be honest. Can you stand back and say that it is good quality in the scope of history and your modern peers? If should definitely share it, even if the people in your immediate circle don’t get it. I guess, all in all, don’t expect anyone to “get it”. But if you’re hitting #1, and at least almost hitting #2, you should get your work out there. Try to think about it from your perspective as an audience member of another artist’s work. Whenever I see something good and fresh, I feel like my soul has been nourished. Remember that you can be that for someone else if you are doing your job right.

What advice would you give others just beginning their creative adventures? I think that it’s very important to stay positive, and to wiggle around in art til you find your stride in a particular aspect of it. Realize that time pays off. Whatever you spend time on, you are becoming more of. That includes being a positive, healthy person...and being an accomplished artist. Be kind to yourself along the way, and treat it like it is a game. Don’t worry, and don’t wallow. Keep your focus on your goal so that everything that gets in your way feels like a tiny pebble. Sometimes, you’re going to suck and will have to start all over again. You can get a boost in your powers when you seek help, or further your education. Also, make friends among people that do what you do in ways that you admire. You’re going to be growing together, learning from each other, and it makes life better in so many way.

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