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.
Vignettes caught up with Edmonton based musician, Mitch Holtby–better known as Mitchmatic–who has taken part in this year’s Vignettes Design Series. With over four studio albums released since 2010, Mitchmatic combines electro jazz beats and rap to create a unique and catchy sound. Mitchmatic is working with this year’s competing teams to create a soundtrack for their vignettes, enhancing the experiential cohesiveness of each design. A key player in Edmonton’s music scene, Mitchmatic shares his take on our creative communities, and what events like Vignettes mean to the city.
What was it like trying to become a successful artist in Edmonton and what were some of the challenges you faced?
Initially the biggest challenge was getting anyone, at any show, to remember who you are. I played for three years before I had anything to send people home with. I worked really hard to make any show I performed memorable for people and to try and get the word out.
Since becoming an established artist, how has the Edmonton music and art scene changed?
Now that I’ve played 400 shows in Edmonton and have built up a reputation, it seems a bit smaller. I do remember it was frustrating to become known in any fashion. But it is small and welcoming and seems open to any ideas [someone] has to bring forward in terms of style, performance, and genre.
How important is it to you, as a musician, that Edmonton has a Vignette event that aims to strengthen the art scene community?
I cherish any opportunity like this. It is really nice to have events like this in the sense that you get to showcase for a different sort of crowd than you normally would for other shows.
In your opinion, why do you think it is beneficial that artists of different fields collaborate on projects like the Vignettes Design Series?
Personally, it’s just an interesting variation and outlet to be inspired by a different artist discipline. It’s a welcomed change and a different exercise rather than just creating music for itself. I’ve collaborated with a lot different people in theatre and music in Edmonton, and any intertwining of the discipline seems beneficial and brings the city together more.
What are you looking forward to the most with Musical Soundscapes, and what kinds of new opportunities did this present to you as an artist?
I am really excited to try new forms of creation and be inspired by visual art because I haven’t done that very often. Normally, I think of performing [a song] rather than it being part of a wider art exhibit. I’ll arrange the songs different and have different structure, shapes and forms than they normally would.
What do you think is the best way for Edmontonians to support the growing art and design community in Edmonton?
I can only speak about music, but pay attention to media announcements for shows even if you aren’t aware of the artist. Do some research rather than putting it off as someone you aren’t aware of!
We can't wait to hear what Mitchmatic created, and how his collaborations with the design teams will unfold. Mitchmatic’s musical soundscapes will be played at this year’s Vignettes Design Series from September 22 to October 15. To learn more about the Vignettes Design Series, and to purchase your tickets, visit vignettesyeg.ca.
Article written by Breanna Moffat. Photo courtesy of mitchmatic.com.