An interview with Christofori
Artist interview with Christofori, not only a damn nice guy, but also an excellent tracker! Check out the interview and some of his crazy demostyle/synthpop tunes.
As a side note, Christofori has now joined the articles team and will be conducting his own interviews and articles for the Mod Archive, look out for them soon!
Libris: Righto lad, what's your real name, age and location?
Christofori: I am otherwise known as Chris G. Molyneux, am 25, and currently live in a nifty place called Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA. The Chris is short for Christopher, of course. :)
Libris: Broken Arrow, like the film huh? :D
Libris: Is there much of a tracking/music scene there? :P
Christofori: Haha, well, not exactly like the film, but there are explosions on some of the more major holidays.. :)
Christofori: As far as I know, there are few people that even know about tracking; however, there are a lot of bands in the area. It's really more of a band/live music scene than anything else, I guess.
Libris: And of course, you're in a band yourself, tell me a bit about it - what kind of music do you play?, how was it formed?, does it influence your tracked music at all?
Christofori: Well, yes I'm in a band called The Collective; which is otherwise known as The Japanties. That was the first name really, and it has sort-of turned into the 'underground' name of the group, I guess. :) We play some covers, mainly some rock stuff; but we've been focusing more and more upon our own music; my old room mate, who plays bass, is really good at lyrics and songs and stuff.
I've been a part of the band the least amount of time as all of the others; I joined up later, after they did some public performances. We really started to gel together, too, which is why we thought about the name 'The Collective' - it implies a united mindset; which, we've noticed, that we really flow and move together when we play; it's really cool!
I've been playing keyboards and trombone with the group; as well as recorder occasionally. It really does have some influence on my tunes, but we don't play exactly the same kinds of stuff that I like to track, so I don't often get much of an opportunity to experiment; but we do want to bring a computer in and incorporate some of the tracked stuff with what we are playing.
* Christofori breathes for a moment
Libris: Keyboards, trombone, recorder and a tracker - quite a musician, I believe you have some musical qualifications also - would you like to explain these?
Christofori: Well, I went to college (university) and studied to become a music educator (specifically, a band director). I decided late in the game to drop the education part, but I did finish up with a bachelor's of science degree in instrumental music. Of course, to be a teacher, they want you to know how to play LOTS of instruments; but (with the exception of the keyboards) the ones I focus on are the ones I've always liked best.
Christofori: I was there for a total of six years (I almost decided to omit this part, haha) but I did manage to finish finally last summer!
Libris: With a musical background and education, do you find it easy to sit down and write a track from scratch? What do you think about "inspiration"? A necessity, a myth?
Christofori: Hmm, that's the question. Well, I actually do believe that inspiration is a must for me, personally anyway. Without it, I can sit down and throw notes on the 'page' as it were, but that doesn't always work. Actually, I've done that before, and the tune ended up being one of my favorites; but I still prefer to write what I hear - to me, they mean much more; they are more personal.
Libris: Yes, I agree... How long have you actually been tracking for? And how did you discover and get drawn in by the tracking scene in the first place?
Christofori: Well, I first discovered mods back in about '94 or so, when I was still active on BBS's in the area. There were some really cool mods on BBS's, from Purple Motion, Future Crew, and many others (Awesome!), and I began to listen to them. I opened them in trackers and saw this 'new' way to create music -- I was enthralled! It was so cool. I started work on what is now my 'Thunderhawk' series at about that time, or in 1995, but never released anything I had done.
Christofori: I didn't keep up with the 'scene' because I really didn't know it existed, save for some references in the songs I would find.
Christofori: However, not long ago I found Trax-in-Space.. :D
Christofori: Well, I guess it was long ago now, since TiS died..
Christofori: But, eventually one thing led to another, and I also had found the Mod Archive
Christofori: which helped to revitalize my fascination with tracked music
Libris: a nice new home :D
Christofori: hehe yes :D
Christofori: Here's an interesting side note:
Christofori: It was also at about this time that I was supposed to write something to play in my church's upcomming Christmas Eve service. I had already done a few songs the previous years, but I wanted to track something, since I was falling in love with the scene.
So I tracked a song, and ended up playing it that year (I guess that was last Christmas, in 2001). I got so many compliments on how the music sounded; people hadn't really heard that kind of sound before (I used to sequence the stuff I played).
So I was further inspired, and released my Thunderhawk tunes; and have done some more since then, as well.
Libris: This tune that you played for the church, is it available at the Mod Archive?
Christofori: Actually not at the moment, because it has no melody. I played the recorder with the tracked music as the accompinament. I've thought of releasing it in some form, but haven't decided whether to release me on recorder, or to track a melody... :)
Christofori: Or I guess I could do both :D
Libris: yeah, would be cool =)
Libris: You've mentioned PM and Future Crew - any other favourite trackers? People that inspired, or influenced you?
Christofori: Well, of course Awesome (I don't know anyone who can't like something that he wrote), and also Melcom and Skaven are my most favorites. I've come to enjoy listening to more and more tracks by more and more trackers, too; so I'm gaining more favorites all the time. But I'd say those are my most favorite.
Libris: How about commerical artists? Any favourites there?
Libris: *cough* backstreet boys *cough*
Christofori: Hmm... haha :)
Christofori: Actually I can't say I have a favorite there. I like Ben Folds Five, Sting, Metalica, Kansas, Beatles, even some Genesis.. the list is long :)
Christofori: I'd say, though, that 80's pop from this region is some of my favorite, too :)
Libris: What genre/s would you describe your own tracked musical styles as?
Christofori: Mainly synth, demo, pop, some experimental elements. I've done some fantasy type tunes, and even some funk/groove. I tend to stick with the demo/pop stuff.
Libris: Tell me about the tracking group/s you're in, were you in any group/s prior to this?
Christofori: Hmm.. well, I've been a member of Funky Brains for a little while. It's my first and only tracking group, so far. I've released two tunes under the name, with more on the way. It's really turned out to be a group with a wide range of talent, I'm really impressed with their work.
Christofori: Oh, we're about to do a music disk too! We're still looking for some scene artwork, if anyone is interested, please float us a line :D
Libris: What is your tracker of choice? (have you always used this tracker?)
Christofori: Well, currently I've been a fan of ModPlug Tracker. I used to play around with Impulse, back in my early days. I have really grown used to MPT, though; the only thing I think it needs is it's own file format. Most of the tunes made with it don't play well in other trackers/players, which is discouraging.
Christofori: I should say, in my experience anyway.. :)
Christofori: The .IT's especially
Christofori: (which is my favorite type of track, since it has a lot of effects!)
Libris: Out of the songs that you've written and released do you have a favourite?
Christofori: Well I have several favorites :) My latest, a tune called Cue Ball for FB. I also love Pandora's Box. After that I'd say Voltronic Revolution, then the Modula stuff.. maybe some others :)
Libris: How often would you say you'd track? And what are your basic tracking habits once you get started?
Christofori: Hehe, well I used to track constantly, which is part of the reason I didn't do as well in school last Spring as I should have :P But recently I've not been able to track as often as I would like to. However, once I really start getting into a song, I have a compulsion to finish it. Most things that I have started are finished, unless it's just a few patterns of a thought or idea. But once I catch the trackin' train, I'm hooked until I get to the station :)
Libris: Do you ever see yourself moving over to using hardware? (midi etc)
Christofori: Well, that is always possible. Certain avenues may present themselves in the future, which would require me to use more advanced hardware; but that's just an idea. I always see myself working with a tracker, though; they're far too much fun to completely forget about!
Libris: so true :D Whats the longest amount of time you've ever spent working on a track do you think?
Christofori: Well, last spring :D Haha, actually I've spent some weeks on a specific track. Sometimes I will get to a certain point, and then just hit a wall. Sometimes I don't touch anything else, just let it sit for a while; other times I track something in between segments of one track.
Christofori: But I usually take around a week or so per song, on average I guess.
Libris: do you mainly compose during the day? night? or just whenever?
Christofori: Well I'm pretty much a night owl. I used to stay up all night without sleep working on tracks! That's the most productive and exciting time for me; I feel like I can get a lot more accomplished at night.
Libris: Yes, all my inspiration seems to come out at night too... What is the nicest thing that someone has ever said about your music?
Christofori: I'd say that the nicest thing would be the emotion of my tunes. Some people can really sense the feeling that I try to put in each song. It's always different; each song seems to have it's own emotion, it's own character. I've especially loved the 'adventurous' or 'wonderous' ones, but I also love the 'riotous' and 'fun-loving' ones too! :D
Christofori: eek.. hold on
Christofori: **I'd say that the nicest compliment would be on the emotion in my tunes. **
Christofori: that's the first sentance I intended :)
Libris: ok =)
Libris: Are there any musical genres/commercial artists - that you just can't stand?
Christofori: Hahah! BACKSTREET BOYS!
Christofori: No, I pretty much like everything. However; I'm not particularly fond of what is called 'Country' in these parts.
Christofori: or Country/Western
Libris: What do you think a suitable punishment would be for people who rip off others' tunes and claim them as their own?
Christofori: Well, that's a hard thing to call. It's really a big evil, especially amongst the scene members, since they make music mainly as a hobby. I guess I'd like to see justice served; jail time would most likely be the most appropriate I guess.
Libris: Now just a coupla little misc things (some of this will be rearranged later for better flow): what's your all-time favourite food, book and movie?
Christofori: Ah! Pizza! Mmmmm.. Pizza. Makes me want some now! Although, I had some for lunch today.. Bah! Pizza all the time!
Christofori: Book.. that'd probably be one called "The Lost City of Zork" by Robin Bailey I believe. It's based on the old Infocom ZORK adventures.
Christofori: Movie: Anything Star Wars and Star Trek, as well as the Fifth Element, The Matrix, and several others :D
Libris: salsa: yay or nay? :D
Christofori: Haha when mixed with cheese to create a scrumptious dip!
Christofori: or, perhaps..
Christofori: "Ooh.. you want this, don't you?" <gestures to sandwich> "Take your nasty salsa sandwich. Strike me down with it. Give in to your HATE!"
Libris: Lastly, if you were extremely rich, what would you do with the money?
Christofori: Well, as I am a church-goer, I'd give 10% to the church, and possibly even more to missions. I'd donate some to good local charities, to benefit the community. I'd help my family with their debts. I'd save some, to gain interest, and I'd probably use some myself for things like computers, instruments, maybe a car... :)
Libris: Good man ;)
Anyone wishing to send Christofori fanmail, marriage proposals, or small parcels filled with sushi can email him at email address removed
Also, make sure you drop by his website, which is located at www.christofori.net.
Article by Libris, April 2003