Christina Broussard of SciFiSol is becoming well known for captivating live electronic performances, while her music productions veer between ambient and industrial with intriguing vocal performances being the standout, unifying theme. Here she details the process and technology – which can veer between complete hardware or software – behind the varied SciFiSol sound.
1 Tell us a little bit about your musical background?
CB: “I’ve always been musical and began singing in choirs and performing as a young child. It was a natural progression for me to start playing in bands and I was part of a few punk rock experimental projects in my late teens. These were heavily inspired by bands like Sonic Youth and ideas surrounding the No Wave philosophy, which didn’t demand much formal musical training, only the will to express oneself with the medium of sound. I found that really appealing because I had a nonconventional upbringing, and the experimentalism of No Wave seemed to fit right in with my perspective on the world. In the late 90s, once I started going to electronic music events and raves, I got excited about the idea of making music with software because I saw that it provided the opportunity to achieve a specific vision without having to consider outside factors in the ever-changing landscape of my early life.”
2 What is your production philosophy?
CB: “It has changed over the years, having gone from super experimentalism to being more refined into something with recognisable song structures, and then back again. One constant has been the necessity to capture something that’s unique, something that stands out as the antithesis to commercial pop music. Much of the music for SciFiSol is based on my poetry and lyrics which tend to set the tone and inspire the production. It’s a darker tone that explores the psychosocial effects of culture on human experience and strives to capture an essence of mysticism that encourages subjective interpretation. ”
3 When and how did you discover the route to computer music making?
CB: “I first used a program called Making Waves and with that the doors to perception flew open for me. I was so excited by the idea of ‘painting with sound’ and saw limitless potential and creative freedom in it. Achieving my artistic vision as a solo artist became so straightforward once I understood the fundamentals of computer music production as I realised I only had myself to rely on when working towards finishing a song.”
4 You have gained quite a reputation for your live performances…
CB: “American artists able to make a living from music are pretty rare, simply because there is not the same appreciation for electronic music as there is in places like Europe, so there’s not as much opportunity to financially sustain the work. For so many American artists, the profession of music is a labour of love and something that must be done as a second job. Although working as a DJ is one notable way to make a living from music, my interests have always been more in the vein of live musical performance and I mostly perform using electronic hardware and my voice. But, I do consider having gotten to the point where I can give a live performance using only hardware instruments a huge success. It took years to not only learn how to use these tools effectively, but also to write the songs and rehearse them for an audience. To achieve this goal has always been a dream of mine, and having achieved it in the last six years has been something I consider a big win in terms of personal accomplishment.”
5 Can you tell us a bit more about your studio gear?
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
UVI are well known for their instruments but also do great effects too, and their latest EQ might well, wait for it, put others in the shade
KRUST: Moving in cycles
Along with Roni Size, Krust was at the forefront of jungle in the 90s, helping to launch the genre and one of its most legendary labels, Full Cycle Records. After taking a seven-year break from music production, he is back with The Edge Of Everything, his first album in 14 years, an extraordinary cinematic production that came together with the best of old and new technology…
Jeff Russo is one of the world’s leading film and TV composers, currently on a mission to boldly produce exceptional soundtracks for both Star Treks Discovery and Picard. For these critically-acclaimed soundtracks, he even had his own custom-built sample library co-developed with Orchestral Tools (now available for us all to use) complete with a Klingon Choir…
In part two of his exploration of the human side of computer music-making, Ashley talks about how to keep social – outside of your usual beat-making bubble
Using repetition and variation
Dave Clews talks us through how to use repetition in a way that even your harshest critics won’t detect as anything more than ‘catchy’
The Sequencer, pt 1
Scot takes us through the history and development of another synth staple and advises how to use it in a modular setting
Arturia: V Collection 8
The move to improve, enhance, add to and tweak already impressive software bundles continues apace with this latest package from Arturia
A touch of chaos
The experts from Audiotent bring extra dimensions to your synth sounds by exploring chaos generation, random LFOs and velocity
15 questions with… SOPHIA LOIZOU
The composer and academic produces intense electronica “inviting us to see the Earth through the eyes of others”…
Recording external instruments or an entire band into your computer can seem a daunting prospect if you’ve never done it before, but with today’s tools – and advice from the following pages – it’s surprisingly easy to get great results. Welcome to the Recording Masterclass!
iZotope RX 8 Advanced $1199
The audio repair stalwart adds and improves a few modules. Can it give a fresh sheen to James Russell’s tracks?
iZotope Stutter Edit 2 $199
The BT-branded glitch-maker returns. Si Truss gets his edit on
Novation Launchpad Mini Mk3 £100
Launcher control surfaces continue their rise. Jon Musgrave asks if small is beautiful with this latest offering
Control & Sequence
The lines between MIDI controllers, hardware sequencers and expressive instruments are increasingly blurring. Let’s look at some creative ways to get handson with gear in and out of the box
Novation Summit £1,899
With its aftertouch-enabled keyboard, juicy new features and twin Peaks, the new flagship from Novation sounds like a dream. Dan ‘JD73’ Goldman scales the Summit!