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Kristofer Maddigan p3

Composer and musician Kristofer Maddigan talks about how different areas of practice in music are interconnected, and how if one suffers there can be a flow-on effect to other areas of musical practice...

READERSVOICE.COM: You’ve performed and written in a lot of different genres, like the electronic music by Lazerblade on songs like Lazer Electro; and the ambient music of Untitled 2. Not to mention the jazz and other music of Cuphead. What other genres would you be interested in working in?

KRISTOFER MADDIGAN: I feel I have some dumb vanity pop album somewhere in me that would be fun to do, plus I feel doing music for an RPG would be a very liberating experience, as it seems much less restrictive than sticking to 30’s big band. (Although restrictions are also very useful for anyone in a creative field. Any opportunity to have things narrowed down from the start encourages a certain economy of use.)

RV: What’s your weekly routine in Toronto, what with playing percussion for the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, or other projects?

KM: My routine varies from week to week throughout the year. My main gig is with the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, which runs Nov-Dec, March, and June. The rest of the year I pick up as much freelance and extra work as possible. I try to keep myself busy though, as I very easily can go stir crazy if I’m not doing anything. I still practise percussion/drumset 2-4 hours a day, and I’m always working on piano or music theory. Someone much wiser than myself once told me ‘You gotta do the work’. Basically what he was getting at was that you gotta keep your skill sets up, when you are working and especially when you aren’t, which is why I practise and study as much as I can. I also just this week pulled out the guitar I bought 15 years ago and have vowed to learn how to play more than just the bass line to Come as You Are.
When I was composing for Cuphead it was particularly difficult to balance freelancing, practising, studying, getting up and writing for 4 or 5 hours in the morning, and trying to maintain a personal life, although I feel that (for me anyway) as soon as I would let anything slip a bit everything else would suffer, so I really needed to maintain a pretty strict routine. If I practised less, to do more writing, then my performing didn’t feel as prepared. If I wrote less to practise more, then I was worried that Cuphead might not get finished. It was a real lesson in time management.

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-copyright Simon Sandall