When I was in like seventh grade I had a band with my friend and we were half joking and really bad. I also had an iPad. My friend told me I should get the Garageband iPad app because she thought it would be useful to use for some reason, so I did. We never used it for that project.
A little bit later that same friend started like joke freestyle rapping and we all thought it was really really funny, and I made some instrumentals for her using the app. They were really weird and basically impossible to rap over (they are Instr 1 & 2 off of Electronic Music), and when I played them for her she obviously did not want to use them (though she was nicer about it). She also said I should release them as stand alone music, which I took to heart.
And that’s basically the beginning of Carl Christ, though my first release was over a year later I think.
What song of yours is the one you like the most?
How do you write your music?
In general, my music is written very spontaneously, especially when I started out. I would usually just open up the Garageband app and play whatever I hear or comes to my fingers, and thin build things up and add textures, and sometimes edit things from before. As I’ve matured and learned more about music in general, I go in with more concepts, forms and specific ideas, but I still try to hold onto something of an improvisatory and very human approach to the music, filtered through an inherently inhuman device.
What is music?
Obviously, what music is is a big question that a lot of people have put a lot of thought into. I don’t really think about it a lot (that type of thing can be restricting I think), but I guess I like a lot of John Cage’s ideas about how everything is music and stuff.
What influences do you have?
Over the course of Carl Christ’s existence I’ve been really heavily influenced by different people. Early on I was like obsessed with making things that sounded like Death Grips and that shaped my music a lot. And later that happened with Drake. With Cecilia I was very intentionally influenced by music that had to do with Abrahamic religions. Practically, this was using a lot of theoretical things from traditional Muslim, Jewish and Christian music, rather than actually listening to it. I was also influenced by things like Cat Stevens, Steve Reich and John Coltrane. With the Carl Christ music that I’m working on now, I’m mostly influenced by people like the Bad Plus as well as a lot of retrospection on the music that I made a long time ago, which seems very foreign to me now.
What´s the best experience you have had with your project?
Probably the best experience I’ve had for this project was when I released my first album. It was the first music of any kind I’d released at that point and my friends seemed to like it a lot and I just felt really good about things.
What plans do you have this year?
I have two Carl Christ projects that I’m working on right now. The first is a really weird mixtape that I’ll put on DatPiff. It’s mostly conceptual and once I start actually working on it (which I haven’t yet) it won’t take me long so I hopefully will be able to get it out this year. The other one is a pretty standard Carl Christ album. I haven’t been really inspired to work on it lately but I’ve got a couple of tracks done, so we’ll see. Other than that I don’t have any specific plans for Carl Christ any time soon.
Mention something you don´t like about your project.
It’s hard to say, but one thing I don’t like about my project historically is that I just released way too much music too quickly I think. Obviously that’s not still the case, it’s been over a year since my last release, so something that I don’t like that I think hasn’t changed is how it always seems to be somewhat aimless in general, it’s just kind of a random quilt of things coming from the iPad app for Garageband
Mention the biggest sacrifice you did for your project.
I have sacrificed almost nothing for Carl Christ. My lifestyle is essentially unaffected by it in almost every way. I’ve sacrificed a lot of space on my iPad and I’ve sacrificed a little bit of time I could’ve spent doing something else.
What band, music project or solist from your city do you like?
Almost all of the local music that I see is jazz, and probably my favorite local musician is Dave King. I love all of his projects that I’ve seen or heard (Vector Families, The Bad Plus, Real Bulls, Dave King Trucking Company, Happy Apple, and many others)
If your project was a word, what would it be?
What´s your full name?
My full, real name is Nicholas Christenson. Right now, answering this interview, I am in my bed at home.