INTERVIEW: Aaron West talks about his new experimental compilation “The Dulcet Sound of Fiction” & more!

Aaron West is probably best known for his work with Quiet Hollers. Often, he’s the sprinkles on the sweet donut that is Quiet Hollers. There’s so much more to Aaron as a person and as an artist however. He’s a pivotal piece of the burgeoning experimental music scene here in Louisville, as well as my absolute favorite person to run into at the bar. One could say, he’s the chocolate chips on the Belgian waffle that is Louisville.

This Saturday, November 17th, he’s releasing  a 7″ vinyl compilation of local experimental artists titled The Dulcet Sound of Fiction in an attempt to bring some fellowship back to the scene (listen to it above via Bandcamp). For that reason, we reached out to Aaron to find out what this compilation is all about. Check out the interview below and pick up a copy of the vinyl at Butchertown Social on Nov. 17th with performances from some of the artists. 

Never Nervous: Tell us about this compilation you have coming out.

Aaron West: It’s a collaboration between 12 different regional experimental and avant-garde sound artists. The medium will be a 7” vinyl with each artist having a one minute track equaling a total of 12 minutes on the entire compilation. I decided to call this project The Dulcet Sound of Fiction, which is a title my friend Joseph Ball used on a song when we were in a band together many years ago. I think the title is pretty fitting for this comp. 
NN: Will there be a digital release of this stuff?
AW: There will be a digital release of the album. It will be on Bandcamp by the release date on November 17th. Plus, each copy of the vinyl comes with a free download.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s actually streaming now, and it rules.]
NN: Where did the idea come from? 
AW: Thaniel Ion Lee and myself were talking about having a vinyl collaboration to bring several local folks together on a single project. Since we are both very immersed in experimental music we decided to reach out to the people we know and see who were interested in being part of this project. It’s also interesting to hear everyone’s take on a one minute track. I feel the tight parameters causes someone to think about their piece in a completely different way than if they were writing a longer song. 

“It’s also interesting to hear everyone’s take on a one minute track.”

NN: Why was this such an important venture for you? 
AW: It’s important for two reasons. The first is the fact that it brings many artists together under one project. This creates a strong sense of unity. Secondly, it allows people to be on a vinyl without fronting a huge cost. This collaboration was funded by all of the artists and allowed all of us to be on a vinyl in a much cheaper way than putting out solo albums.
NN: What artists do you have on it? 
AW: Here are the artists and their track titles: 
Ashochious – Alfonzo Coleman 
Aaron West – Tea Supplies
Ben Traughber – Pavonine 
Gravespit – God, I Hate Rock N Roll
Jonathan Hancock – 7 inch laugh track 
Bret Berry – crepuscular waltz
None – Pleiadians 
JAS2 – Lurkin
Atticus Coleman – Skins 
Tender Mercy – Fear Pt. 2 
Thaniel Ion Lee – sick birds [excerpt]
Patient ? – The Baby (Don’t be the baby, get up cause we going to the bar, you whiney butthole) 
NN: Is there a plan to do this annually?
AW: I would like to do it annually and see it grow, but it needs to become more streamlined. It was kind of a mess in the middle of doing this and I’m thankful that everyone has been incredibly patient. Especially since I was traveling for most of the year touring with a band and some solo shows. I think annually would be amazing. Before I commit to that I want to at least put out another one and see how it goes. 

“I like to discover new sounds from preexisting sounds found in everyday life.”

NN: How do we find experimental shows in Louisville right now? 
AW: Honestly, there are quite a few experimental shows becoming integrated into other shows. It’s kind of nice to see since experimental music has such a small niche of people coming out to shows. There is a great showcase at Butchertown Social that Dustin Marcum and JC Denison host once a month. 
NN: Does being an experimental musician change the way you look at your everyday life? Does it make you feel like life is a work of art? 
AW: Maybe… I like to discover new sounds from preexisting sounds found in everyday life. So, I guess I hear sounds and don’t know what they truly can be until I get down to manipulating them through various techniques. The best way to describe it would be musique concrète. I kind of humorously started a record label identity from this mindset called Sounds That Sound Like The Sounds They Should Like. In general, I find a lot humor in music and art. I don’t feel as a musician that I should ever take myself too seriously. 
NN: What other music are you working on currently? 
AW: Right now I’m focused on doing as many collaborations as possible. I’m currently in the middle of recording an album with Misha Feigin and Jon Silpayamanant. It’s an improv album utilizing traditional and extended techniques on piano, violin and cello. I just recorded an album with Ashchious. That will probably be online sometime soon. That is an experimental duo consisting of myself and James Alan Sweeny II. I am working with R Keenan Lawler with a project for violin and guitar. This is consisting of using just intonation and drones on each instrument. Very fun stuff to listen to and lose yourself in. I am also doing a violin and piano project with Atticus Coleman. That’s coming along quite nicely. So, I’m planning on many more projects and even trying to get some international collaborations going. We shall see.