An interview with Australian artist Joseph de la Hoyde

Artist Joseph de la Hoyde
I was recently fortunate enough to converse with Australian based multi-layered composer/producer/artist Joseph de la Hoyde, in the light of his solo exhibition at Sydney Art School Art, “A body of desire” ; featuring a collection of his photography, writing and curiosities. Joseph’s work is melancholic and ethereal, examining themes relating to dreams, the imagination, and the juxtaposition of beauty and death.

 Joseph de la Hoyde, welcome to CreativInn, please introduce yourself. When did you start composing and what were your early passions and influences?

Hi guys, thanks for having me! My name is Joe and I am a composer and artist living in Sydney, Australia.

I started writing music late in high school having played classical guitar throughout my teenage years. After graduating I formed a band called the Monks of Mellonwah and we wrote and toured multiple albums. The composing side of things sort of just developed as my ambitions grew in the band. I loved film music and at every opportunity, I was in my own studio experimenting with strings and orchestral sounds.

I quickly found that that was exactly where I wanted to be. To me, film is just the ultimate art form – it’s where all other mediums come together – cinematography, music, art, drama – it’s more than film, it’s world building and I wanted my music to feel like it was taking listeners somewhere new entirely. I got into writing music for short films, documentaries, ads – pretty much anything I could get my hands on.

Early influences for me were bands like Muse and Pink Floyd and composers like Hans Zimmer, but two of my all time favorite artists are Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Their work from Nine Inch Nails to their recent film scores sort of encapsulate the feeling of what I want in all my work – an artist that isn’t bound by medium and who creates freely – concerned with creating movements and universal feelings. I think that is what we gravitate towards when we think of great art.

What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?

 This has been an interesting thing for me – I’ve worked very broadly in music, from being in an alternative rock band to writing film music to commercial writing and production. I love the freedom to be able to work and take jobs in whatever direction they come in and feel inspired by the art in every genre – each has so much to learn from. I feel like this has helped my approach to being a composer – so often the demands of composing mean that you have to be able to do anything, and so I relish every opportunity I get.

Do you remember the first music you ever listened to and the impact it had on you?

[speaker-voice name=”en-AU-Wavenet-D”] I vaguely remember cherishing an old Police tape of my dads – I listened to that tape a lot as a kid. From there, it was bands like Linkin Park and Muse, pretty much anything my older brother John was listening too haha John was also the one who inspired me to become a musician. 

I remember going to see Muse during their Revelations tour on my own – that experience being in the mosh pit, moving with the crowd, just being totally in it really changed me. They create such unique worlds with their music, and that has become my singular focus. I think more about art as a whole now than I do just about music. 

Joseph de la Hoyde, you’re not only a music composer, you called yourself a “Chameleon of art”. Tell us more about your insatiable appetite of creating.

Yeah, so I write and am an art photographer! I have this art concept called A Body of Desire which is sort of like an examination of dreams, the imagination and things like anxiety. Pursuing anything in the creative world is strange – they are industries that sort of tear you apart and put you back together again, and so A Body of Desire sort of became a place I could find refuge in. I’ve been able to bring everything that I am interested in doing into ABOD, from writing prose to art photography and music. It’s a world in itself and so I am super interested in diving into it more.

Tell us about your artistic process and the way you brainstorm ideas? What do you usually start with when creating? 

Usually for me, I try not to stop – when I find I have time after a particular project is done, I look for another way to spend my time creatively and I guess that is sort of why I do what I do. I’ve never been able to just do something for the sake of it, it always had to mean something to me and I always wanted to see how far I could take it. My usual process, in music is starting with a sound, or a motif, in art and writing, it‘s about brainstorming, seeing things that inspire me, feeling, experiencing. I guess inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime so a lot of it is just trying to stay in tune and present enough to catch it when it comes. That in itself is interesting to me – we are barriers to ourselves sometimes. 

The relationship between music and other forms of art–such as painting, video art, and cinema – has become increasingly important. How do you see this relationship yourself?

For me, that relationship is everything. There is a reason that mediums like film are so successful in conveying meaning – they appeal to all of our senses, and beyond that, get to the very heart of the human condition itself. I look for that feeling in all art – it should connect you to a feeling, or a place, and anything that enhances your experience of something.

It seems that your next exhibition, “a body of desire planned in January, is the culmination of a project you started a long time ago, mixing all the medium you have been practicing for years. Tell us more about it?

Absolutely – so I’ve been wanting to exhibit my art together in one place for a long time now. There is something about standing in front of a piece of art, hearing things being spoken, listening with others around you – it demands a physical response, and I’ve always wanted my art to create that. It’s one thing seeing an image you like, but when you are immersed in something, that feeling is multiplied. My exhibition presents a culmination of my photography, writing, music and curiosities – things I have found in nature. I want it to be like stepping into a void, an alternate sort of space where the immensity of feeling just sort of takes over. A lot of what I do with A Body of Desire is try to capture that. The beauty in transient moments, or in the idea of death itself – what It feels like to know everything and nothing at once. That is the reason I started ABOD – I felt like the more I knew or learned about the world, the more painful it became – like with deep profound knowledge either comes more suffering or enlightenment. That juxtaposition interests me a lot.

Do you feel it necessary that an audience is able to deduct the processes and ideas behind a work purely based on the music? If so, how do you make them transparent?

Yes and no – a lot of the experience for me is in that initial reaction to something. In music, it’s the feeling it gives you, the way the chords and melody move. With photography it’s all about composition, colors, and in writing, it’s all about messaging. Only successful art lends viewers to want to know more about the artist’s processes, so for me, I just want to focus on that. It’s almost as if I want to create a shroud over my processes long enough that people are allowed to wonder. 

 What role do you want to have in society as an artist?

I want to inspire. In today’s age, my generation are waking up to the idea that they can be more than one thing. It’s like a renaissance of sorts and I want people to look at my work across mediums and see a unique thread, a voice that weaves between it all. The mind is more powerful and imaginative than we think, and I think art can unlock something in us that is still dormant – a universal lucid being of sorts. 

 Joseph de la Hoyde, when will be you next projects?

I always have something coming up! At the moment I have the exhibition scheduled for January 17 next year, new music coming on its way, a larger writing project I am working on getting out there, two independent Australian feature film projects that I will be scoring mid year and a variety of other things. I love the idea of always having multiple things to be working on – it keeps me sane!

 Thanks again for the opportunity to interview you for Creativinn! Are there any final thoughts or words of advice you have for our readers, in particular for the ones who would like to follow your way?

Thank you so much for having me! I always feel weird about giving advice as there are so many things I am still working out for myself, but I guess that’s it – giving yourself the time and chance to work things out for yourself has been a huge thing for me. The sense of gratification from trying, failing or succeeding, is really all based on starting something to begin with.

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