David Vincent Collapsar is a composer and performer of electronic music. He is also a producer and engineer, a writer, and an academic. In addition to his solo music as Collapsar, he has been a member of such groups as the Hudson Muse and the Orchestra of Analogue Radios. This interview took place in November 2002.
David Vincent Collapsar Interviews the HUDSON MUSE
Hudson Muse: Of course, the other reason I think it’s important to keep doing electronic music is that there still seems to be so much left to do with it. There’s still so many things out there that haven’t been done yet, or haven’t really been done yet; things that are just waiting for someone to come along and find them.
DVC: Yes, I agree. But of course, this goes for all of art! There’s always more out there to discover and explore!
HM: True enough. But I think it may go double for electronic music–or maybe even triple! That’s because unlike any other media–music, writing, painting, etc.–electronic music isn’t just one thing. It’s many things at once; it’s a whole universe of possibilities, each with its own laws
David Vincent Collapsar: First off, what is progressive electronic music?
HUDSON MUSE: It’s a type of music that has a heavy emphasis on composition and song structure. Usually it has elements of classical, jazz, rock and even ambient music. It uses electronic instruments to produce the sounds.
DVC: How do you define your style of music?
HM: I would classify my music as progressive or symphonic rock. My compositions are influenced by artists like Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, Vangelis and Mike Oldfield among others. Sometimes I use jazz chords and melodies in my compositions as well.
DVC: What made you decide to become an electronic artist?
HM: When I was younger I was very much into progressive rock bands like Pink Floyd, Rush and Yes. Many artists from that era were using a lot of synthesizers in their music. So I wanted to combine my passion for progressive rock with the newer sounds of synthesizers.
DVC: Where do you get your inspiration from?
HM: I’ve been listening to classical music since childhood so that’s where I get most of my inspiration from. My father loved classical music so he introduced me to Beethoven and Mozart at an early
The HUDSON MUSE is a progressive electronic artist from New York City. His most recent album, “Eclectic Static” is available now through iTunes and all major digital music outlets.
David Vincent Collapsar: Welcome to the interview. To start out I’d like to ask you if there’s anything you’d like to say about your latest album.
HUDSON MUSE: Thank you for asking me to do this interview. I’m very excited about “Eclectic Static” because it’s my first release in a while and the first time I’ve collaborated with other artists on my own record. It’s a bit of a departure from my previous work in that most of the songs are more groove-oriented, but I enjoy it immensely and hope that others will as well.
David Vincent Collapsar: Excellent, great to hear! What would you say was your biggest challenge in creating the album?
HUDSON MUSE: Overall, I’d say the biggest challenge was in learning how to work with other people while maintaining a sense of artistic integrity and aesthetic vision for my work.
David Vincent Collapsar: Good point; collaborating with other artists can be such a delicate process
David Vincent Collapsar: So first off, I was curious to know if you could describe your music in a few sentences.
HUDSON MUSE: Yes, I would describe my music as symphonic, progressive and cinematic. I would also say that it is a hybrid of many different genres of music including ambient, electronic, classical and rock.
DVC: It’s an interesting mix of styles. Any particular reason why you chose these?
HM: Yes, I have always been interested in the progressive rock genre ever since I was a teenager. As far as the other styles go, they just seem to fit well with what I want to do for my music.
DVC: What inspired you to make this particular kind of music?
HM: There are many things that inspired me to make this kind of music. First there is the beauty of nature and the world around us. Then there is the amazing work that people have done in science fiction movies and television over the years. You can see how much detail went into creating the different worlds that were depicted in movies like Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The same thing goes for television shows such as Star Trek and Babylon 5. There are so many things that you
David Vincent Collapsar: So, tell me… Who are you?
Hudson Muse: Just a guy that makes music.
DVC: What kind of music do you make?
HM: Electronic, but a little different. I try to make things which have the same emotional impact that rock music does, but with electronic instruments.
DVC: What do you mean by “electronic” music?
HM: Electronic music is made by electronic means. The term “electronic music” has been around since the 1930s, and it originally meant music made using purely electronic means, no acoustic instruments at all. Nowadays it has come to mean any sort of popular or experimental music that uses synthesizers or other electronically produced sounds. That’s what I was talking about there.
DVC: How do you make your music?
HM: I use a computer program called Reason from Propellerhead Software in Stockholm, Sweden. Most electronic musicians use software these days – it’s much more flexible than hardware, and cheaper too. And Reason is one of the best programs out there for making the kind of electronic dance-oriented music I’m into. It lets me create my own drumbeats and basslines easily, program grooves for
David Collapsar: I would like to start by asking a few questions about your background and how you got started in music.
Hudson Muse: I was always interested in making music, but my parents were not able to afford lessons for me. So, I had to teach myself how to play the piano. At first, it was just chords that I learned from the radio. Eventually, I started taking apart songs and figuring out how they were made.
DC: You spent most of your life teaching yourself?
HM: Yes, I did. Until college, where I learned how to read sheet music and technical theory.
DC: Why did you choose “Hudson Muse”?
HM: There is a river in New York called the Hudson River "muse" is an abbreviation for “music”.
DC: So where do you draw inspiration from?
HM: My biggest influences are Classic Rock Bands like The Beatles and Pink Floyd, but also classical composers like Bach and Beethoven. Also modern electronic artists like Brian Eno and Michael Brook.
Progressive electronic music has been around since the late 60s. There have been so many people working in this genre that it is impossible to mention all of them, but some of the most influential are: Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre.
For those who don’t know my music: What is your opinion of it?
I am very happy with my music and I think it is a great improvement on what I was doing before. My latest album “The Hudson Muse” is really very good in my opinion and I think it is one of the best things I have ever done.
I also like your first album “The Hudson Muse”. What was your inspiration for this album?
My inspiration for this album came from many different sources. First of all, I wanted to make an album that was not only for fans of electronic music but also for fans of other genres such as classical, jazz and rock. The second thing that inspired me was the fact that there are so many people who like electronic music but don’t know anything about it. There are people out there who listen to electronic music because they think it sounds cool or interesting, but when they find out about its history they start to hate