Cagey House is Baltimore's Dave Keifer. Producing primarily instrumental music, since 1999, he also experiments with sound collage, and I've recently received his five-part composition, LBJ Radio Theater. His work has been described as "synth-post-pop-punk-psyche-hypno-exotica."
He's released two albums on the netlabel Nishi, a subsidiary of Canadian MP3 label, No Type, and one on umor-rex, called Elephant Orange. Check out his myspace page for more information, or click HERE for his page at Nishi.
Inspired by visual collage artists (more than sample-based musicians), I found myself really identifying with Keifer's working technique. Read on to learn more. Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Cagey House...
*Name: Cagey House
*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: Usually I release music as Cagey House--a name which doesn't really mean anything. But the LBJ Radio tracks may well become a project unto themselves.
*Members: Dave Keifer
*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: I think of the LBJ Radio tracks as pure collage—with the emphasis on collage as a technique rather than as a medium. Hanna Höch's idea of collecting and assembling elements more or less at random until a pattern emerges, and then collecting and assembling expressly to enhance that pattern has been the biggest influence on the way the tracks came together. The downside--in a musical context, anyway--is that you lose a lot in the way of narrative drive. The upside is that things can get unexpectedly moving. Or funny. Or at least interesting.
*Location: I live just outside Baltimore.
*What is your creative/artistic background: I was born in 1960 and raised pretty much in the sticks. Which was great, for a lot of reasons. One of those reasons was that there wasn’t a lot of media, and so all of it had impact. The evening news was heavy stuff. And Saturday morning cartoons were positively Dionysian. Eventually I became a teenager and started playing music. Mostly electric folky stuff with lots of distortion. That went on far longer than it should have for an otherwise healthy adult. Then for a while I didn’t do anything. Around the turn of the century, I found out you could make music with a PC, and that was that. Along the way I also became entranced with lots of different kinds of music--particularly music from Indonesia and Burma, and Western Avante Garde stuff.
*Motivations: At this point, it’s mainly the joy of communing with music. The joy of creative activity. I understand people who do model trains or work crossword puzzles. It’s nice to have something you’re monkish about.
*Philosophy: Aristotle said something like, “Art loves Chance and Chance loves Art.” I’m willing to let it go at that.
*How would you like to be remembered: I don’t think there’s much danger of that. I release stuff through netlabels, and that scene is hyper-transient. Very much here today and gone tomorrow—with as many things disappearing as appearing. And I like that. It’s like rolling out a carpet at one end while rolling it up at the other. There’s something hermetic about it, and there’s comfort in that.
*Web address: I'm sort of web-homeless right now. A web vagrant. I do have a myspace page though, and that has links to various Cagey House projects: