Interview: Alec Coiro
Photo: Todd Weaver
Will Wiesenfeld, the artist behind Geotic, tells us in aside that his latest album Traversa was inspired by travel, and I realize that the title should have probably given that away immediately (duh: traversa, traverse). Fortunately, for people as dense about titles as myself, the extremely evocative music on the album sends the message quite clearly that the album is about traveling, moving, and motion at its most elemental. Compared with Wiesenfeld’s other music project Baths, Geotic is the more ambient iteration, and as such it certainly succeeds in transporting the listener in terms of their headspace. But it also transports listeners bodily in the sense that it would make excellent gazing-out-the-car-window-driving-the-endless-highway music. It’s also a groove heavy sort of ambient, the sort that makes your body move. There’s also that song “Gondolier” that suggest a very particular, Venetian type of motion.
What’s new on “Traversa”? How do you think you’ve changed as an artist since “Abysma”?
I don’t know much about how I’ve changed as an artist haha, I just keep doing what I like, making things that feel inspired. I do think Traversa is a more cohesive record than Abysma. Work began on the Traversa material with a more solid theme in mind vs Abysma coming from a more haphazard first effort at making a dance record.
You normally don’t sing in Geotic; what inspired the singing on the latest LP?
Lyrics felt like a natural way to fill in the visuals for the songs I was making so I sang quite a bit. I had some clear images in my head while working on these songs and wanted to finalize them with words as best I could. Some songs have singing without lyrics as well. I think in those instances the atmosphere is better served without words.
Is it difficult to split yourself artistically between Geotic and Baths? Does it involve a lot of compartmentalization?
Honestly not so much, I have the separation of Baths being ‘Active listening’ and Geotic being ‘Passive listening’, however true or untrue that may be for each listener, but it means I always know where I’m headed when I start work on a track.
I have the separation of Baths being 'Active listening' and Geotic being 'Passive listening', however true or untrue that may be for each listener, but it means I always know where I'm headed when I start work on a track.
You’ve described Geotic as related to “passive listening” (as opposed to “active listening” for Baths). What do you picture as the ideal listening context when your creating the music for Geotic?
Oh haha! I just mentioned that in the last answer, yes. I’m not exactly sure, I feel like I designed the record to feel comfortable most anywhere. If a listener is looking to create a special ~experience~ for themselves, I feel like any sort of movement lends itself really well to these songs. A walk, a bike ride, a train trip… the entire record is inspired by travel so I think those situations work great with the feel of Traversa.
Do you have any tours or videos coming up for “Traversa” that we should know about?
I’m premiering a new live set for Geotic for the first time in Tokyo on Oct 23rd, and then looking to make more shows happen in the future. I’d love to tour it around 🙂
I actually just premiered a new video for “Gondolier” yesterday (at the time of this writing)! Look for ‘Geotic – Gondolier’ on youtube. Thanks!
I just keep doing what I like, making things that feel inspired.