FAULT Featured: Artist Marcus Cotten
FAULT: How do you describe your work?
Marcus: Well it’s usually best to actually hear it. I tend to get a bit over analytical. But I will say this much without the music it’s safe to say doing film, photography or visual art wouldn’t exist for me and in this project if it wasn’t for the music. The best way i can describe my work is with my projects name channel in channel out. To me it is the constant motion of life, the constant balance I’m trying to find, the constant pattern of the ocean, the constant transposition in the leaves every year and last but not least the constant puzzles in life we are answering and not answering consciously and subconsciously. I try to mimic that as much as possible when i am creating music…
FAULT: What is the creative process of your work?
Marcus: well lately it’s been a bit different for me. Lately music and visual art are kind of playing off of each other to influence the next idea. The creative process usually in some form comes with a fascination with something. Whether it’s with empty buildings or with a crowded super market or a swing set that makes a interesting nostalgic sound. These things will usually make up the backdrop for the set that is inside my mind and then I will usually begin to write the music and words at the same time .I usually get small film scenarios in my head when i write songs and this is how I believe I actually begin to start making photographs, visual art and short films that spin off from my song topics.
FAULT: Tell us about your artistic background?
Marcus: Well I didn’t start playing music really until I was about 20 and i am now in my late 20’s.My first instrument was guitar and after a few months of playing i was in my first band which was a hardcore band and in about a year with being in that band we won Portland’s cream of the crop best band contest and we played some big shows and toured and I was in that band for about 4 years or so and then we called it quits. Things actually happened pretty fast for me far as my music career goes….I always think of those years in that band as my music schooling years because I learned a lot through that process. As a kid I grew up listening to mostly R&B and Hip Hop music of all kind but I’ve always been kind of a sucker for the older tunes from the 50’s 60’s 70’s music….I really didn’t start photographing or filming things or painting things until I started my project channel in channel out which was in the last couple of years. Although I always liked to sketch ideas horribly and stuff them in my pockets or leave them around the house growing up I never really was an artist. I also didn’t start playing piano tell about 4 years ago which was around the time I made my first full length record “Contaminate The Optimist” which was released by izumi/imoto records who I signed with at the time. So most of my artistic background didn’t really happen until I was a adult but I always had music in my head since I was a kid I absolutely loved it. I also think always in my head I wanted to try photography and art but it wasn’t tell about 4 years ago until I actually began to do it.
FAULT: What are you looking forward to?
Marcus: I am looking forward to this summer really and then the fall. I feel the most comfortable creating things in the fall. I feel like everything is a bit calmer in the fall which eases my mind a little to create, but the most things I am looking forward to be actually performing my new songs and showing some of the visuals i created as well to go with them. Up until this point when performing live I have only just performed my songs on piano and guitar no visuals I didn’t even have any visuals to package with the CD’s now I do. I am looking forward to showing both of the art forms as a unit and instead of showing they separate from each other in the future.
FAULT: What are you working on at the moment?
Marcus: Well the biggest thing I am working on at the moment is another short visual piece/short film of some what of animated nature in the old tyle to tell the story of another one of my songs…When I am not working on that I am writing music for the next batch of ideas or songs for my next record. I have a couple records that are pretty much finished so i have been chipping away at the finishing touches on them when i have the chance.
FAULT: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Marcus: I would like to collaborate with a chamber orchestra honestly. I have been writing music that I am picturing a small sporadic slightly creepy orchestra on. Hopefully in the future I can make that happen and I also would like to collaborate with the actor Ray Liotta in a silent film possibly using that sporadic slightly creepy orchestra for the score. Why Ray Liotta? He just has such a harsh serious look too he and he is great actor without saying a word. I think at some point in the film” If I were to make that film” I think Ray Liotta would probably actually be killing people with his serious harsh glare. No he wouldn’t really be killing people but I would like to collaborate with him for his serious look that means business.
FAULT: Who has been your biggest influence?
Marcus: I have quite a few over time for different reasons….to name a couple I would say Brian Eno,Syd Barrett,Alfred Schnittke,Richard D.James aka Aphex Twin, Arvo Part, Giorgi Ligetti, Rene Laloux,Roland Topor,David Lynch,Andre Tarkovsk,John Cage,John Coltrane,Steve Reich,Phillip glass
FAULT: Do you have a favourite artist/photographer?
Marcus: I would probably say Roland Topor.
FAULT: Where do you see yourself this time next year?
Marcus: Well this year so far it seems like I have kept kind of a open mind and some things I didn’t plan for seemed to have happened and those were good things, fun creative things. Next year I would also like to see myself continuing to keep an open mind but also dive deeper into the things I have discovered over the last couple of years. I also hope to be fortunate enough to share the things I make with more people across the world…
FAULT: Do you have any future plans to work on a feature film project?
Marcus: At this point No i actually don’t…I had a similar conversation with a friend the other day I don’t consider myself a filmmaker I really just make visuals to help convey or compliment what the songs I write are trying to say…..Trying a feature film is something I am interested in doing someday maybe, but I have no plans for it but like I said I am trying to stay open minded.
FAULT: Do you have any favourite film-makers?
Marcus: Ya,some of my favorites are Andre Tarkovsky,Rene Laloux,Christopher Nolan,Marc Forester,David Lynch,David Cronenberg,Michel Gondry
FAULT: Do you think it’s important to gain commercial success to give you the Marcus: freedom to be creative without limits?
Although I think it is important to have success with whatever you are passionate about pursuing i don’t think having “commercial success” is essential or a requisite to have artistic freedom or to create without limits. I think your mind holds all the tools to take you where it needs to go if you let it.
FAULT: What does an average day for you involve?
Marcus: Well the process may vary but a average day hmm I usually like to wake up and see the world a bit… In Oregon there is a lot of nice scenery where I live, lots of fresh air and lots of big hovering trees to drive under or walk under as I have my morning tea, but usually I will come back to my house and play my electric piano which is from the 1970’s it has a nice atmospheric tone to it. After that I may go to a thrift store or antique store to try and find something I’ve been looking for somewhat. Then I may go to the record store to pick up a new record or I maybe not….By night I might either go to the book store to scout something new to read or chill out and watch a film…Maybe not everyday but I usually modulate this pattern through out the week and you can throw the Portland art museum in there too.
FAULT: Are you inspired by music?
Marcus: Yes, I am very inspired my music. I usually hear music in a lot of different things and sounds in life people usually don’t associate with instruments. I would say music inspires me everyday it has definitely inspired me to create other art forms other than music. I love to create it and i love to enjoy it and i love to experiment with it.
FAULT: What are you currently listening to?
Marcus: I am currently listening to Nina Simone,Donovan,The Electric Prunes,Alfred Schnittke, Nico Muhly, Kria Brekkan, The Dirty Projectors,Aoki Takamasa,Autechre,The Association,David Byrne & Brian Eno, The Talking Heads,Charlie Mingus,Peter Broderick,Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd,The Walkmen
FAULT: What is your FAULT?
Marcus: Its my fault that I like to make contradictions also known as logic incompatibilities then contradict the contradictions because I am a over analytical man.