In our Composer Spaces series, we ask composers to share a bit about their working environment and to give us a brief insight into their process. This week we present composer, Louis Baker.
Please list any iwi | tribal | nation affiliations:
Nga Puhi / Ngati Tu (I’m currently on the journey of reconnecting with whakapapa)
Please tell us about your composition and writing process, and what inspires you when composing?
Music has a deep place in my life and always has. All sorts of things inspire me to express art through this medium of music, some of these things include whanau, the ones who have walked before me, nature, and empathy for others, or perhaps a want to understand our human condition and existence.
I love poetry, philosophy and that feeling of when you write a song and commit it to record. I love to speak my truth, even if it is hard to say out loud, or put in a song. Joni Mitchell put me on to the idea that vulnerability is a strength in songwriting, and I truly believe that. I think it helps the listener to normalize their own feelings, lower their defences and not feel alone.
Please describe the space where you compose your music, what makes it unique, and why have you chosen it?
I make music in my home studio because it has the best vibe and is cheaper to run! haha
What equipment (including software) do you have in your space?
Lately, I have been working on my workflow in Logic X, and that has been really rewarding and saves time. There are many variables to a good sound (The room, The gear), but you can’t buy a vibe or a great performance. That should always come first in my opinion. In terms of my set up, I’m loving my mic chain at the moment. It’s pretty simple and humble but sounds awesome, with a Rode K2 condenser mic, into a Rupert Neve Designs 511 mic pre, to interface.
How have you adapted during the COVID-19 lockdown?
It has been a bit tough to lose 75% of my business (live performance), but I am very grateful to have received the wage subsidy, and still be able to work from home. In many ways, things go on as usual because I’m often at home making music. I’ve been working on a new record which is exciting, and also writing/producing/toplining with artists from around the world from places like NZ, AUS, and the UK over Zoom/Skype. This has been really nice to stay connected and motivated.
Has any special projects/songs come about as a result of the C-19 lockdown?
Lots of new songs, and haven’t stopped playing guitar haha
What are you currently working on?
The date of release for my new record remains unannounced, but I’ve been loving the process and have already got quite a few tracks in the bag. I’m aiming to write some more and then pick the best ones.
Are you doing anything special for Music Month, and if so can you tell us about it?
Something for RNZ coming soon…