Aaron Cupples is a producer, mixer, sound engineer, songwriter and performer who has cut his teeth working with some of Australia’s most prestigious musicians. Cupples is also a film composer who is best known for his work on films like Island (2017) and Island of the Hungry Ghosts (2018). Berlin based label PAN is releasing his score to Gabrielle Brady’s 2018 documentary Island Of The Hungry Ghosts score, this January 2021.
1: Everything is forever.
2: Kindness wins.
3: The word ‘bed’ is kind of shaped like a bed.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
I’d say, generally, it’s other achievements of human inspiration. Often it’s other music, but it could be architecture, written word, even a great lunch, anything that dives into the unknown fully committed. The transitory pursuit of perfection in the face of mediocrity.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I was 9 years old. My father loved music and was a musician too, but it was the 1980’s and he thought music had taken a turn for the worse. So it was only after I proved to be useless at sport when he reluctantly pulled a guitar from under his bed and handed it to me.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
I’d answer this differently every time I’m asked. Today it’s:
The Expanding Universe – Laurie Spiegel
Music for 18 Musicians – Steve Reich
Daydream Nation – Sonic Youth
The Pavilion of Dreams – Harold Budd
12 Etudes – Debussy
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Friends, dogs and spatis.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Can’t decide, but it’s either my studio or my bed.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Likely a painter, I was torn between visual art and music in my teens.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
The Sisypheans – Xylouris White.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
My partner and sound-artist, Brigitte Hart. We’ve talked about it for years but the right moment hasn’t yet appeared. I look forward to when it does.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I was a country boy from an isolated rural town in Australia. When I was 13 I travelled to the city to see Metallica and Kyuss in a massive stadium show. It completely blew my mind.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
You could argue that any musical instrument is a technology, which would make it essential.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
An older sister, not sure, I’ll ask her.
Photo © Brigitte Hart