Christopher Blais/aka: Nordmach from Windsor, ON Canada – A 5th generation musician who has a love for all styles of music, but was really attracted to the synthesizer when he heard early recordings of Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk & Depeche Mode.
Having played and recorded throughout Canada and the U.S., Chris has also had the opportunity to produce music for television, radio and independent films.
Chris has been programming music for over twenty five years, always trying to create afresh new sound. His love for his craft has always provided an outlet for authentic expression of self – a way to live from the inside out.
Like any trade, he continues to submerge himself within these realms, affirming his commitment and passion for programming and creating music.
1. How long have you been making music?
I’ve been playing in cover bands since I was 18. So roughly 29yrs. And I’d say I have been writing original music on and off for 18/20yrs.
2. When did you start using electronics in your music making?
Almost right from the start. My first two synth I purchased were the Moog – Opus 3 and the Moog Rogue. I remember trading in the Opus 3 against a Sequential Circuits Drumtrax and a Sequential Circuits Prophet 600. I got a lot of use out of those at that time.
3. Are you an electronic purist?
I’d say no. I like to take music for just what it is. I don’t know why one gets hung up on things like this and feel we should just take music as a whole no matter where, what or who it comes from. Although I totally understand why people like to limit themselves for a album or song etc. to certain amounts of gear or technique etc. Those things are always fun and are purposeful.
4. What is your current favorite piece of hardware? Software?
My favorite piece of hardware? Hmmmm…Tough one here for me because I find I don’t get tied to very many things hardware wise. But to give you an anwer I’d have to say…Of course my Mac, my iPad and my Novation LaunchPad. Where my favorite piece of software is (without question) Ableton LIve. It does everything and more than I’ve ever wished for!
5. Do you use canned loops or samples? Why/Why not?
I do use samples from time to time and I don’t understand why some people get hung up on that. It’s funny how some will feel using a sample library is cheating and at the same time not get hung up using a cut or loop from an old record. You are just using it for inspiration and to me either use is like jamming with a bunch of guys in a band looking for something to spark a fire. And I don’t feel like any of use are re-writing the book in a musical sense anyway, if you know what I mean here. I think in the end it’s in the artists hands to create something around or with whatever is being used sample or otherwise. It’s up to you to make it your own. So many creative tools out there to change that sample into something else. But again it’s all at your discretion. Sometimes a sample can sound so great it’s hard to change it.
6. Do you use iPad/iPhone or other mobile computing devices in your music making?
Yes I find myself usually humming or singing into my iPhone all the time. Where with my iPad I find myself using my apps to write actual parts or sketches when in transit or away from the studio and my iPad is also used a lot at rehearsals and gigs as well.
7. Was there a moment of inspiration… a certain track or artist, that ignited your passion for electronic music?
Geez, so many! Probably some of the very first things I heard inspired me from my mom’s old records like Elvis and the Beatles of course. But I remember the first time I heard Yazoo – Upstairs At Erics – I was blown away! Early Depeche Mode, Tangerine Dream and Kraftwork records I found inspiring. I loved a lot of pop music growing up – Scritti Politti, Gary Numan, Kajagoogoo, Howard Jones etc. I remember being really, really blown away at anything Trevor Horn touched – Art Of Noise, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and things like that.
8. How does visual art/photography inform your music making?
I do use it from time to time to set a mood but not a lot. Or course if I am doing a track for a indy movie or commercial using the visual is everything. But I don’t necessarily use it a lot in my own music though.
9. Has the internet/Social Media changed the way you make music?
Internet/Social Media is pretty much the best thing that has happened to musicians period. From checking out a plugin to purchasing it quickly to marketing and meeting with others for inspiration or collaborating. For myself it’s harder to keep the time I spend online in check than anything else.
10. What is your favorite artist or track of all time?
– Fave artist would have to be BT (Brian Transeau). I just think he’s outstanding in musicality and electronic skill level. I cannot narrow a specific track down cause I just have so many favorities when speaking of BT or other artists I love!