Mark Rushton – Podcasting Electronic Music

electronica artist mark rushtonPodcasting is a new technology that’s becoming popular among owners of iPods and other portable media players. Podcasts are a way of automating the delivery of audio content to portable audio player. Mark Rushton is a electronic musician that’s jumped into the world of podcasting. Rushton is based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but he is using podcasts to expose his music to people around the world.

A podcast is just a collection of audio files, usually in MP3 format, connected by a text file that provides information about the programs. The podcast content can be music or any other audio programming.

Podcast software lets you subscribe to a podcast, and then your computer will automatically check for new programs and copy them to your portable audio player. This lets you listen to the program at your convenience. Podcasting is an easy way to keep fresh content on your player.

Rushton created his first podcast in December 2004. His program, Hooray For Vouvray!, features an informal mixture of music and discussion. The shows introduce listeners to Rushton’s style of hybrid modern instrumentals, along with providing some insight into Rushton and his thinking.

Rushton believes podcasts are a great way to promote independent music. “Since I put out my first podcast in December 2004, traffic to my site has gone way up and I’ve seen an increase in CD sales and positive feedback as a result,” he notes. “People are hungry for free yet quality programming, and I’m happy to provide it.”

We recently asked Mark about his music, podcasting and being an electronica/ambient artist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa:

Synthtopia: Mark, can you tell us a little about yourself and your music?

Mark Rushton: I’m in my late 30s, married, and have a couple of young daughters. My job is in software testing, so I’m generally able to listen to music all day long while I work. In the past I’ve attended art school and been a DJ. I still paint and have been in a number of regional exhibitions over the past year. I’ve played different instruments, mostly woodwinds, since grade school, so I’ve always had a music background.

Since 2000 I’ve had an interest in creating music using my computer and have produced nearly 200 completed pieces and remixes during that time. Most of my music falls into the ambient, electronica, downtempo, and avant-garde genres.

Synthtopia: How do you create your music?

Mark Rushton: Everything is assembled from audio pieces and loops and mixed using ACID 4.0 Pro. While a lot of the loops come from libraries and collections I’ve acquired over the years, I also like to make “homemade” loops using the various keyboards and instruments I have in my studio or abuse library loops using Sound Forge. I also carry around a Sony Minidisc recorder and microphone so I can acquire “found sound” at various locations.

I’ve tried to get into MIDI, VSTs, and even bought a copy of Reason at one time, but all of it became boring. Nothing could be more dreadful for me than trying to compose a melody using a sequencer or programming a drum machine for hours on end. I’ve always said that I wanted to be a remixer, and that’s where I derive the most fun when I’m creating music.

Synthtopia: What about the name Hooray for Vouvray!?

Mark Rushton: A few years ago my wife and I were shopping for wine and we picked out a Vouvray, which is a lovely French white wine, so it’s a play off that name. We wanted something original for our artistic projects to fall under, so we just created a business “label” called Hooray For Vouvray!.

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