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A Musical Life: Andre LaFosse

Andre LaFosse is based in Los Angeles, California. His albums include Normalized, Pivot To Video: Six-String Mixtape Volume 2 and, with Ross Garren, the soundtrack to the film Malacostraca.

“Both of my parents were professional classical violinists and I played cello for several years before I ever picked up a guitar or started writing my own material.

As far as my compositional process specifically, I think it got me used to the idea of thinking outside of the context of a pop song, and I love songs a lot. Some of my favorite music is straight up songwriting, but I definitely don't feel like songs are objectively the ultimate goal that we have to be shooting for is music creators.

Using technology as a compositional tool has always been fundamental to how I like to make music. Before I ever picked up a guitar, I was playing around with synthesizers and drum machines and cassette four track recorders. So I've always liked the sound of music technology, I've always enjoyed the process of recording and synthesizing sounds and putting them through all kinds of different effects.

I also think that part of the reason I'm drawn to electric guitar specifically is because the electric guitar is fundamentally both an electronic and an acoustic instrument. I know it sounds a little crazy to call it an acoustic instrument. But the fact is that all the technology in an electric guitar and an amp works off of things that are still happening in a purely acoustical sense. All this stuff is basically magnifying strings vibrating a piece of wood. So it simultaneously lives in both the acoustic and the electronic realms. And I think that's a big part of why I continue to find myself drawn to it.

I don't know if I could point to one specific thing that I consider to be the greatest pleasure that I get from playing guitar. But I do know that one of my big breakthroughs recently has been coming to terms with the fact that I'm a rock player at heart and that that's OK. To me, rock is an unusually wide-ranging genre. It has a lot more wiggle room in it than a lot of other types of music.

So if people ask me what I do I say I'm a rock guitar player.”

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.