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Painting a landscape with audio soundscapes

by Jessica Romera February 25, 2014
Painting a landscape with audio soundscapes

A film’s composition is threefold: it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. By nature, it is a sequence of images, usually accompanied by an audio backdrop or verbal interactions. Each part of the film is designed to push viewers further into another state of reality, to instill in them a certain feeling, or to create a lasting memory. When you take away all visual cues, you are left to create your own film, your own memory. In just three tracks, Raveen prompts you into the director’s chair to indulge your imagination.

“For me, it’s a beach at night time, which sounds really uppity and pretentious, but that’s the only thing that comes to mind,” said Eric Seguin, Raveen’s bassist and vocalist, of the upcoming self-titled EP. “We sat down to think about it, but we kept coming up with waves.”

“It reminds me of that feeling you get when you’re on the beach at night time: you’re not supposed to be there then, but there’s something personal about it,” he added. “It’s not day-time music,”

Although they have been working on new material for several months, the EP launch will mark their first ever live performance as a three-piece collective.

“There’s definitely a band aesthetic to [Raveen] even if we play mostly electronic music,” said Seguin.

Multiple band members are in the electro acoustics program at Concordia, giving them a solid background in electronic instrumentation allowing for Raveen combines electronic beats with more traditional rock sounds including bass guitar and drums.

“If you think of the set up, it’s a lot easier to explain [the style of music]. If you heard it, it’s the best way of figuring it out.”

Unlike traditional band recording, Raveen produced their material in pieces, and at times, miles apart from each other in different cities.

“It’s a collage,” laughed Seguin.

This collaborative effort between bandmates often required them to send each other what they had been working on from Vermont to Toronto, then Toronto to Montreal, for example. This layering and piecing together of material however, led to a set of tracks that Seguin describes as “the closest to what [Raveen] embodied.”

With almost a dozen recorded songs to choose from, over half of them were left on the cutting room floor.

“The other songs were more basic,” said Seguin, referring to the instrumentation involved. “They didn’t really make the cut.”

Wanting their EP to reflect their full sound spectrum, they chose the three tracks they thought contained the most audible layers.

“I guess it’s more to showcase your production skills than your playing skills, because people can see that at our show,” he said.

“We probably chose the most complicated ones,” he said, in order to emphasize the distinction between their in-studio sound and their live performances.

In a live setting, Seguin highlights the importance of having energetic stage presence, especially with a drummer.

“What you need is almost a dancer,” said Seguin enthusiastically. “When you go to a show and you just have a guy standing in front of a mic, it can be so boring. I want people to feel like moving.”

When there are varying personal preferences, it can be almost unavoidable to disagree on certain aspects of production or performance.

“I wanted it to sound more like D‘Angelo and Drake, than you know, a rock show,” said Seguin, “but they push it to be more of a live thing.”

Despite minor differences of opinion, they push each other out of their comfort zones, which for Seguin, can only be a positive thing.

“I think it kind of happens a lot: people end up working with people who are like minded before they play with people who play to their musical strengths.”

“Mostly it’s just about chemistry.”

On Feb.28, Raveen will be bringing their production to the forefront at O Patro Vys for their official album launch. The next step? Probably putting out a full length LP.

“Honestly, I just hope one day someone tells me what movie my music sounds like.”

Raveen will be performing with VLVBVMV and Boho on Feb.28 at O Patro Vys. Check out the Facebook event

 

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