Animal Party 7.1 was created by Jake Rudin in Boston, MA. Rudin had previously studied classical music composition at the New England Conservatory, and had performed extensively in the Boston area as experimental electronic act Lord Nathaniel. Feeling uninspired by the purely aesthetic aspirations found in the experimental music community, Rudin looked to create work that is at once aesthetically stimulating and (at least somewhat) conceptually engaging and a lot of fun. Upon learning the music software Ableton and being astounded with its sampling capabilities, Rudin sought to expand that notion within a popular music context by sampling animal sounds taken from Youtube and the Macaulay animal sound database. This exploration became Animal Party7, the first iteration of Animal Party, which features songs about two or more animals partying. Animal Party7.1 collaborates with artists in various media and includes contributions by Boston graphic designer Marissa Malik, singer SHERMAN LE, saxophonist Sagatumis, animator Rebreakfast, singer and saxophonist Eck Sierra, singer/songwriter #JOHNCUSHING, and San Diego based classical bassist and singer KK Delphine. Together, the AP family has created an innovative internet-based experience.
How did you start making art? Why do you make art?
I started writing songs when I was about 11. It began as an extension of poetry, where I would hear melodies that would go along with my poems. Over time I started playing guitar and piano, adding accompaniment to my songs. My piano playing brought me into classical music and eventually contemporary classical music which was my primary interest for some years. I became disillusioned with contemporary classical music because I didn’t (and still don’t) understand its function. I sought refuge in the experimental electronic music community in Boston but found it similar to the academic community in that if you don’t like it “you don’t get it” and are therefore uncool! I’m not in a position to tell people they don’t understand music, the main purpose of music is to communicate and if music doesn’t communicate then it fails in my opinion.
I make art because I feel that I have a distinct approach that I feel is important. As a musician, I have always resisted genre as a means of determining musical aesthetics. Many musicians want to “bring people together”, I want to do this too, but I feel that in order to do that, my music has to be many things simultaneously. I try to make music that is at once confusing, aesthetically stimulating, fun, and conceptually engaging. I guess I do it because I’m the only person I can think of who does this without, at least at this point, being branded as a musical comedy act (no disrespect to musical comedy acts).
What inspires you?
I am probably most inspired by natural phenomena and people and also my feelings. I’m really into the Ecomodernist movement which preaches the liberation of the natural world through technology. So basically putting people in massive cities to save rainforests. I view my artistic sensibilities as an extension of that philosophy; In order to save the world, we must stop depending on it, so I decontextualize natural sounds and use them in a digital context. Recontextualization inspires me, extremes inspire me. Put me deep in the wilderness, or in a city surrounded by countless people, those environments are inspiring to me. The people I interact with inspire me, nuances in my relationships. Extreme kindness and extreme cruelty inspire me. Extremes basically inspire me.
Do you have any bad habits? And does it affect your art?
Yes I drink, I smoke and stuffs. I don’t sleep very well, I won’t eat for a long time, I have manic love life, I don’t usually pay bills on time, I like to party sometimes. I find that when my brain is under stress I can create really lucidly and think very clearly about my work. I usually balance this behavior with periods of eating very well and exercising excessively. I find that both are good for my work and that I can work under a wide variety of mental states. I like extremes I guess.
Are you working on some new projects these days?
Yeah, I’m moving into more conventional song territory. I haven’t decided on a name or identity yet, I think I’ll just use my real one this time. The songs I’ve been producing deal more with personal feelings/mental health struggles. I just want my new music to make people feel loved but also to think a little. Really mostly to make people feel loved and to believe in themselves. I’ve been writing music to motivate myself and I hope it motivates other people too.
We notice many collaborations in your work, would you tell us more about this?
Animal Party7.1 is not only my project. I worked on it with some incredible musicians and artists.
Rebecca Shenfeld AKA Rebreakfast. She did the video for Sagatumis Peaceful Buffalo. Her other work is incredible too and the breadth of it is pretty mind blowing.
Charmaine Lee, AKA SHERMAN LE, sang on Sagatumis Peaceful Buffalo as well as many other tracks on Take All the Guns and Make Nuclear Reactors. Charmaine is primarily a jazz singer based out of Boston, MA. She is responsible for the melodies and many of the lyrics on the songs she sang. Charmaine is one of the few musicians I know who is fully committed to making music happen in as many ways as she can. She works on countless projects, with musicians all over the spectrum.
Marissa Malik is a Boston-based screen printer and graphic designer.
John Cushing, or #JOHNCUSHING sang on Dicolaides Coyote. He is a one-of-a-kind singer/songwriter, trombone player, musician currently living in Boston. He plays bass in Boston Band, Sun Young, which is another supremely exciting project.
Daniel Sagastume aka Sagatumis Peaceful Buffalo played baritone saxophone on Sagatumis Peaceful Buffalo. He is a wonderful guy and a fantastic jazz sax player.
I’d like to make my sample library available to anybody interested, so I organized a couple different kits (including both Animal Party kits) and posted them on google drive as a shareable link. If you or anybody you know is interested in using these samples, please do, just don’t hesitate to let the world know where you got them!
Is there any specific reason that you named your artist name “Animal Party7.1”?
Well I had to make a soundcloud account and I wanted Animal Party but naturally that was taken. So I went back to my first screen name, Jakiejake7@aol.com (still active, hmu!) for inspiration, and figured I could just add a 7. So the first round was called Animal Party7 and that includes the first EP, the website, and the 3D-Printed Necklaces. I viewed the second album as an operating system upgrade so I ~updated~ it from 7 to 7.1.
Animal Party 7.1's sound cloud: https://soundcloud.com/animalparty7/sets/animal-party7