Northern Static Podcast: Ep. 04 – Christine Bougie

I had a lovely conversation with my friend Pete Johnston last summer. We chatted about my creative process, musical influences, and more specifically about two of my compositions.

This conversation was recorded as part of a podcast mini-series called Northern Static, in which Pete interviews “Canadian composers from a variety of musical scenes about their music and creative processes.”

Hope you like it…

(Listen to the episode on iTunes)


Christine Bougie website
Christine Bougie bandcamp page
Pete Johnston website
Northern Static podcast  
Northern Static podcast on iTunes
Hammy’s Secret Life,” from the album This Is Awesome – Christine Bougie and Dafydd Hughes
In France They Kiss on Main Street,” from the album Shadows and Light – Joni Mitchell
 “Pleased To Meet You,”  from the album Gone, Just Like A Train – Bill Frisell
“Do I Ramble”,” from the album Whistle Up A World – Christine Bougie
“Me Her,” from the album Aloha Supreme – Christine Bougie
“Chet and Chomsky,”  from the album Aloha Supreme – Christine Bougie

Show Notes

  • “Hammy’s Secret Life” [02:47]
  • When did I start composing? [04:29]
  • My early obsession with comic books [05:30]
  • Playing in bands and getting into jazz [6:30]
  • Joni Mitchell is the gateway drug to jazz [07:35]
  • Discovering music at the library [10:06]
  • Joni Mitchell’s influence as a composer, and how her music stays in a mysterious place for me [11:08]
  • Going to Humber College [12:38]
  • My practice of recording at home, from 4-track to 8-track mini-disc [13:16]
  • On meeting and playing with Bill Frisell at the Banff International Jazz & Creative music workshop in 2004 [14:15]
  • Bill Frisell’s advice to me [15:12]
  • On recording as a method of learning and composing [15:50]
  • My process of generating ideas using the Boss Loop Station and Logic [16:36]
  • Pete and I reminisce about the days of recording to a dedicated device like an 8-track mini-disc [17:30]
  • On being a multi-instrumentalist [18:58]
  • My project based creative process [19:47]
  • Pete’s musical sketchbook assignment from a composition professor [22:16]
  • Daily habits of vs. periods of immersion [22:55]
  • Trying to describe my style of music [23:23]
  • Why do I say my music is “not jazz?” [24:08]
  • On making albums where I play everything myself  [25:10]
  • Composing long-form pieces of music for my Pet Sounds band [25:55]
  • On notating music, and lifting my own recorded music  [28:10]
  • How I approach re-creating my music for live performance [28:57]
  • “Do I Ramble” [31:30]
  • What to listen for in “Do I Ramble” [34:09]
  • First sketch for “Do I Ramble” [34:38]
  • On David Bowie’s death, his influence on me, and Pete and I share a love of Robert Fripp [36:05]
  • Second sketch that became “Do I Ramble” [37:38]
  • On smashing two ideas together to see if they spark something new [38:54]
  • On my approach to the lap steel [39:08]
  • The Pog pedal effect [40:55]
  • “Me Her” [43:00]
  • The story behind “Me Her,” and the intention of a love song [47:24]
  • Stephen King’s book, On Writing, and his concept of the “ideal reader” [48:25]
  • On having an intention or message behind instrumental music [50:38]
  • About recording “Me Her” with a band [50:51]
  • Having stories behind instrumental songs  [52:41]
  • On making music that exists somewhere between a pop song and a film score [54:43]
  • Thinking about improvisation and when it’s used as filler [55:44]
  • On the current state of the music industry, making CDs, and releasing music more often [57:44]
  • How being a side-person frees me up to be as creative as I want with my own music [59:15]
  • My idea to record my music with the Queer Songbook Orchestra [1:00:13]
  • “Chet & Chomsky” [1:03:09]

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