Evan Caminiti is a composer and sound artist based in Los Angeles, CA. Working primarily with electronics, guitar, and field recordings, his process draws from traditions of minimalism, dub, and musique concrete to create vivid aural narratives. He has performed throughout Europe, North America, Japan, and Australia in solo performances and as a member of the duos Barn Owl and Higuma. Caminiti was a frequent collaborator with late filmmaker Paul Clipson and is currently composing original scores for several independent films. His work has been published on his imprint Dust Editions, in addition to Shelter Press, Root Strata, Important Records, Thrill Jockey Records, and more.
1: I’m from a small town in the middle of California you’ve probably never heard of.
2: I’m getting pretty good at making a marinara sauce from scratch.
3: Empathy is essential.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
My immediate surroundings and day to day life, like the other day I passed a crow making a clicking sound I’d never heard before and stopped to record it. Everything from those small, surprising moments to larger undercurrents like existential dread. Also music and film.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I started playing guitar my first year of high school, while getting into punk and leftist politics. Rebellion, angst, all that good stuff.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
So hard to say but a few albums that had a major impact on me and/or are the ones I always return to include:
Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidananda
Vladislav Delay – Multila
Neil Young – Dead Man OST
and Rhythm and Sound – With the Artists.
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
During the years I toured heavily, Berlin was always my home base in Europe, so it has a special place in my heart. These days it’s become symbolic of my “grass is greener” thinking when I ponder leaving the US – a place one could live with a nice public transportation infrastructure, universal health care, and rent control.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Probably the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena because it’s a great place to walk and I don’t walk enough in Los Angeles.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Well that would be horrible but I’d say visual art, mainly drawing.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Ambienti Coassiali – “Vol. 1”, and Zwartjes “Tapes 1”
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’m currently finishing work on two original film scores, my first foray into the realm of scoring. I absolutely love the process of scoring to picture, so I hope to collaborate with more directors in the coming years. Specifically… too many to say.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
It may be impossible to say but quite a few years back I played the Substrata Festival in Seattle, opening for Mika Vainio. Playing before one of my favorite musicians of all time and being in the company of a lot of friends made that a very memorable performance.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being not important and 10 being absolutely essential, I’d say 11.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Evan Caminiti returns with Varispeed Hydra – the follow up to 2017’s Toxic City Music. The album will be available digitally and physically from 3rd April 2020 via Dust Editions!
Photo © Lisa McGee