Arts Desk

Listen, the Snow Is Falling: What D.C. Musicians Do When They’re Snowed In

If you were hoping to catch some live music tonight, you're probably out of luck. Yet while today's hazardous conditions may make getting to venues difficult, they won't stop local artists from making music—including, lest I forget, the guy who lives across the street from me and plays sax for what must be 13 or 14 hours a day. He's quieted down this afternoon, but for a few stretches this morning, his screeches sounded pretty inspired. Was it the weather? I asked a few D.C. musicians via e-mail and G-chat about the music they're making today, and what kind of inspiration they draw from being snowed in. Check it out after the jump:

Hugh McElroy (Ruffian Records, ex-Black Eyes): Right now I'm working on an Imperial China remix and planning on practicing cello for a bit, assuming I don't meet some other teachers from school for snow-football and a drink, that is. I've mostly been playing medieval tunes honestly, so the remix will give me a chance to dub it up.
Bernard Farley (Outputmessage): I was working on a ambient remix earlier, something like Aphex Twin's "On."
Ryan Holladay (Bluebrain): I'm actually working right now on something for a magazine in New York—it's a bizarre amalgam of harp music. It fits perfectly with this weather, I must say. I've been really interested in exploring solo harp music recordings for a while and love that I have an excuse to be holed up and doing it right now.
Ryan Holladay (Bluebrain): I'm actually working right now on something for a magazine in New York—it's a bizarre amalgam of harp music. It fits perfectly with this weather, I must say. I've been really interested in exploring solo harp music recordings for a while and love that I have an excuse to be holed up and doing it right now.
Noam Elsner (True Womanhood): Thomas [Redmond] and I played dubstep all yesterday till it started really snowing and I had to get home. If there's no power, all I can do is pots and pans remixes or, you know, play Satie and Ravel on the piano. Cos I'm so sofistikated.
Young Raven (hip-hop producer): Most of my music is pretty dark anyway, but the snow tends to smooth out the darkness a little. It's like Sade meets Radiohead over some boom-bap drums.
Matthew Taylor (Tennis System): I'm actually sitting in front of my computer recording/writing now. I'm writing poppy drive-y stuff. It's very MBV meets Guided By Voices. This weather is such a downer sometimes and I need something positive to keep me going. It's a blessing in disguise. I don't have to work and cannot go outside. So I lock myself in my room and write and record. Some of it might never get used, but some may.

Hugh McElroy (Ruffian Records, ex-Black Eyes): Right now I'm working on an Imperial China remix and planning on practicing cello for a bit, assuming I don't meet some other teachers from school for snow-football and a drink, that is. I've mostly been playing medieval tunes honestly, so the remix will give me a chance to dub it up.

Bernard Farley (Outputmessage): I was working on a ambient remix earlier, something like Aphex Twin's "On."

Ryan Holladay (Bluebrain): I'm actually working right now on something for a magazine in New York—it's a bizarre amalgam of harp music. It fits perfectly with this weather, I must say. I've been really interested in exploring solo harp music recordings for a while and love that I have an excuse to be holed up and doing it right now.

Noam Elsner (True Womanhood): Thomas [Redmond] and I played dubstep all yesterday till it started really snowing and I had to get home. If there's no power, all I can do is pots and pans remixes or, you know, play Satie and Ravel on the piano. Cos I'm so sofistikated.

Young Raven (hip-hop producer): Most of my music is pretty dark anyway, but the snow tends to smooth out the darkness a little. It's like Sade meets Radiohead over some boom-bap drums.

Matthew Taylor (Tennis System): I'm actually sitting in front of my computer recording/writing now. I'm writing poppy drive-y stuff. It's very MBV meets Guided By Voices. This weather is such a downer sometimes and I need something positive to keep me going. It's a blessing in disguise. I don't have to work and cannot go outside. So I lock myself in my room and write and record. Some of it might never get used, but some may.

Jess Matthews (America Hearts, Edie Sedgwick): In between sledding and drinking hot toddies, I've been recording demos of some new songs. One is about a race car driver.  It is not at all inspired by the cars I've seen on the streets today.

Andrew Field-Pickering (Beautiful Swimmers, Maxmillion Dunbar, Food for Animals): I feel like snow makes me make nostalgia music. I'm definitely trying to channel some childhood/sleeding/snow-covered hills vibes when I sit down to make tunes in the snow. I'll bet my snow tunes are more heavy on the melodies. Today I'm working on Max Dunbar tunes, making food and coffee, cleaning up my house, and chilling! I just finished an album, so the "next wave" of Max tracks sort of begins within this blizzard, which is cool.

Chad Clark (Beauty Pill): The forced isolation and silence is inspiring to artists. Speaking for myself, I'm on fire. Who can resist the dreamlike reverie of a blizzard howling just outside your window? Right now I am working on a song called "Ain't A Jury In The World Gon' Convict You, Baby."


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