1. Throughout this year you have released several EP’s on Bandcamp. How was the process of composing Zodiac Time? Was it different from your previous releases?
It’s very different. I made this album mainly over the Christmas break of last year, so I stayed in my room for a couple weeks working on the music and not doing too much else. I enjoy the places this project takes me. Nothing is digital except for the tracking and minor in-software editing/effects. I enjoy working with my collection of gear to find new sounds and layer things in new ways. I also have a lot of fun writing and recording vocals, which is a big part in this project. For Coral Florist, the instrumentation and vocals usually fall into some sort of song writing format, where there are verses and choruses, etc. When thinking of other musical projects I try to let these types of pop formulas seep in very sparingly, but I made Coral Florist my place to have that expression unfettered.
2. As a DIY artist what influences you the most in the making of your music?
Your limitations will directly dictate your sound. I often choose to work outside of in-software composition, so the sonic palettes that I record in sound the way they do because of my collection of keyboards and gadgets. In essence, my finished music relates to my composition of the sounds that are from the instrument that I found in someone’s garbage. Trash picking isn’t a very musical thing, but it relates to the constant adaption and flux of life. I think a common easy way to seek items out (whether it’s paint or a new skateboard or an instrument) is to just buy them with money, people do it every day. Personally I like letting the things come to me whether it’s through someone’s garbage or through friends etc. I’ve learned to make use out of things people don’t want to use. At the same time, when I have something I don’t use or want I like to keep it moving and find the right owner for it. In hindsight, a keyboard I found on my neighbor’s curb was the vital instrument for multiple projects, so you really have no idea what you’ll make with what you’re given.
3. We found out you have a website: jonprokopowitz.com, what other art projects do you have besides your music?
I’ve made a few projects under the name “Badplant”, some being a series of zines as well as 50 episodes of an online radio show. Now I put more of my things on a blog called “Feng Shui Friends”. I post art, comics, mixes, little podcasts, and I put out a weekly email club. Besides that I make paintings, sculptures, and other things that can be found on the site.
4. There are several underground artists that depend on the internet to exist. How do you think this has changed the relationship between the artists and their audience?
At it’s root, the internet has an immediacy to it. From the standpoint of artistically existing primarily on the internet, it feels very saturated. Along with this though, it gives everybody a chance to be noticed and shared. It really keeps me on my toes because most of the time I’ll put something really elaborate out and get no response at all. This lights a fire for me to move on to the next thing and try to make it even better. That being said, I do have a super cool group of friends that always checks in on what I’m doing and gives my stuff a like.
5. Have you ever thought about taking your music outside of the internet and getting into the local scene? Why or why not?
I don’t think I’ve given too much thought to it because I’m not very confident in my musical abilities in a live sense. I’ve been able to pick up and jam on a bass for years, but keyboard parts always take so many tries to get perfect when recording. I don’t read music or know which notes make up which chords where, it’s more in my head. Nowadays nearly all songs are born from voice recordings on my phone, which naturally comes from catching a good tune while humming. Depending on the project it feels more or less like fishing for something good, the brain is a magical thing. I feel like the “scene” around here is more in NYC than directly local, I live relatively close but I really dislike going there by myself. There’s a lot of stress and weird vibes for me in the city. I’m more in the mindset of “making stuff” here than trying to “make it” somewhere else, so it makes more sense to me to keep working on whatever’s at hand.
6. Is Jon Prokopowitz the only one behind your Bandcamp page, “Money House Blessings”?
Yeah, I think when I first made the page I wanted it to feel like a fake label, where it looked like multiple people putting out things. Maybe I succeeded in that, I can’t really tell from my perspective. There’s one section of a project I didn’t make, I coaxed my friend Carson into having his “N@ GEO” set on the “MHB 2k14 Mix”. Besides that, some other projects on that mix as well as the Dusk .FM series are more “remix/rework” heavy, but everything else I created from the ground up.
7. Have you planned other projects with Coral Florist after Zodiac Times?
Nothing set in stone. the idea of a split with someone has been bounced around. I’m very open to working more in this project though, it gives me a lot of enjoyment crafting these types of songs.
Interviewed by Enrique Becerra