Bubba Kadane’s work in slowcore innovators Bedhead and more recently The New Year and Overseas, side by side with brother Matt (and others), has earned him an international reputation among indie rock fans for producing contemplative, often delightfully crunchy work.
Lesser known is his extensive catalogue of music produced for movies and television. In addition to a number of indie film credits, Kadane has contributed to programs on PBS, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, Showtime, HBO, CNN, MTV, VH1, ESPN, HGTV and a host of other channels.
His latest is an ambient piece released under the name Sigh Of Relief. He and I traded emails.
How did this come together?
It started in 2015 with a 10-minute version of the beginning section. I kept coming back to it because I liked the feeling that it gave me, so I started expanding it linearly to see where it could go by trying to create subtle shifts and a slow, quiet momentum. It goes through five or six stages and grew to about an hour before I started editing it down to what ended up being 40 minutes. That part took many months because I would take long breaks to try as much as possible to forget the details so that I could come back and judge from a distance.
Any significance in the name Injection?
With the titling of instrumentals, since there are no lyrics to connect to, I’ve just tried to free my mind as much as possible to get an impression of what the music feels like. With this one, the first thing that came to mind was the feeling of the sounds going directly into the bloodstream. The word popped into my head and I liked it immediately, and saw no reason to search further.
Is your ambient work improvised, sketched out or fully composed?
A combination. It usually starts with an abstract idea for the sound, movement and feeling. Then I try to get either the sound down somehow and come back for the actual music, or get the notes down and come back to find the sounds. Sometimes both happen together. That would be the improvised/sketched part. Then it is composed as it’s fleshed out. It’s almost like assembling a little band of sounds and then writing for that “band.”
How does it compare to the film/TV work that you do?
Most of the TV/film music is different because it’s shorter, not that subtle or quiet most of the time, and mostly about tension and/or energy. But some of the processes are the same: you decide on sounds and textures that work and go from there, or you sketch out a chord/melody structure and find the sounds and arrangement after that. That is a quicker process, though. This long-form music is happening over months/years rather than days for the film/TV music.
The name Sigh Of Relief could be taken as an indication that the project provides you a break from The New Year and Overseas. True?
Not really. Those bands naturally have very long breaks between records anyway. It is more related to the feeling of the music. Part of how I gauge whether the sounds and music are working for me is how they affect breathing and tension release.