QA : Chaperone


photography by Brandon Soder

1. Who are you?

I’m David Coccagna.

2. What do you do?

I make music as Chaperone and Light Sensitive, mostly.

3. Where do you often create/produce?

I have a studio in my house in South Philadelphia. A lot of time I’ll start a loop and sit and draw for a while and have a few beers or whatever and then go back to the tune.

4. When?

I work any time of the day. If I’m up early enough I’ll make coffee and get started much earlier on.

5. Why do you play music?

I make music because it’s the best vehicle for sound right now for me. I used to do more installation work, but right now producing music makes more sense.

6. When did you start making music?

It’s been more than 10 years, but I’ve been making electronic music more seriously for the last eight.

7. Which track defines you the most?

If it’s my track, I’d probably say “cough into auditorium can’t tell me when to nod now.” It’s on my record from Great Circles, POND. It has an abusive start, but I introduce something much slower as the track goes on.

8. How would you describe your own music?


9. Any track of the moment?

10. What influences your work?

A lot of my influence comes from having grown up in Philadelphia. The poverty, the outlook, the physical nature of the city. It’s the reason my music is the way it is. Seeing other artists perform and seeing new visual work also weighs in on my music as well.

11. What’s your academic background? Are you an autodidact? !

I briefly went to college, but dropped out almost as soon as I started. I’m not cut out for school. I’m a terrible student. I studied political philosophy and spent most of my time working with an anarchist bicycle collective and smoking weed.

12. Favorite designer ?

Patrick Ervell.

13. Favorite book?

The Seven Types of Ambiguity by Elliot Perlman

14. Favorite classic movie?

Red Dawn.

15. Favorite music label?

Really tough. I love Great Circles, but aside from the label I release on I’m huge into FaiticheBedouin, NostilevoAlways Human Tapes, Crisis UrbanaVitrine. Yeesh, I could keep going on like this.

16. Your dream collaboration?

Jan Jelinek.

17. Are you analog or digital?

I think both?

18. Which soft wares/tools/ instruments do you use/play? !

When I play live I use an iPad for soft-synths and drums, an old Marantz field recording tape deck, and Behringer DJ mixer, and a Korg Electribe.

19. Describe your creative process?

I sit down in my studio and listen to tape loops I’ve made for a while. If I think of something, something more rhythmic, I turn on the Electribe and work out a pattern. Once I get everything working in a decent mesh I’ll record it all in one take to my laptop and turn everything off. I make a lot of mistakes and frequently lose something I was really enjoying, but these things happen.

20. When are you the most prolific (creatively)?

I think some of my best stuff has been recorded during the winter, but I couldn’t give a precise time of day.

21. Any favorite record stores ?

In Philly I usually go to Beautiful World Syndicate and Molly’s Books. I used to make my way to Milk Crate more, but it’s not as close. When I’m New York and have the time I’ll go to The Record Grouch in Greenpoint. Lots of odd-ball electronic records as well as smooth jazz, which I buy a lot of.

22. What’s your life philosophy? (Optimistic/pessimistic)

Listen to others and be as kind as you can be. I think I’m fairly optimistic.

23. Do you have a healthy lifestyle?

I don’t eat meat or smoke and I ride my bike or skateboard pretty much everywhere, but I’ve been known to drink a little.

24. How do you manage your time effectively? (Job/hobby) now ?

I work 3 jobs, but only a couple of days for a each job a week. It makes it so I don’t get tired of doing one thing or another and leaves the rest of my time to look through records and make music and draw.

25. Any secret skills?

I’m good at impressions of people. I’m also pretty handy mechanically.

26. Any future plans?

I have some tapes and records in the pipeline with labels like Bastikiya and, of course, Great Circles. In fact, Great Circles has a huge 2-record comp coming out in the very near future called Mid-Atlantic Death. Aside from that I’d like to have a dog at some point and own a house with my girlfriend.

27. What’s your life motto?

Surf’s up.

28. Any “mot de la fin”?!

Umm, shouts to Great CirclesBedouinVague Audio TapesAlways HumanCrisis UrbanaOpen TabsUniversal Cave…sorry if I forget anyone. I know I already have. Be well!


3 thoughts on “QA : Chaperone”

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