QA: Brian Traister



1)Who are you? 

Brian Traister, aka futureworlder.

Futureworld was this 70’s sci-fi movie starring Yul Brynner and Peter Fonda about a sort of dystopian Disney Epcot Center inhabited by androids with an awesome, trippy 70’s synth soundtrack. I thought it would be kinda funny to have portrayed myself as a denizen of this ‘Futureworld’, a ‘futureworlder’. It sort of stuck.

2)What do you do? 

I compose experimental electronic music, I DJ from time to time, I do IT work, I collect records and I design, build and fix things when they break. Often for friends (often for beer).

3)Where do you often create/produce? 

At home, mostly. I used to live in a loft building in Williamsburg that was a home base for several artists, musicians, DJs, craftsmen. All kinds of amazing people passed through.     It was the perfect environment and energy for creating art and music; a really amazing international community and we had great parties on the rooftop in the summertime.

Now I am living in a similar environment, a huge Victorian house that was formerly a music school, with another group of amazingly talented, creative and wonderful people. The new space is cozier, sunnier and has a warmer vibe, which has already been reflected in the music I am making here.


Whenever the mood strikes. Having a home studio is essential in the wintertime, especially this past year, but I also have a small, semi-portable modular synth I’ve built that I’d like to take out into the field with me; just that, a tape recorder and play in the sun.

5)Why do you play music? 

Because I feel a need to release the ideas and sounds in my head and externalize them, experience them as something else, often through the ears of other people. It somehow makes the whole process more tangible, more real to get them outside of myself.

Music is the most honest way I’ve yet to find, to have a conversation with the world around me. 

1)Which track defines you the most? 

Of my own? All of them. You simply cannot separate the artist from their work. It’s insincere.

Of all time?  The Belldog by Eno, Moebius & Roedelius (aka Cluster). I sometimes use it to open or close DJ sets when the energy is right for it and the record seems to never leave my bag.

2)Any track of the moment? 

I recently did a drone-y, ambient techno piece called Meditatadata that grown on me a bit since I recorded it, and I am also finishing up a remix for Bryce Hackford that I’m kind of enjoying right now.

3)What influences your work?

Everything. New York. Art. Literature. Other music. Conversations with friends and lovers. Nature. The universe.

4)Do you consider yourself as an Artist? If so, why? 

Very much so. I’ve identified as an artist ever since I could pick up a crayon. I’ve been experimenting with various forms of expression my entire life; drawing, painting and sculpture at first then experimenting with sound and recording music. My first synthesizer was called The Sound FX Machine by Remco. It was a toy, this white plastic box with colorful sections of sticker and big chunky black knobs. It was a noise maker; you couldn’t get anything remotely “musical” in a traditional sense out of it, but I would sit and make noises with that thing for hours, helicopters, sirens, laser blasts. I wish I still had it; it would be very useful in the studio!

5)What’s your academic background? 

I attended The School of Visual Arts at SUNY Purchase where I studied design.

Are you an autodidact? 

I am an absolute autodidact. If I am interested in something, I dive into it and want to learn everything about it. I find the more knowledge you have of your environment, it’s language, you can have a deeper conversation with the world around you.

6)Favorite designer? 

Then, Dieter Rams, Bill Moss and Isamu Noguchi; now, Brian Crabtree, Kelli Cain.

7)Favorite Classic movie? 

2001: A Space Odyssey or Blade Runner, depending on my mood.

8)Favorite book? 

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. It’s the kind of thing where anyone, at any age, can read it and get something useful out of it.

9)Favorite word ( that you most overuse)? 

‘essentially’ haha.  I think this comes from being an abstract and prone to tangents, so I tend to reel back my train of thought by clarifying things and this is a device that seems to help that.

10)  Favorite music label? 

Then, Factory Records, Skyy, now, Ghostly International.

11)  Your dream collaboration? 

Cluster? Moebius & Roedelius; What else is there?

12)  What’s your life motto (quote)? 

It’s actually a Zen koan… Someone asked Daojian, “What is your way?” The master replied, “To be free wherever I am.”

13)  Any “mot de la fin”? 

Forgive yourself, forgive everyone else, forgive this life.

Try to live in the now and be good to whom and at what you love.

also ran; “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.

It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”

E. F. Schumacher


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