THE INSIDE STORY: Corey Fant and MIND & MACHINE VOL. 2

Corey Fant is an American composer, producer, recording engineer, and performer, and is currently studying composition at the University of Alabama under Dr. Amir Zaheri. Compositionally, Corey is engaged in numerous collaborations with his colleagues ranging from acoustic to electroacoustic works for a large variety of ensembles.

His most recent work, a collaboration with Yonder Dance company, led to an international premier of his piece Vox Ballet (Corey’s piece featured on MIND & MACHINE VOL. 2) at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh Scotland. Outside of his compositional work, Corey is focused on the recording, production, distribution, and publication of new music in multiple genres. He started his own recording and publishing company, HDA Publishing and Records, and has recorded multiple works of his colleagues, performers, and his own compositions. Additionally, he has been involved with the performance of new music, working directly with the University of Alabama Contemporary Ensemble as a performer and as the Student Assistant Director.

Today, Corey is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists. Read on to learn what two cities Corey would like to spend time in for creative inspiration (and how one of them shares an interesting similarity with this compilation album!)…

Who was your favorite artist growing up?

That’s a very difficult question. When I was young, I would say it was a close tie between Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. The first two albums I bought with my own money were Are You Experienced and Led Zeppelin I. I listened to them both every day for over a year – so much that I wore the CDs out from use and scratches.

When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?

I can’t really say when it was exactly. Growing up, I listened to my parents’ vinyl collection and tapes, and started taking piano lessons at a young age. While I stopped playing piano at 12, I started playing guitar at 19. Later on, I had the good fortune of meeting my two composition teachers, Dr. Amir Zaheri and Dr. C. P. First. Both of them helped me develop as a composer and musician, pushing me to further my knowledge and skills. With their help and a lot of hard work, things slowly developed, and I find myself today as a composer, producer, and owner of my own publishing company.

What was your most unusual performance, or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?

While not completely embarrassing, I’ve had plenty of experiences with cables breaking, amps going out, and guitar straps breaking during gigs. While there is a moment of freaking out, you just have to take it in stride and laugh it off.

What is your guilty pleasure?

My constant guilty pleasure is music. Even when I was young, I always found myself daydreaming about music, whether it was others’ that I had listened to or my own. I’ve always been able to play music back in my mind very accurately. I also enjoy playing along with Led Zeppelin albums imagining I’m Jimmy Page, and playing video games or practicing yoga when I have free time. Oh, and Jeni’s Darkest Chocolate or Salty Caramel ice cream.

If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be?

That’s a very tough question. I know that I can work anywhere and I do my best to craft a very creative environment for myself wherever I am. But if I had to choose, I think I would pick either Ravello Italy or Madrid Spain. Both places are very special to me and are very different in their environment. Ravello is a small town in the mountains of southern Italy near the coast, and Madrid is a big city. I find both environments very inspiring, and do not need one specific kind of environment to create in.

What does this album mean to you personally?

Personally, I think this album is a great example of how vast contemporary electronic music can be in terms of sound and form. I am very proud that my piece was chosen to be on this album alongside these other great pieces. Vox Ballet being released on this album gives it a chance to be heard by a wider listening audience outside of the performance environment that it was created for.

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Vox Ballet is now available on MIND & MACHINE VOL. 2 through Ravello Records for streaming or purchase. Click here to explore this new album.

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