“I hope people embrace the alchemy of how music comes to mean something different than the notes and sounds that make it up.” Peter Segerstrom, Portable Sunsets.
This is the magical story of a music maker who creates sun-drenched soundscapes which explore the nether regions of his very soul and imagination. i-D online introduce New York producer and electronic instrumentalist Peter Segerstrom, aka Portable sunsets, in his own words, talking about his creative process. Read, listen, watch and learn.
I think any musician working today will probably admit that they are busier than they would like to be. The business of making music has changed pretty drastically in the last few years and that usually means more tasks for independent musicians. These tasks are piled on top of the already all-consuming process of making music. On any given day that I wake up and plan on working on music, there’s undoubtedly some massive spider’s web of tasks that I have to complete at some point that can distract me from working on music.
One of the things I’ve been working on is how to ‘make time’ in the midst of the rest of my life. It’s a weird trick. Really it’s just about feeling the shape of your mind and then seeing what type of work is going to best fit where you are at mentally. Of course there is also the simple discipline of getting things done along with taking lots of breaks. But I think practicing taking small or large chunks of time out of your day to work on your art offers different views into it.
More specifically I think it’s fascinating how differently you can experience your own music. Some days are really about skimming along the surface of a collection of songs to feel if they are cohesive and have enough substance to warrant putting out into the world. Other days are deep and cavernous explorations into a song or a melody that will bring you closer to the music than most people will ever go. These are the best days for me. Really getting dirty with the textures and ideas that make up what your music will be.
From that continuum of experience you start to assemble your perception of what your art does and what it is, but this has so little to do with other people’s experience of it. In our modern era of distraction and content surplus I hope people take the time to slow down and listen to music in the way that it wants to be listened to.
Text: Milly McMahon