the Cranial Fishers
The Cranial Fishers are actually just one person, Ohio's Craig Chambers. He's been working as the Cranial Fishers for about twenty five years, and is an active participant of the online sound collage community, Snuggles. The group got its name from a Negativland song, and its start as a Negativland fan club, and has morphed into a productive online artists community. The cooperative has produced at least three compilations of their own material, including The Droplift Project and Dictionaraoke.
Chambers studied music and composition in school, and played in a band before turning his creative attentions to sound collage. You can check out some of his work HERE. The Cranial Fisher's online compilation site, "Snuggle This!", also hosts over three dozen different tracks by sound collage artists he's met online. Check it out HERE.
Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with the Cranial Fishers...
*Name: The Cranial Fishers
*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: No
*Do you use a pseudonym? Just the Cranial Fishers, but I use CraigCo as a "corporate" name. I'm considering releasing some of my non-sample-based stuff as the CraigCo Aural Gratification Ensemble.
*Members: Craig Chambers, although I did use C. William Chambers for things I wrote in college. It sounded more "arty".
*Founding Members: I take full responsibility.
*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: I consider it more digital reconstruction than deconstruction. Perhaps "media manipulation". I use a lot of samples from TV and movies.
*Another genre descriptor: When I try to explain it to normal people, I just call it audio collage.
*Is there a story behind your name? Someone told me that every time you learn something, it creates another wrinkle in your brain...cranial fissures. A bit of creative misspelling, and there it is. I never looked it up to see if it was true or not. The small "t" on "the" is a graphic choice. I just like the way it looks.
*Location: Dayton, OH, but when I started I lived near Rochester, NY.
*Original Location: Dayton, OH
*What is your creative/artistic background: High school band geek (trumpet), went on to study composition and marketing in college, dropped out, attended the Recording Workshop in Chillecothe, OH in summer of '76, spent some time as a roadie/tech/bassplayer at the lowest level of bar-banddom, now I make noise as a creative release from the real world.
*History: My first attempts at sound collage were around 1984-85. I started out with a couple cassette decks and a VCR, (you can hear me pushing the pause button on some of my earlier stuff), had a small 4-track studio for a while, but now it's all done on computer. My actual output is pretty small for 25 years, but I have lots of unfinished stuff. I don't play out or do anything live.
*Born: Dayton, OH, 1955
*Motivations: I've always had an interest in composition, and this enables me to make music/noise without dealing with other people’s opinions or egos. I got really tired of hearing "you can't do that" when I was in school or other groups.
*Philosophy: I'm not sure there is one, but I like to feel that it's entertaining, and possibly thought provoking at times.
*How would you like to be remembered: I had an answer to this, but I forgot it. (rimshot.wav). I would like to think I had some small part encouraging others who do this kind of thing, even though no one's ever heard of me. Sometime in the mid-90's, I'm not even sure when, I joined a mailing list called "Snuggles", a community of like-minded artists, and then put together a website to allow members to post a track for public consumption. It's called "Snuggle This!", and it's now up to about 40 tracks from various audio collagists, including many who have been featured on SAR. There is a track by the artist/group, a link to their website, and usually an e-mail address. Some tracks are available nowhere else, some people have since disappeared. I believe it was one of the first on-line compilation sites. There's a 10 year anniversary somewhere out there, but I didn't really note when it started (Quick shout-out to Pan at Sensory Research, who provides space for the site and moderates the list, and to all my fellow Snuggleers). I encourage anyone who is interested to join Snuggles, and to submit a track for Snuggle This! Snuggles members are also the people behind The Droplift Project and Free Speech For Sale, as well as Dictionaraoke and Deconstructing the Wall.
*Web address: http://craigco.sensoryresearch.net