On April 2nd, Lowercase Noises along with Hotel Neon will be sharing their music and narrative at our next Seattle Chapel Sessions.
Lowercase Noises is the musical brainchild of Andy Othling, a multi-instrumentalist, producer and artist from Albuquerque, NM. All programming and composition on Lowercase Noises' albums are performed by Andy, with exception of the occasional guest musician or vocalist.
Lowercase Noises was birthed out of a small college dorm with very basic recording gear, a slew of effects pedals and an electric guitar. As Andy’s passion for and interest in the recording/mixing process bloomed, along with his talent for producing, songs and styles emerged that built the framework for what Lowercase Noises is today.
We were able to ask a few questions on their narrative, music, and creative process.
In seven words, how would you describe your style?
Music for slowing down and zoning out.
How long have you been making music?
I started experimenting with home recording around 2007 and released my first official album in 2009. But I’ve been playing guitar since I was in middle school all the way back in 1997!
How was it growing up in Albuquerque?
It’s a great place to grow up and I absolutely love it here. My favorite thing is that I can pretty much drive 30-45 minutes in any direction and be in the middle of nowhere. I just love the sense of openness and the massive mountains that are always looming in the east.
Do you remember the moment you knew you wanted to make music in this capacity?
There’s no one moment specifically, but there were a series of bands I discovered that really opened my eyes to this style. Before this I was pretty much a blues rock guitarist and wanted to be the next Stevie Ray Vaughan, but when I got into college I felt like that phase passed and I was looking for something more meaningful and deeper. I discovered a band called Dredg which incorporated some big ambient guitar sounds, and from there got into Mogwai, This Will Destroy You, Hammock and bands like that. I’ve just been fascinated with the style and sound ever since, so much so that I wanted to try my hand at it.
What are your major influences for creativity?
Mostly I’m influenced by things that just make me feel a certain way… like the openness of the New Mexican desert, a movie or a book. I like to write music that is essentially me trying to recreate and pass on the way other things make me feel. Like feeling small, peaceful, or melancholy.
What do you find to be the biggest challenge of the songwriting process?
I feel most crippled when I have too many options in front of me. Limitations really help me get things done, be it a deadline, or kind of arbitrarily committing to a certain instrument, chord progression, or things like that. As amazing as everything is for home recording musicians right now, the limitless possibilities leave me overwhelmed more often than not.
When writing music that is completely instrumental, is there particular influences from your life when creating?
I think one big reason that I gravitate to this style of music is the counter-culture aspect of it. I’m very introverted and get overwhelmed by the general speed at which this world works, so that inspires me to create something to help me slow down as kind of a cathartic exercise.
How do you think your music has evolved since you first began making music?
I think I’m learning more and more about the subtlety of music and how valuable it is to strive to make a musical statement in the simplest way possible. At the beginning I was trying to make songs better by throwing more and more things in them, but I feel like I’m learning how to reign that in and create more compelling song that actually have less going on and bring the listener further into the space.
What is the driving force behind what you do?
Similar to many other artists, there’s just something inside me that compels me to keep writing, recording and releasing new songs. Usually after I complete an album I’m totally spent and want to take a break for awhile. But the creative bug always comes back and I start to feel pent up, and that I need to just get something out of me. Sometimes it’s not even that I want to do it, I just have to
After this tour I’ve carved out a large chunk of time where I’m just going to stay home and dive into writing and recording some new material. This last year has been incredibly busy for me in terms of working with other bands and other projects, so I’m looking forward to getting back into writing some new Lowercase Noises songs.
The Seattle Chapel Sessions is a project presented by Artist Reformation that was created to provide a space for local artists to share their stories through music and narrative. Hosted in a former Carmelite monastery built in 1908, the "Chapel" offers a unique and intimate experience for the artists and audience alike, giving the artist enough time to share in between their set. Allowing for a Q&A allows for the artist and audience to explore music, the creative process, and humanities in creative community.
We hope you will join us and Lowercase Noises on April 2nd!
Need more info? Check out our event page!