By Maya-Roisin Slater
VANCOUVER — In conversation with Eli Muro, it becomes obvious that producing electronic music is merely a conduit used to combine his enthusiasm for visual art and innovative technology. On a sunny Monday afternoon we chat with Muro at a coffee shop near his Strathcona home about these three passions which combine themselves to create his signature sound.
Muro’s recent EP Dreamtime Hunter explores man’s relationship with technology by combining heavy synthesized sounds, dreamy vocals and live instrumentation. The EP begins with danceable beat driven songs and continues on to adapt more gentle, innocent tones. Inspiration from man and technology’s intercepting point stems from his fascination with interaction design.
“I’ve gotten interested in augmented reality, which is super dorky. It only really works with Google Glass because you can walk around, see things, and the visuals will automatically pick up. Unfortunately no one wants to be the idiot wearing giant Google Glasses. I think that’s the reason it hasn’t permeated popular culture.” Muro explored this field by creating a series of animations interacting in this style to accompany his EP. This aspect of the project can be accessed by downloading the app LAYAR.
“Augmented reality is basically embedding digital content into real world triggers. What I did is super simple, I just made little animations. My plan is to put stickers around town, you can scan the stickers triggering music and visuals over the image of wherever your phone is pointed. This way you can view the animation in a different context than simply sitting in front of your computer.” Muro admits his experimentation with augmented reality is skimming the surface of what’s possible, but he believes even the smallest attempt at making music more than mp3s and album art is heading in the right direction.
“I’m passionate about these things, they’re so interesting to me. At the same time I don’t deeply understand coding or making interactive 3D objects. Music is cheap nowadays, I feel to make it interesting and capture people’s attention it must be multi-dimensional.”
Dreamtime Hunter was released on Muro’s own label, Jellyfish Records. The label was started in an attempt to bring Vancouver electronic producers together so they could better manifest support and opportunities for each other. “When I first started making music I didn’t know anybody. I started this to see what would happen, hoping people would come to me so I didn’t have to constantly seek them out. It was a way of connecting people to make something bigger than ourselves.” With the backing of Jellyfish Records, the artists have been given further opportunities to travel, perform, and participate in a community. The label provides legitimacy so they can present themselves to large musical organizations as a united front.
Going forward Muro intends to branch out from working solely with computer generated sounds by creating alongside live musicians. “I’m taking the next step to making more complex songs with live instrumentation. I’m finding electronic music is really homogenized, perhaps it’s just my over exposure but I’m kind of bored with it. Everyone’s doing things the same way. I want to define it by making something a little different, bringing in people so they can contribute their feeling and create sounds you can’t normally on a computer.”
On the topic of Dreamtime Hunter Muro expresses that above all he hopes people like it, and his music inspires feelings. “That was my goal with this, I didn’t want to stop making these songs until I could forget what I was listening to and start feeling something. I want people to feel that thing I felt.” Muro takes the last sip of corner grocery coffee from his home-brought mug and reiterates, “Yeah, I hope everybody feels something.” he punctuates the thought with a dramatic sigh, a quick giggle, and with that we turn the recorder off.BC, British Columbia, Eli Muro