“Dusty, cinematic, expansive” | Interview with Tone Ranger

Wildly atmospheric, Tone Ranger’s work It’s the type of music that makes you go for that long road trip you have always dreamed of doing. Melodic driven, it mixes acoustic sounds with eclectic electronika. An original work indeed. Read our interview with the artist below!

Describe your sound in three words

Dusty, cinematic, expansive

What is the main idea behind the ‘FOLLOW THE SUN’ EP? And which song of the EP (if any) represents you the most?

‘Follow The Sun’ is the first step in a sonic journey which travels from a realm of analog technology into desert landscapes, along empty highways and out into the cosmos. It’s the experience of tuning into an old radio frequency and discovering a portal into an expansive world.
Each track on the EP represents a different aspect of my journeys while making it – there is searching, solitude, and euphoria. ‘Roadrunner’ encapsulates the mystery of traveling up the El Camino Real Highway, where you pass casino after casino and go up into northern New Mexico wilderness.

Tell us a few things about your live act setup. Is Electronika a genre that can be truly performed live?

When I perform live, I’m playing electric guitar, synthesizers, lap steel / pedal steel, whistling, harmonica and other instruments. I am a musician and performer by heart and by training. I can’t help but to play whenever I’m up there.
Live visuals are also a crucial part of the show, and that’s let me play at drive-in theaters and other visual-leaning venues. The show I’m working on with animators, projectionists, and cinematographers is a hybrid experience of going to a concert and going to the movies.

If you had to choose one Synthesizer (analog or digital) which one would it be?

Novation PEAK!

This project could work perfectly as a soundtrack. If you were asked to rescore a film, which one would you choose?

With ‘Follow The Sun’ & the next projects I’m about to release in 2022 (‘Desert Rose’ & ‘Peaks & Valleys’) the music was written as a soundtrack for a film that exists in my head. Films like Koyaanisqatsi and Baraka are huge inspirations for how soundtrack and visuals can tell textural, elemental stories. I’m drawn to non-linear poetic storytelling. I had an epiphany not too long ago that I don’t love Westerns for their plots and characters as much as for their landscapes and music. My filmmaking collaborators are building a Tone Ranger film experience around that concept – making it as much about the land as possible. That’s where the story is for me. The song of the cactus. The song of the coyote. The search for water. That’s closer to the truth for me.

What do you love/hate about New Mexico? And how do you relate to its music scene?

The visual art here is inspiring on a deep soul level – from the sculptures on Canyon Road to the smooth adobe architecture all over town to the mystery box that is Meow Wolf. The land drew me here more than anything and the deep sense of culture that been maintained for millenia.
Santa Fe has a perfect combination of having just enough to do but not too much to do so that you can keep a good focus. We have world-class performers come through Meow Wolf, which is the strangest prism to see what’s going on in electronic music and what works on a crowd here. In Santa Fe, you can learn a lot by doing.

Favorite album of the past decade?

Nicola Cruz’s Siku tied with Deru’s 1979

Which book should we read while listening to your music?

I recommend ‘Tone Ranger’s Interpretive Guide To Sound’ by Every Purpose Beforehand.

Thank you!

Follow Tone Ranger

Follow our Spotify Playlist “Waves Eclectic” feat. Tone Ranger

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