What started out as an outlet to expel his own creative energies has evolved into Blocktreat — a successful live project for Williams Lake musician Brandon Hoffman.
Hoffman, 30, will launch his third full length Blocktreat CD during an evening concert at Xat’sull Heritage Village on Saturday, May 14, a place he thought would be great for performing when he started working on the CD a year and a half ago.
“Something about being at that spot down on the grass with the Fraser River as a backdrop is really relaxing,” Hoffman said. “And a big inspiration behind my music is to make something that’s calming.”
Local musician Sam Tudor, now living in Vancouver, will appear as a guest artist at the concert as well and Wells artist David Harder will provide visual projections on the set.
“Having Dave on board makes it a whole multi-media experience,” Hoffman said.
To create his music, Hoffman likened it to building a pallet of sounds and playing with them until he creates a cohesive piece out of the wreckage.
Choosing one of his new songs — Follow Your Stupid Heart, he described the process.
“There are vocal clips from my friend Tanya Gallagher who I recorded a few years ago,” Hoffman said. “I started by chopping those up and putting a beat underneath with a pad of mandolin that then got shifted and twisted to create a continuous drone sound.”
He also used some clips he recorded on his phone from when he was trying an eight-string ukelele that he “chucked” in and “chopped” until it fit the rhythm.
Hoffman’s music is sample-based, a musical style he said grabbed his attention when nothing else had for a long time.
“One day I heard a song by this musician Four Tet. It was amazing, super potent emotionally and all done with super audible cuts.”
In 2014, a professor heard one of Hoffman’s songs on the radio and invited him to give a talk and perform at an electronica conference in Denver, Colorado.
Because he’d never performed his music live, it took him about six months to figure out how to take something that was very studio-oriented onto the stage.
During the summer of 2014, Hoffman toured as Blocktreat, playing the festival circuit and met local musician and teacher Brent Morton of Drum and Bell Tower at Arts Wells.
“Brent caught my set and told me he had a background doing electro-acoustic on the fringe stuff,” Hoffman said.
Fast forward Blocktreat is now a two-man show.
“Having Brent playing live drums and his bleep-blop machines means a whole other level of energy,” Hoffman said.
He notes that rather than being “gear snobby” bleep-blop is what they call the equipment they use for live looping and storing pre-programmed rhythm trails.
Tickets are available at Red Shred’s for the suggested price $15. Music starts at 8:30 p.m.
For tent, pit house and teepee camping information contact heritage firstname.lastname@example.org.