Brady Cohan is a Los Angeles based composer and musician. According to the press release, he is a key part of the vital Downtown LA jazz scene that features musicians such as Sam Gendel, Sam Wilkes and Josiah Steinbrick. As a sought-after Hollywood film composer and assistant composer, his credits include Good Girls and Crashing. His session guitar playing has seen him tour alongside such giants as Stewart Copeland, Queen Latifah, Stanley Clarke, Natalie Cole and countless more.
He has announced the release of a new EP called Studies, Vol. 3 which will be out on July 29th via Panthom Limb and is the third chapter of his ongoing series for solo guitar and electronics. He explains which Vol. 3 is “a study in theme and variation. I wrote and recorded the main themes on acoustic guitar, then sampled, chopped and processed small bits of audio to transform them into new compositions. It is an exercise in process.”
Today we have the pleasure to share a new excerpt called “Variation II” which comes with the official video. Watch it below and read our chat with the artist.
“Studies, Vol. 3” is the third chapter of your ongoing series for guitar and electronics. What are the first vivid memories of this album and what was the main focus when you started to think to this new work?
The three “Studies” ep’s were all made during the pandemic, so in terms of memories that I associate with the making of “Vol. 3”, the particular context in which it was made is the most vivid. The idea behind the “Studies” series was simple: I wanted to explore specific processes of composition that were new and exciting to me. The pandemic gave me time to do just that, and in the process of making these records, the act itself of working on the music took on a deeper significance. It became a form of therapy, a way for me to channel the angst and stress from the pandemic into something constructive. I developed my own compositional practices through making these records. Those practices, more than anything, are what I’m most proud of and grateful for. Now, when I sit down to write, I no longer feel the pressure of having to create something worth keeping. Instead, I’m able to focus more intently on the process at hand and trust that the results will come simply by being consistent in my practice.
This chapter links different souls of your work and has a different approach from your previous two chapters, right?
Absolutely. As I mentioned, more than anything, the “Studies” series has been a study in process. “Vol. 3” centered around one instrument in particular: the Octatrack by Elektron. The idea was to write one or two simple tunes on acoustic guitar and then recompose those pieces by mangling them with the Octatrack. That’s essentially what I did, and that specific process is unique to “Vol.3”. The Octatrack was brand new to me at the time, and I remember the excitement I felt when I first tried it. After some messing around, I thought to myself “Oh ya, this is gonna work!”
How would you like to introduce this album on the stage? Do you have tour plans?
I don’t have tour plans as of yet, but the prospect of performing this music live is really exciting to me! I’d eventually like to present the music with the accompanying visuals for a multimedia experience. Lots of guitars, loopers, and effects pedals will surely be involved, along with the Octatrack, of course!
Let’s talk about the current situation. How are you living these strange times and what are the main concerns as an artist?
I’ve been very fortunate in that, for the most part, I’ve been able to work from home, mainly writing music for film/tv and doing session work as a guitar player. That said, it hasn’t been easy, but my family and I are happy and healthy, so I’m grateful for that. As an artist, I’m not sure that my main concerns have really changed. It’s all about finding ways to support myself so that I can allot time for my artistic pursuits.
You are from Los Angeles, right?. I’m very interested to the connection between the places we live over the years, our roots and the art. How do you feel these theme connected to your music, your way to think music? What are your favorite places which inspired the most?
I’m originally from Northern California, but I’ve been in Los Angeles since 2003. For me, more so than the location itself, it’s the people in the location that are the most inspiring and influential. I’ve been fortunate to meet and work with many incredible people during my time here. The community of friends, musicians, and artists I’ve found in L.A. has shaped me more than any specific location.
Ritual question. Have you seen or heard anything good recently?
Oh for sure! Here’s a list of stuff I’ve been listening to lately:
October Language (Belong)
Mirage (Ben Lukas Boysen)
Hymn to Moisture (Rrose)
It’s Hard for Me to Say I’m Sorry (Fennesz + Jim O’Rourke)
Manu (Bryan Senti)
Ravedeath, 1972 (Tim Hecker)