Posted April 2nd, 2018 | By A4A.admin
CSMA presents the Electronic Music Festival, a three-day interactive festival on April 13-15. Featuring live performances, hands-on workshops and panel discussions exploring electronic music and the future of music technology. Get to know Benn Jordan, AKA The Flashbulb, headlining Day 1 of the Electronic Music Festival!
Benn Jordan, The Flashbulb
How did you begin playing music?
I began playing guitar when I was around 6 years old, and got into synthesizers as a teenager.
Did you have you access to music education in school? If not, how did you continue your studies? Can you tell us about your continuing relationship with music education?
I’ve never so much as had a lesson. I grew up in South Chicago and there really wasn’t access to music schools in the area. Formal education was never really on the radar for me. In 2012 I founded a non-profit music school in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, but I didn’t personally teach as that was a skill better left to experienced instructors. As for my Benn And Gear channel, I’m not sure how I got into doing the educational videos. I think I just got a lot of requests asking specifics on certain synths or techniques and found that it’d be better to do a feature on the broad topic in general, and that kind of laid the groundwork.
Who are your music heroes or inspirations?
As a kid I listened to a lot of Joe Pass, Coltrane, and Buddy Rich, then more contemporary jazz virtuosos like Jaco and Pat Metheny. It’s difficult to really point a finger at a most influential. I’m honestly inspired by everyone from Bach to Kanye.
Tell us about your equipment setup that you use for your solo performances. How and why did you come to this particular setup?
I change it up a lot, but I typically don’t use laptops. Something about a monitor screen just feels opposite to performing music. Typically the heart of it all is shared between MIDI guitar, loopers, and a master sequencer.
How often do you practice, rehearse and compose? How fast do you work when composing?
I don’t rehearse much at all. I’ll do a day where I make sure everything is working properly before leaving for tour. Practicing and composing is literally all I do unless some errand or chore is imminently more important. It’s my job, but it doesn’t feel like work. I get really anxious if I’m not creating something all the time.
What are you working on next?
Compose personal music as usual. I’m also working on some music/synthesis technology for a few video games.
What advice do you have for young, aspiring musicians?
Do whatever you want, so long as you keep creating. Don’t listen to people who say it’s not easy to make a living. Don’t listen to people who tell you to take certain paths. Don’t even listen to me. If you truly love making music, then you’ll be as happy when you’re a broke musician as you will be when you’re a successful musician. As you keep doing that you’ll get better and better, and the rest will fall in place. Just don’t stop creating things.