Steve Hauschildt (b. 1984, Cleveland ) is an American electronic musician and was a founding member of the band Emeralds. His debut full-length Tragedy & Geometry was released in 2011 via Kranky Records and was a post-kosmische album which referenced Greek muses as inspiration. The album was met with general acclaim and was an audio treatise on the disposability of technology expressed through the re-appropriation of stylistic conventions across electronic music. His sophomore studio-album Sequitur (latin for ‘it follows’) was recorded in Cleveland and Vancouver, BC and arrived in 2012. It featured nearly 20 different electronic instruments from each decade of the last 50 years. In 2013, Editions Mego released S/H, an anthology of rare and unreleased works from Hauschildt’s archives. Consisting of 37 tracks across two discs, it provided a comprehensive overview of his music from 2005-2012. Hauschildt’s compositions are contemporary yet grounded in the past as they preserve the legacy of electronic music and Minimalism. However, his work strives to dismantle and reorganize his diverse set of influences through a continued experimentation with synthesizers, computers and digital processing. Throughout his career, Steve has collaborated with Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never, noted sound designer/composer Alan Howarth, Lusine and others. He is currently working on a compilation for the Air Texture series and has completed a new album which will see release in early 2015.
1: There is no such thing as silence. Actually my roof is being worked on as I write this interview.
2: I am a huge basketball / Cleveland Cavaliers fan
3: Our pet chihuahua Hector has recently displayed an ability to find eastern moles in our backyard. Moles are great because they provide a natural aeration process for the lawn. The eastern mole makes a sound just as good as thousand s of dollars worth of eurorack modules when it is perturbed. I have started to record this sound. Life finds a way, as they say.
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Inspiration is such a fleeting and amorphous thing. It’s rare that I hear a song someone else wrote and think “Wow, I should get to work now.” My music is probably inspired more by films, books, visual art and nature than by music itself. For example, when I was making the new album I was getting deep into the paintings of Kay Sage and Michael Maier’s /Atalanta Fugiens /which is this very old book of emblems. It was maybe one of the first instances of multimedia since it has engravings that are supposed to be viewed while fugues are being played.
I’m more into the original idea of multimedia, combining music with the visual than I am of the contrapuntal music if that makes sense.
How and when did you get into making music?
My family had a piano when I grew up but I never played it or took lessons. I was able to read music at an early age, was in a children’s choir for a time and eventually studied percussion. I actually was fascinated more with computers so it was just a matter of time until I started recording music on my own. I think I was 16 or so when I recorded electronic music on the computer for the first time, so around the year 2001. I still have those recordings but will never release them.
What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
This is a problematic question for a number of reasons. Firstly it supposes that time is not cyclical and secondly that I could somehow cycle through the tens of thousand s of albums I’ve heard and make some kind of ranking / qualitative judgement on them. Instead I will tell you five albums that I like and consider to be ‘classic’.
Paul DeMarinis – Music as a Second Language (Lovely Music Ltd., 1991)
Carl Stone – Mom’s (New Albion, 1992)
Theo Uzoeto – Stepping Out (Waterfall Records, 1985)
Geoff Bastow – Tomorrow’s World (Bruton Music, 1982)
Marcos Valle – Previsão Do Tempo (Odeon, 1973)
What do you associate with Berlin?
Americans who reside there but don’t pay taxes, good cheap food and an amazing history of post-war electronic music of course!
What’s your favorite place in your town?
My house. My studio is here so naturally that is my favorite place. I don’t really leave home that much anymore. There is a really nice, new dog park called ‘Canine Meadows’ that is out in the country that is pretty cool. There are rolling hills and a lake for the dogs to swim in.
It’s kind of a microcosm of society, the big dogs are always ganging up on our dog since he’s the size of a rabbit.
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Anywhere there is vibration or energy there is music. It would re-emerge in another part of the electromagnetic spectrum and humans would evolve to perceive it.
What was the last record you bought?
My last really good haul was at Hanson Records in Oberlin. I found a ton of really weird classical organ LPs that are hard to find any info about.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
As a spectator, Nautical Almanac is probably the best live band I have ever seen and I’ve seen them almost a dozen times over the years. They could permanently shape the way you thought about life in the course of an hour. Carly and Twig are truly geniuses.
Fylkingen in Stockholm, 2009. It was the last No Fun Fest I think, and a lot of our friends were there performing including C Spencer Yeh, Oneohtrix Point Never, Wolf Eyes, etc. We closed one of the nights but played our set perfectly and the crowd seemed to clap forever, I will never forget it.
How important is technology to your creative process?
It is forever entwined with the music I make and I find nothing wrong about that whatsoever. Resistance is futile, as they say.
Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
I have two younger sisters that live in Portland and they are big fans!