Host Spotlight: Daniel Page

Host Spotlight: an opportunity to shine a light on our wonderful radio hosts and wider community, be it a new music release, a brand new music residency or simply to champion them as an individual.

This time, we chat with Traversal host, Daniel Page! Exploring the intersection between AI and music, both through his studies and his radio show, we find out more about how Daniel first got into music, his interest in non-conventional techniques of sound production and more…

Hey Daniel! How did you first get into music?

Hello! I initially started to take an interest in music at the age of nine or ten. My dad would play dub and post-punk on car journeys and make mention of his favourite records and artists, recalling stories of memorable gigs and record finds in his youth. I didn’t really have the capacity or vocabulary to articulate what I liked about those sounds, I just connected with them (and I still mostly fail to adequately describe why I enjoy music now).

How did/do your studies influence your musical tastes and radio show?

I knew early on in my university studies that I wanted to explore the intersection between AI and music; there are a number of noteworthy examples of algorithmic techniques used to generate musical forms, though the works of Iannis Xenakis are often cited as some of the earliest examples. So when my final year rolled around, I was excited to build on my interest and dive into the subject by creating software that could generate music using fractal methods.

Having spent time exploring the topic and with a longstanding interest in experimentalism in music in mind, I proposed the idea of the show to showcase what I’d found, and to have an opportunity to discover and highlight others within the field.

What is it that draws you in particular towards avant-garde and experimental music?

Aside from an interest in building on my academic experience with experimental approaches to music creation, I’ve long been a fan of non-conventional techniques and the notion of sound production through non-standard means.

Whether it’s a field recording designed and set up to capture environments and spaces, or the repurposing of items and equipment to facilitate sound creation, I enjoy how deeply affecting and powerful the output can be – how much it can serve to connect the listener to a physical or imaginary place, to an emotional state or to an idea. 

Do you collect your own field recordings and if so, how do you usually go about this? 

While I don’t regularly get out and create field recordings myself, it’s certainly a discipline I’ve a huge interest in exploring. In the past I’ve felt compelled to capture the sounds and environments around me – which usually results in a low-fidelity phone recording – but I’m currently exploring a few options to start capturing sounds in a more usable way moving forward.

What was the last record/tune you bought?

‘Sinisen ruusun tapaus’ by Cucina Povera.

If you could listen to one album on repeat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Tough one! I think I might go for William Basinski’s ‘Watermusic’. It’s meditative and gloriously washes over the listener, yet it’s still full of depth and subtlety. Robert Turman’s ‘Flux’ is worth a listen too.

What else do you have planned for 2022?

The primary plan is to continue journeying through Europe and further afield – and to start creating field recordings! Aside from that, discovering new music! Hit me up if you have any recommendations 🙂

Join Daniel for the next edition of  ‘Traversal’ on MDR this Wednesday (25th) at 3pm and in the meantime, listen back to his latest show below: