Junto Profile: Jason Richardson, aka Bassling

From Leeton, New South Wales, Australia: drafting, redrafting, and collaborating

This Junto Profile is part of a new series of short Q&As that provide some background on various individuals who participate regularly in the online Disquiet Junto music community.

What’s Your Name? Jason Richardson, releasing music as Bassling since 2003 or so.

I arrived at that name after misreading “hassling” and thinking it summed up my musical interests.

Where Are You Located? Leeton, New South Wales, Australia, since 2009. It’s a small town in an agricultural region, so my suburb has this quiet hum from the nearby rice co-operative most of the year.

In summer you can sometimes hear the air-cannons firing to scare birds from fruit trees and in winter you get the drone of frost fans.

Then there’s a diversity of bird calls that provide some balance.

My favourite is the Pied Butcherbird, which is has this minor key lilt that I’ve heard compared to Miles Davis.

It usually comes through my neighbourhood around the start of autumn and spring.

What Is Your Musical Activity? Started playing bass guitar at age 15, which led to bands and then I discovered the recording studio inside my computer.

At the time it was an Amiga 500 and I’ve tried lots of things, but Ableton Live has been my main instrument since 2002.

My musical activities change regularly and sometimes there’s a theme in an environmental focus, which began when I met Alan Lamb at the 2004 Unsound event.

His large-scale installations resonate with elements from the landscape and the introduction to contact microphones helped me find ways to make instruments from everyday objects.

In hindsight that opened my ears to the environment and I also became interested in field recordings, which led to creating work for galleries and then curating exhibitions.

Lately I’ve been playing with synthesisers and drum machines, but most days I make music by picking up a guitar or hitting the drums.

Over the Rainbow: Australia-based Jason Richardson

What Is One Good Musical Habit? Aside from undertaking the Disquiet Junto whenever possible?

Drafting and redrafting are good habits for any creative endeavour and it’s worth considering them broadly within a musical context.

For example, I’m often surprised how a remix can be more successful than the original recording.

Sometimes it’s a good habit to challenge yourself to get better use from a recording, even if you’re not redrafting the whole song.

What Are Your Online Locations? I’ve been losing interest in social media but keep a few blogs for publishing an archive that I can easily search through and share.

There’s Bassling.com for musical material, including the videos that end up at youtube.com/bassling but also memes.

My ShowcaseJase blogspot has passing interests, more personal stuff and a portfolio to catch projects for posterity.

Recently my partner and I established an incorporated group for our community projects, which is called Red Earth Ecology and we’re involved in the local Burning Man community through that too.

Then there are photos of landscapes here and photos of wildlife here and I also try to write short prose everyday (but learned my haiku are actually senryu.)

And sometimes I put out an album at Bandcamp.

What Was a Particularly Meaningful Junto Project? There are many meaningful Juntos and I’ve written about some of them already, so I’ll circle back to my good musical habit.

Last year the prompt for disquiet0529 led me to sample from projects that were separated by 23 and it created an unlikely track, featuring a typewriter and field recording supported by guitar feedback and a rhythm section. It was one of those lessons about how a whole is more than its parts, although there were some good parts I think.

It was also meaningful for me recently when I was reflecting on incorporating aleatory techniques within creative practices and realised the result was something I probably wouldn’t have arrived at on my own.

So, yeah, thanks for collaborating!

I may be entirely mistaken about this, but I’ve come to imagine that where you live is fairly remote, and that online communities have provided camaraderie and collaboration you might not have had otherwise. Is this the case? It’s true that Leeton only has one set of traffic lights and my creative projects are sometimes multinational.

About a decade ago I found Disquiet on Twitter and it took me many weeks to publish a response to the projects, which is funny now I’ve done so many of them.

The Junto soon introduced me to Naviar Records’ haiku prompts, which led to exhibitions in London and also nearby in Narrandera.

Online collaborations have developed with those communities and also in real life.

Last year I met someone in a neighbouring town who was also producing electronic music and developed a live show to take on tour.

Before that it’d been a long time since I’d had a chance to play my music outside of my home.

I really appreciate your prompts for keeping me active and trying new things.

One thought on “Junto Profile: Jason Richardson, aka Bassling

  1. Bassling — You are one of My Fave Junto participants, and it was refreshing to get to know about You here. Coincidentaly, one of My best Friends and long-time collaborator musically lives there in New South Wales (Adrian James Hallam).


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