Melanie Mok

Vignettes x Jason Borys

Melanie Mok
Vignettes x Jason Borys

In partnership with ATB Financial, Vignettes has introduced a new element to the Design Showcase this year: sound design. Each musical track that has been paired with the 14 showcase designs, dubbed the ATB Soundscapes, features the works of some of Edmonton's most revered musical artists. These spotlights give us a closer look at each artist's history, their experience building their craft in our city, and what they think about engaging in new creative collaborations.

 

 
 
 

Since becoming an established artist, how has the Edmonton music and art scene changed?

Edmonton has been a great place for me to develop my art among many incredibly diverse and supportive artists. Though it wasn't until I had played multiple shows in Toronto that any Edmonton promoters really started to show any interest. This is something I've noticed with quite a few bands. If you work for any period of time on a project and a different city embraces you before your own does it can be discouraging, I can see that factoring in on making the move away from your hometown as you can develop a connection to the first city that embraces your art.

How important is it to you, as a musician, that Edmonton has events like Vignettes that aim to strengthen the art scene community?

I find Edmonton is continually becoming more accepting of outsider experimental art. Even concert line ups seem to have started to really mix things up. I used to go to punk shows and only see punk bands, or only see metal bands playing with metal bands. Now it's not uncommon to have multiple genres represented at a single show. It's become very inclusive that way.

In your opinion, why do you think it is beneficial that artists of different fields collaborate on projects like the Vignettes Design Series?

I think projects like this are incredibly important to bring together artists of different mediums together to develop a greater sense of community. Not only does it help to develop each artists to grow by getting out of their regular routine. But it also brings together different subcultures of art lovers who will come together to experience the Vignettes as a unified piece of art.

What do you think is the best way for Edmontonians to support the growing art and design community in Edmonton?

For myself, it's made me look at approaching my art from a completely different angle. And almost giving my music a very different purpose. I think it's been good for me to really have to think about what I want my music to achieve inside a space that isn't defined by myself.  My music is usually experienced on the dancefloor–I really wanted to be sure I wasn't writing for that environment. It's made me try some new approaches to songwriting. Growing as an artist can be hard to do if you are isolated, by bringing together a community of artists inspiration can be plentiful–helping all the artists to grow. In turn, it will help our community grow by bringing together so many different types of artists and art lovers.

What are you most looking forward to about being involved in the ATB Soundscape and what kinds of new opportunities did this present to you as an artist?

Experience art in as many forms as you can. The city is thriving with amazing artists. Support them. Go to their concerts or viewings. Buy their designs when you can.

How would you describe the music you created for the Vignette? What kind of process did you undertake to come up with the music? 

I've never given the space that the music will be played in too much thought. My music is usually played on a dark dancefloor so I haven't ever thought of trying to define a space any other way.It's actually been very inspiring to use this approach of thinking about defined spaces while creating a track. I'm most excited to get to experience the entire building as a singular piece of art while enjoying the individual spaces along the way!

How would you describe the music you created for the Vignette? What kind of process did you undertake to come up with the music?

I would describe the music I composed for the Vignettes as minimal microtonal techno. The music was created by patching together a eurotrack modular system with a Bugbrand modular system. The music is played live with no pre-recorded loops or tracks. All sounds are created from patching together oscillators, filters and envelopes. A few weeks ago I visited the rooms that my tracks were going to be played in and took measurements to find what frequencies were most resonant in each space. I then tried to highlight those frequencies/notes in the compositions. I definitely wanted the music to feel like it is part of the architecture of the space. Not sticking out as focal point, but as a supporting element in a bigger environment.

 

Experience Jason's work at the Vignettes Showcase from September 22 to October 15. To purchase tickets, visit vignettesyeg.ca/tickets.