Lori Goldston Fills The Darkenin Heart Questionnaire

Darkenin Heart

What do you consider to be the darkest piece of music you’ve ever heard?
There are so many ways that music can be dark, my mind really races with this question. ‘90s black metal popped into my head right away, they are usually so focused on darkness in music and life. Also there are very chilling murder ballads from the UK and US, terrible stories about lying and betrayal and bodies being picked clean by crows. And political songs that talk about actual events, that seems much darker than fiction.

How would you characterize your own music?
It’s hard for me to get enough distance from it to describe it. My work’s influenced by wide range of musical experiences and interests. It tends to have a lot of texture and grit, and I think I bring unusual kinds of nuance and skill.

What are your musical aspirations?
I’m hoping to create music gives the listeners’ imaginations a lot of room to maneuver, and as many kinds of psychic nourishment as possible.

What are your main musical inspirations?
I’m most deeply influenced by folks I’ve worked with in bands and various kinds of projects: theater, film, dance, traditional and popular music for the US, UK Eastern European, Latin American, Caribbean, Africa and Asia, rock bands, early music, improvised and composed music, etc. etc.

I wasn’t around musicians or even a lot of recorded music as a kid, I was kind of a blank slate when I started studying guitar at around seven years old. I listened to the radio a lot: Al Green, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder. That was when I fell in love with music.

A little later I listened to jazz, folk, rock and European Classical and early music, then a lot of field recordings and avant garde stuff.

From this YouTube-era vantage point it’s astounding to think of how hard it was to find things. As a kid I borrowed scratchy weird records from the library, and later bought them from thrift and, of course, record stores.

Lately I’m on a kick with ‘70s/‘80s African bands, cumbia, also hip hop recommendations from my 18 year old son. And trying to keep up with my friends’ many new releases.

In terms of influence on my ideas about cello, lots of cellists my age were very inspired and guided by Adbul Waddud’s work. I’ve listened to a lot of Pablo Casals, Jacqueline, Jacques Morelenbaum, Pierre Fournier, and Arthur Russell. And of course my teachers, Aaron Shapinsky and Maxine Neumann.

What are your main goals in life?
I’d like to play as much music as is reasonably possible, and I’d love for it to be beautiful in a very broad way, and hopefully beneficial to people who hear and play it.

What motivates you to create?
I often collaborate with people from different disciplines, and musicians from different traditions and genres. I love to give and get assignments.

Curiosity and a need for connection drive my work, and I just love and really need to play.

Are you more of an early bird or a night owl?
Lately I keep fairly civilized hours but definitely lean toward being a night owl.

Besides music, what other art forms would you like to explore?
I’m really interested in film and think sometimes about making films, and I do a bit of writing. Sometimes I do some woodworking, nothing too fancy.

Which is the very first record that had a big impact on you?
I had a 7” of the Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”. Something about the spareness and dimensionality of that recording really stunned me at a very impressionable age.

What is the best decade for music?
This one. We have the advantage of the accumulation of knowledge and work from all the previous ones.

What do your future plans include?
In the immediate future I’ll play East Coast shows with my trumpet player friend Greg Kelley, most of them an original score with the silent film Häxan. We’re finishing work on an LP that’s set to come out this winter on Broken Clover Records. Also I’m working on a duo LP with Laura Cannell, a violinist/composer friend in England.

I’ve been traveling a lot since the spring and am looking forward to being home more this winter and playing locally in Seattle.

Soon I’ll start work on a performance piece Trimpin is creating in which I’ll play a cello that he’ll invent, in a quartet with three robotic cellos he’ll build. It will premiere in San Francisco, probably in 2024. Should be a fun, wild ride.

High and Low is out now via SofaBurn Records

Lori Goldston
Artist photo by Jenny Riffle

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