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Richard Vreeland p2

Composer and musician Richard Vreeland, also known as Disasterpeace, talks about creating music in a variety of styles...

READERSVOICE.COM: You grew up in Staten Island and and I was wondering what that was like.

DISASTERPEACE: Staten Island is a unique place. It’s odd in how it is part of New York City, and yet feels isolated from everything. I grew up in a musical household, but my first creative interest was graphic design. I pursued that path for a while, even attending school for design before deciding to drop out in favor of music.

RV: Where do you live now and what sort of places do you like to go?

DP: I live in Los Angeles, but I like to visit my friends and family in different parts of the country. I like going back home to the New York area. My immediate family doesn’t live there anymore but I cherish time I get to spend with other relatives, usually over Italian food.

RV: You create music in a wide range of styles, from upbeat songs like Four on Level and the intense and melodic chiptune album Atebite and the Warring Nations, to haunting piano pieces like Panacea on Hyper Light Drifter, to suspenseful synthesiser style soundtracks like for the movie It Follows, to blues to ambience. Then you have songs like The Cardinal which have a magical sound all their own. Do your listeners tend to follow you through all these styles or do they stick to one style, generally?

DP: Generally I think people tend to know me for one thing or another. When they discover multiple things I may have done that are in different styles, it’s always fun to see their surprise. Most I think are perhaps more connected to the experiences I’ve contributed to, like FEZ or It Follows, but I’m fortunate that there’s a small part of my audience that is fully along for the ride.

RV: What do you think you will be focusing on in future? More albums of piano pieces, or will you keep it diverse?

DP: I’ve been working pretty relentlessly my entire adult life, and I’ve found myself thinking more and more about taking some significant time off. I’ve also found that my interest in keeping my output diverse has waned a bit, as my desire to have more fun has increased. Crimson Tooth is a good example of that. It’s certainly got a little something unique to it, but in many ways it was a throwback for me, creating chipmusic again for the first time in a few years. Seeking perpetual novelty in work is often challenging and frequently tiresome, so it’s been important for me to try to dilute that a bit at times.

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