We first came across Bryan Chapman earlier this year through his Ekanta Vasa EP released on his own label Monotony. The music and the titles he used resonated with us, it had meaning, substance and felt as though it was linked to a higher purpose. Through the wonder of social media we got in touch with Bryan and found out he also channels his creative energy into creating abstract photographs, some of which are displayed within this article. We spoke with Bryan about the past year, asking him the same set of questions we’ve asked everyone this issue and he’s also taken time to record a very special mix for us, full of songs that inspired him as a youngster. So click play on the embed below, immerse yourself in Bryan’s amazing photographs and read all about his 2017 experiences…
Firstly, tell us about the concept behind your art please.
The appeal of nature to me is simply: “Nature is the truest form of creation and its beautifully sobering that mankind isn’t natures architect”. Edward Witten conjectured about the existence a unified version of superstring theory which he called ‘M Theory’. M Theory would require 11 dimensions be needed to fully comprehend the entirety of our universe from beginning to middle and its end.
What the universe would look like and how it would be viewed in 7 dimensions more than we currently have is something that no one can fully comprehend or ever start to and is an impossibly massive idea to ponder. But to think on an question knowing full well there is no answer is massively appealing to me. In that thought there are no boundaries or limitations and this is where creative freedom can be like setting a wild horse free to run endlessly forever and the results can be hugely intriguing to explore. This is where I came up with the concept of trying to create art that would show what nature would look like when viewed from a higher dimension. My vision for these pieces (all original nature photos in origin) are not what nature would look like from 11 dimensions but merely 1 dimension up from where we currently exist, how would nature as we currently view it look like if viewed by a four dimensional being living in five dimensions?…
2017 has been another crazy year on planet Earth, what have been some of your own personal highlights?
As an artist it’s been a year of growth for sure, launching my own label and writing music only for the purpose of self-release has given me a level of creative freedom that I’ve never had before. All boundaries and restrictions evaporated when I removed the pressure of ever needing to get those tracks signed.
Another highlight was Vice wrote an article about my art which was pretty special. I’m on the Vice website most days and have been following them for years, so to have a publication as massive and respected as them want to write about my art was crazy.
Which news stories (positive or negative) have really impacted on your life this year?
There are very few places I check for news: Vice, The Verge and phys.org being the main ones, so it’s mostly tech and science orientated. Vice always throws in some mad stuff too, they have a good balance. What Elon Musk is doing is intriguing. Using his skills and wealth to try and encourage humanity to live fully sustainably and think about living beyond this planet stands out. Plus anything that highlights inequality across the board is much needed.
Have you discovered any new countries, town or cities? If so, tell us about where you went please.
North Wales, driving with a view from maybe 20 miles away with the sun breaking through the clouds and hitting Snowdonia was like something out of Lord of the Rings. A truly beautiful part of the world with a huge amount of it still relatively untouched by mankind. The nature there is something else, it’s the perfect place for some downtime.
Did you start the year with any clear goals? If so, what were they and have you managed to achieve them?
My only goal for 2017 was to launch my label, Monotony. That happened in April and the only plan for the label at its launch was a concept that bound the first four releases together. The first three are out and the fourth is due early 2018. The support and feedback has been phenomenal so far, from having Luke Slater and Blawan playing tracks to Mixmag reviewing the releases, running the label has been a joy.
What have you learned this year: a) About yourself? B) About the world/life in general?
Space and moments of nothingness. As a person and an artist I’ve learnt the importance of silence, living a mindful existence has become key to an inner calmness. Finding a way to take this knowledge and put this into my music and art has had a big effect. Musically it has helped my sound become (for the lack of a better word) fuller. In using silence and letting frequencies enter that space even momentarily, new possibilities arise.
As for the world, there have been so many negative events happen this year, the positive aspect has been how resilient we are as a species and the compassion, unity and genuine desire to help each other in the aftermath of such bad times. It gives hope.
Would you call 2017 a good or a bad year, and why?
Good, for sure. As I said earlier 2017 has been a massive year of growth. Being creative without boundaries and restrictions has had such a liberating effect on me as an artist, it’s filtered into real life as well. Living with true freedom and waking up to that reality, not much beats that.
Now that 2017 is almost over, what are your plans up until the end of the year?
I’ve just finished the fourth EP for Monotony which will be out early next year. I started writing my debut album a while ago so the rest of the year will be filled with me writing and finishing the album. It has started to consume everything, so I’ve just gone with it and let it consume.
Finally, can you recommend an album or a musician or a visual artist you’ve discovered this year?
Sarah Davachi – All My Circles Run. The first time I heard that album I was lost for words, ‘for voice’ had an effect on me that I’ve never experienced before (and still does), not just from music but from anything. Spellbinding.