Gabriel Saloman is a multidisciplinary artist based in Vancouver, Canada, who works in sound, text, visual medium and socially collaborative forms. He has been composing and performing experimental music for almost two decades both individually and in a variety of collaborations. He is best known for his work with Pete Swanson in the Portland , USA based free-noise project Yellow Swans. His current projects include Chambers, a live dub collaboration with M Red (Lighta! Sound, Low Indigo), and Diadem, an exploration of chance and divinatory processes in musical improvisation with Aja Rose Bond. Saloman’s individual work explores noise and soundscape as a form of resistance and path of emancipation from an authoritarian social order. He works in a variety of mediums, moving through gallery installations, web projects, live performance, recorded music and spatial intervention. Recently he has begun composing for contemporary dance, exploring the possibilities of collaboration between choreographer, dancer and musician.
1: I live on land that is illegally occupied by the Canadian government.
2: Believing is Seeing.
3: Pete and I are still friends.
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
An intense feeling of love and an intense hatred of injustice and authority.
How and when did you get into making music?
I started in earnest as a teenager, trying to make my spanish style acoustic guitar sound like the noisy parts of Nirvana records.
What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys
The Sinking of the Titanic by Gavin Bryars
A Love Supreme by John Coltrane
Sister by Sonic Youth
Voodoo by DâAngelo
What do you associate with Berlin?
Beer, trees, herds of attractive bohemians lost.
What’s your favourite place in your town?
Someone turned their tiny plot in a community garden into a zen reflecting pond. The garden is beautiful enough but the pond is even more so.
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
If there was no music in the world? I could answer that if the question was only what would you do instead? or what would you do if civilisation collapsed? or what if making music was illegal? But if there were no music in the world the world would be unmade, it would cease to exist.
What was the last record you bought?
The Rita – Gamzatti
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Some of my recent solo shows have been incredibly powerful shows for me. In December of last year I played a set during Vancouver Big Joy festival that felt like an act of possession healing. People in the audience were crying and I was out of my head for an hour. Whenever I play I’m always reaching beyond what is possible because even when I come short it has the potential to be beyond anything I’ve known or experienced. Sometimes it fails but sometimes something unexpected happens.
How important is technology to your creative process?
Functionally it’s indispensable but improvisation as a way of being is infinitely more important.
Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
I have a brother and sister, both of whom have families and careers and homes. I’d guess we’re both equally jealous of one another and that none of us would have chosen different lives.