Connor Stratman: “Art is a Collective Motion”

Artist name: Connor Stratman

Featured Work 1: I’m Not Really Flying I’m Thinking

Conor Stratman’s sound explorations have both levity and density and are mysterious, ambient, sonorous, soothing, and questioning.

Featured Work 2Wires Above The Ground

5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is art to you?

I like to think art is a physical movement that I have with the world. If we think of the way we see, hear, or feel a location, it’s a collection of energies pulled into clusters and pushed away again. I read somewhere some time ago that scientists had picked up music coming from a black hole. That it was sending audible pulses to us at a certain frequency, at a certain pitch, and we were receiving those sounds. That could mean that art is a collective motion made through waves, pushes and pulls of gravity, a difficult but intimate relationship of material forces of immeasurable varieties. Art, in this sense, isn’t necessarily human.

2. What did you make in the past, and why?

In my past life I wrote poetry. I even had some of it published. If there’s a why to that, it’s difficult to verbalize. There was a magnetic attraction to words, how they could be arranged in a way that hinted at a totalized picture of life and then pulled it out from under my feet. It was a way to make language a strange, uncomfortable experience while also being this sensuous, eye-opening moment of insight. I left it behind for various reasons, the main one being that I felt I’d exhausted my ability to contribute something worthwhile in that capacity. It was time to find something new.

3. What are you making now, and why?

With the Ecophobe project, I’m exploring sound. That’s a vague way to put it, but it’s somewhere near accurate. There’s uncharted territory for me there. It’s somewhere between music and chance. None of the recordings I’ve made are ‘written,’ so to speak. They’re largely late night experiments where a discovery of a tone or pattern has grown into something of substance. In the beginning, it was guitar pieces, since that’s the only instrument I’m proficient at. But I started exploring some possibilities with ambient sounds. There’s nothing necessarily unique in that. Ambient music is a flooded genre and a lot of people are making great stuff that’s much more exciting and groundbreaking than what I’m doing. But in any case I like to think that there’s something significant in having found a minor voice in that auditory pathway, an approach to melody that is, if you will, ‘mine.’

4. What are your hopes for the future?

I don’t really have any grand plans for Ecophobe. I’m not actively seeking a label to release music on, though I would probably do so if the opportunity arose. As the tracks on the Soundcloud page show, the pieces that I make are infrequent. I tend to wait for something like a spark. To quote a phrase, “It comes when it wants to.” But otherwise, I’d also really like to do some collaboration with other artists, whether they’re musicians, visual artists, or writers. I think some really special things could come out of that.

5. What else would you like to say?

I tend not to give advice, but there is something worth saying. If you’re contemplating making something, just do it. Take advantage of chance occurrences, because there’s something special there.

Artist Supplied Background:

Connor Stratman lives in north Texas, where he spends his time reading and working on his doctorate. He’s previously lived in other places, such as Chicago. When not buried in work, you can find him daydreaming, taking pictures, and walking around with various animals.


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5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers

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