2014 Through My Eyes: Brett Smith [Caul]

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Brett Smith’s Caul is active on the scene for almost 20 years. He produces dark ambient – sometimes more sacral oriented, sometimes with an ethnic flavour, but always of a highest quality.

How would you summarize this past year on an artistic and personal level?

Slower than the past few years. I’ve released a lot of music over the several years and I think I hit a wall. I spent a lot of time this year out riding my bicycle, on trails and back roads, letting myself recharge. I have a new CD almost finished.

Which album have you listened to most often this year (not necessarily released in 2014)?

I am a huge fan of RUSH, ever since I was a teenager, so I probably listened to them more than anyone else! I listen to several streaming stations as well, not so much albums. I listen to Stillstream quite a bit, as well as several other ambient stations and shows. I listen to a lot of music from the 30’s and 40’s- mostly jazz and western swing. I listen to a lot of Rockabilly as well.

What was the best gig you’ve attended?

Seeing Nick Cave this year was definitely one of the best. He doesn’t come through Kansas City often (the last time was the early 90’s), so I had to go. He and the Bad Seeds were incredible. I saw the Joffrey Ballet’s recreation of Nijinsky’s choreography for the Rites of Spring. This was in New York City in the late 1980’s. It was incredible. I also saw Trio Bulgarka in New York around the same time, they were amazing. Swans final tour when they ended, Godflesh for the Songs of Love and Hate tour. I’ve luckily seen some great music in live settings.

What was the best non-music related cultural experience you’ve had?

It was probably going to school in New York City. I attended the Institute for Audio Research in Manhattan and lived in the Bronx. That was an eyeopening experience.

Was there an event within this past year that has significantly influenced your philosophy and outlook on life, or your perception of the world around you? For instance some specific place you visited, people you met and so on?

I can’t really think of anything in particular this year. Maybe getting back in to bicycle riding. Being able to get away from everything for a little while seems to bring some peace of mind.

What was your greatest disappointment in 2014?

I don’t recall any huge disappointments, just the usual small ones that build up over the course of a year! I did want to release more music but I just didn’t have a clear way forward and I had to step away from it to get a fresh look at what I was doing.

Your plans, hopes and expectations for 2015?

More music created, of course!

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