Impose Magazine: You like noise, bro?
Christopher Riggs: I'm a fake. Despite the copious amounts of spray-paint covering my cassette tapes, I'm not really a noise dude. I don't skateboard, go to shows, party, wear patches on my hoodie, or even like listening to loud music. I studied classical guitar at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, but gave up the interpretation of contemporary composition right around the time of graduation to focus on whatever the fuck it is I do now. Don't get the impression that I'm some post-Bailey dogmatic Free Improviser either. Contemporary classical music is great. I just didn't want to spend nine months of my life diligently learning the nested rhythms of a single Brian Ferneyhough score so I can give birth to a perfectly executed performance when I know someone's out there building a successful career on faking those same rhythms. Don't get me started on all those ad-hoc Improvers either.
Imposition Magazine: What?
Christopher Diggs: So I wrote post-Cage “actualize the performer by removing their habits through rigorous practice” pieces complete with random number generators and spread sheets. Except I was the performer AND the John Cage. Ben Hall said I should start a label so I did. “Tell people you're taking it seriously and they'll believe you”, he said. I turned to tapes because they covered up the hum of my amplifier, and quickly found that a few people were all of a sudden willing to pay attention to me. You dress it up in the right package and the content doesn't really matter anymore. That's when things went all wrong.
Imposer Magazine: Huh?
Christopher Driggles: No. That's too cynical. I can't blame the Aaron Dilloways of the world for taking interest. Besides, I DID change the content, or at least I hid its conceptual impetus from view. Gone were the days of chance-based improvisational games to train my brain-box into a whole new kind of intuition. If you hide that stuff for long enough, it doesn't develop and pretty soon it dies and falls off like a useless appendage.
In Pose Drag I'm Clean: Who?
Christopher Figs: But now I'm back on track and making all kinds of new mistakes. I'm still trying to justify my releasing other people playing post-Post-Rock noise and something Mike Khoury dubs (and I don't mean that thing I do to cassettes in my parents' basement) New American Improvisation. Maybe it's no mistake. Maybe I release other people's music because I want to build a community even if it's a small and angry one. A community could stave off Robert Ashley's vision of a future with a binary musical culture consisting of the commodified daily-recycled ring-tone Beyonce jams and the lone creative musician who never gets her music heard. Read this if you make music. I don't want it to seem like I think I know anything about curating. I'll leave that to dilettantes who book festivals like they think they're the director of PS1 or something. Or maybe the directors of places like PS1 who think they know something about music and just bring Lady Gaga, Antony and the Johnsons, or Talibam! every chance they get.
(Something that vaguely rhymes with Impose Magazine): Where?
Mystipher Wigs: Okay, that wasn't very nice. I apologize. I'm worried about being nice though. What if someone takes interest? Wants me to play at their festival or send their internet magazine a write-up about my label? What if I take the bait? It could potentially result in another derailment of the “this guy must have some serious issues with John Cage” improv train.
Imposter Dragon Scene: Speaking of shit-talking, what's with all the angry write-ups you do for the releases on your webpage?
Chris “Clean Player” Riggs: Where's your discourse? The Wire isn't exactly Art Forum. Internet message boards are one-step above illiteracy so I write like a mental patient who got his hands on Leonard Meyer's Music, The Arts, and Ideas and is screaming about how the sky is gonna turn fucking black in the middle of the day and the oceans'll run red with blood when they're totally not supposed to if one more person puts a dowel on a snare drum to make a sine wave. If there's no discourse to be a part of, I'll just yell at the voices in my head.
Thin Lobster Tag a Dean: Why you bust?
Christopher Riggs: I bust cuz I care.
Holy Cheever Church Sampler
01 Ben Hall – Whitewash Excerpt
02 Chris Dadge – What Comes After Dust Excerpt
03 Christopher Riggs – Former Supporter of Bad Things Excerpt
04 Christopher Riggs – Gold Danny Excerpt
05 Forced Collapse (Liz Allbee/Christopher Riggs) – Consider the Weather a Failure Excerpt
06 Freebass – Three Excerpt
07 Gino Robair – NoiseBox (e.11.B) Excerpt
08 Mike Khoury/Christopher Riggs – Letterboxing The Square Excerpt
09 Sean McCann – Haven Excerpt
10 Andrew Royal – Gritty for the City Excerpt
11 Pete Fosco – Negative Mind Excerpt
Download the full sampler here.