"Folly": an experiment in
From Symphony Musician to Musical Sorcerer
Imagine a symphony performance with a freak incident - a spotlight set at so high a level its beam becomes toxic, aimed so it shoots through your eyes and alters your brain forever.
This was John Coker’s reality - a promising orchestral musician, trained by the best to be one of the best.
But, rather than allow a supervillain origin story to define him, Coker embraced this transformative change, expanding from classical musician to a singular musical polymath.
“Forgiveness is a superpower,” he claims.
John crafts music not only via the manipulation of pitch, but also of timbre - a genre-proof musical sorcerer, able to bend live and recorded sound into entirely new textures and moods. Now, he writes, performs, and produces his own works for albums and theatre productions; Designer Music and Sound.
His latest is Folly - a stunning piece of experimental art rock/trip hop spanning centuries of musical styles and textures, released by New York-based Bentley Records.
Works of Bach and Prince are included alongside Coker’s own, which stretches from a cappella choirs to trip hop beats to virtuoso doom metal guitars to solo double bass and beyond.
Each original track was improvised, then recorded and mixed within a 24-hour time limit; hence "an experiment in presence."
Coker dreams of improvising entire live shows as well as collaborating with other excellent musicians and creatives:"We're all in this together - let's lose the myth of being separate. All music is art music in some way. Let's connect - just listen."
Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Instagram @coker_sound for more info.
"'Sunscreen,' as with all the original tracks on Folly, came from improvisation; just noodling about on the guitar. A vintage Duane Eddy/Dick Dale kind of riff popped out, such as you might hear in a Tarantino film. The riff seemed to demand a nice literal statement of the circle of fourths for contrast; the chords on which I later stacked the vocals. I knew I wanted a hip hop/R&B-style rhythm track (this one reminiscent of a group like De La Soul), then I just sang overtop the resulting mix at random; a Beach Boys/Yes kind of idea came out.
The lyrics are very symbolist - nonsense, composed just for how the words sound.
I called it 'Sunscreen' due to the combination of an early '60's surf guitar hero-style riff and the Beach Boys-esque vocals."