Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chris Strouth

Chris Strouth

Chris Strouth is a Minnesota producer, working in film, television, music and theater. He's had a hand in the production of well over 300 records, and recently directed his first feature film, "Unconvention." The political documentary, which premiered in 2009, at the 27th Annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, is a creative look at the 2008 Republican National Convention, which took place amid a storm of media, in Minnesota. Check it out HERE.

I was the fortunate receiver of a music review by Mr. Strouth in 1999, and we somehow got in touch soon thereafter. Maybe a year or two later, I asked him if he'd join me in studio to talk about the history of electronics and appropriation in Minnesota music. The special episode aired in 2002. It was a casual conversation, just scratching the surface of all that has gone on here, but engaging nonetheless. Check out Episode 26 HERE.

Strouth has pretty much done everything from writing and design, to performance and composition. His resume includes names like Hair Police, Rifle Sport Gallery, Depth Probe and Twin/Tone... If you're from around the Twin Cities, and have been for awhile, then no doubt you can appreciate what this guy's been up to, and for how long. He's worked extensively with The Weisman and Walker Art Museums, and written and directed theater pieces at Red Eye, where he was also involved with their music program. Check out his newest music project, Paris 1919, HERE.

Check out his blog, "Tales Of The Idiot" for much more information, and his entry at MPR's Minnewiki, HERE. Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Chris Strouth...

*Name: Paris1919

*Members: Chris Strouth

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Digital deconstruction, I use a small arsenal of Ableton Live, and Reason and roughly a zillion plug ins. I tend to use a lot of micro sampling where I am just using a fraction of the original sample cel. It’s very rare in my work where you can tell where the source material is from. The track on your episode is a rare exception.

*Location: MPLS, its a great city to work in. When I started there wasn't much of an experimental scene here at all. Now it's rife with it. You can't swing an emo kid without running into an experimental night somewhere.

*What is your creative/artistic background: That’s a loaded question, but the short version is I am a producer and probably to a larger point an instigator. I have worked in every form of music I can think of except for new country, made movies, TV shows, theater, played in major museums and crap rock joints. This group (Paris1919) represents a new thing for me in that it’s my first solo project since 1987 - yes, I am old.

*History: Jesus, don't make me recount that, if you really care look it up.

*Born: July 28, 1968 (please note same birthday as Marcel DuChamp).

*Motivations: No idea, I started making noise music in High School listening to John Zorn and David Van Tiegham and got my first sampler, The supper classy Casio Sk1, and was hooked. Then I started in groups and wound up doing everything from techno to rockabilly, neo classical and jazz. Eventually I just found that I had a lot to say and I needed to build a new language to say it.

My motto is “as I live and learn, dig and be dug in return." - Langston Hughes

*How would you like to be remembered:
There's a paraphrased line in a Dave Clark 5 song that sums it up: "He was young with all of his mite."

*Web address:

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