TraisKin (Tracie Stefansson) is an electronic sound artist originally from a small town near Chicago. She recently found inspiration from living in Iceland, near the black beaches, and now in Southern California, in the desert. Tracie has worked with various other sound artists from Norway, England, San Francisco, and The Netherlands.
“I live and make music in Southern California part of the year, and in Reykjavik, Iceland, during the summer months. I’ve been playing music in bands since 1983, mostly synth-pop bands, and a few rock bands in Dublin, Ireland in the 90s after attending DePaul University in Chicago. The last band I toured with was on Interscope Records. This experience, having more low points that high, led me to stop working with bands and begin a journey of self exploration. I waited for a few years, finished a master’s degree, did some extensive traveling to Europe and Turkey, and began building a home studio three years ago, after moving to California.
I have always loved experimental and electronic music. Kraftwerk and Japan were massive influences when I was young. I remember hiding under my father’s desk, closing my eyes, and listening to Autobahn. That was the beginning, I think. This idea of bringing everyday sounds and mixing them with technology really amazed me.
Fast-forward to now, a new beginning, thanks to the internet where I’ve met some wonderful musicians, heard some amazing music, and made some lovely friends. I now live in the hills of west LA, wandering…listening..”
“And don’t forget the silence.”
10 QUESTIONS01. How long have you been making music?
I’ve been making my own music for the last 5 years. I was making music for other people for years. I lost count.02. When did you start using electronics in your music making?
In 1984, my dad bought me a Moog Opus 3, and later a Roland Jx-3P. But now, in my home studio, I use an Axiom-61 and Logic. I also use a few different devices for field recordings, including a few Iphones… whatever is handy at the time that I hear something unique or powerful.
03. Are you an electronic purist?
What does that mean? If it means only using electronics to make music, then yes…. for now. If I come across a violin player though…
04. What is your current favorite piece of hardware? Software?
I’m using Logic Pro right now, but wouldn’t say its my favorite. Its usually a pain in the ass for me because I’m technically challenged. I would love something easier.
05. Do you use canned loops or samples? Why/Why not?
I love samples and loops. William Basinski is one of my favorite artists. Loop master! I’ve used a bit of both.
06. Do you use iPad/iPhone or other mobile computing devices in your music making?
I think I covered this question in number 2.
07. Was there a moment of inspiration… a certain track or artist, that ignited your passion for electronic music?
Sometime in the 70’s I heard Kraftwerk’s Autobahn… changed my life.
08. How does visual art/photography inform your music making?
I usually don’t think about visuals until my pieces are done. I tend to think about places more than art pieces or photography. However, once the music or piece is done, I go searching for an artist that can replicate the feeling I’m trying to express. Branko Prcic (Serbia) and Freccia&Caburo (Italy) have done great things for me in the past.
09. Has the internet/Social Media changed the way you make music?
Oh yes! Isn’t that how I met you guys? I’ve met everyone I’ve worked with over the last 5 years via the internet. Its been a true blessing. I’ve made some very good friends as well.
10. What is your favorite artist or track of all time?
Oh no! Really? Um, favorite artist would have to be Bowie or David Sylvian… Gary Numan. I can’t choose. Best track of all time? Today its “Bamboo Music” from David Sylvian and Ryuichi Sakamoto, but it will probably change tomorrow.