I first met David Boman during college in Seattle jamming out with him rocking the drum set. His Feature with the LIFESTYLE has been a long time coming and David goes in- setting up a unique journey through the physics of Reflection and Response and the “allure,” of Response as a self-exploratory medium that elicits emotions from within us. From discussing the biological phenomenon of our reactions as people to music, Dave goes on to explain how his music is currently focused on the image- he currently has several soundtrack projects finished and coming up. Be on the lookout for more on these ideas and an in-depth discussion of pieces Overture (Save the Wails), Lowflyer, and his score to Handmade in our discussion below!
Much like intermingling sound waves, personal reflection is constructive and destructive…The catch is that you don’t always walk away feeling good, the allure is that you always walk away feeling. Period.
– David Boman
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?
DB: I am from Seattle and I am at Seattle. I was born and raised here, went to school here and work in the city. Next year I expect to be elsewhere for some time, very possibly Southern California…
What does Reflection and Response mean to you?
DB: In physics, reflection is the propensity for sound or light to bounce off of a surface rather than to be absorbed by that surface. In audio production, we try to avoid this because sound waves that are reflected off of a wall, for example, can interfere with the sound waves coming from the original acoustic source destroying the quality of a recording. A technical (and pretentious) answer like that isn’t really relevant to the question, but it’s an interesting place to start; after all, when we put on headphones and hit play on our stereo, the surface of our eardrums rumble and vibrate, a signal to our brain is sent and processed. Consciously, something happens – it is absorbed and internalized, those of us who vibe with ‘The Metaphysical’ feel the melodies, harmonies, words and throbbing beats sink into our souls. Is that enough? Absolutely! Music is incredible, partly, if not mostly for exactly that reason. You don’t need to know a thing about it to feel its gravity, to be brought to tears or fits of erratic physical movement (shout out to the EDM guys) solely from the controlled vibration of some four-dollar ear buds.
Reflection is the optional step. It’s the part of the process that leads to response, which is the functional step. Much like intermingling sound waves, personal reflection is constructive and destructive – thinking deeply about what is being unearthed that is eliciting profound sensation; self-pity, inspiration, awakening, serenity. The catch is that you don’t always walk away feeling good, the allure is that you always walk away feeling. Period. It’s a product of all art, not just music – scratch that – it’s the product of being alive. Sometimes absorption and reflection happen simultaneously, but I don’t think the response part comes unless reflection has occurred. Response is reflection incarnate. It is the creation that spawns from pure or mixed up thoughts and emotions. It is the act of distilling those feelings through your medium; it is also the distillation itself.
How do ‘Overture (Save the Wails)’ and the score to ‘Handmade’ fit in with that definition?
DB: Beauty in everything. Overture (Save the Wails) is an ode to that sentiment; don’t make an item or experience trash until you’ve taken something from it. The idea was to take dissonant sounds, square synths, and harsh and heavy drums and set them to a pretty, bittersweet melody. It took a long time but ended up yielding one of my favorite tracks to date.
Another track, called Lowflyer, uses some familiar sounds to help set the atmosphere and encourage reflection.
I have been intrigued by film scoring since high school. The context given by a film clip provides reflective material that begs to be painted, or left silent, but in either case consciously sculpted. ‘Handmade’ is a two-minute short film with no dialogue, written and directed by Chris Winterbauer. No faces are seen, no words are spoken. Actions speak louder than words, especially when guided by music.
What else have you been working on recently?