Interview with composer Traveler CS: I think the role of the composer is simply to contribute to the collection of art and expression produced by humanity

“Adam” is the latest album by american composer Traveler CS. It is an album about humanity. It focuses on birth and death, but it is also about the time in between, moments of happiness and depression, isolation, peace, and the unknown. To me, the album is about universal experiences, things that make up so much of what it is to be alive. I draw from the story of Adam, the first human, to communicate that idea of universality.

Traveler CS is the brainchild of Cameron Fitzpatrick, an American musician, composer, and producer from North Carolina. Cameron Fitzpatrick has been active in the music scene from a young age, starting in his early teens. His roots are classical, including piano, violin, and classical vocal training, all of which began when he was a young boy. He began writing in several progressive rock bands, performing all along the eastern United States coast. In Traveler, he is returning to his classical influences while maintaining his progressive desire for experimentation and incorporating vintage and modern synthesizers, percussion, and soundscapes. He released his debut full length, Janus, on Sonder House Records, and self released an EP titled Halcyon in February of 2020. His second full length, Adam, is on Blue Spiral Records in 2021.


We met the artist for an exclusive interview that you can find below.


Welcome Cameron and thank you for this interview.

When did you start composing – and what or who were your early passions and influences? 

I actually began writing music around 14 years old, in a progressive rock band that was heavily influenced by acts like Rush, Yes, and Led Zeppelin. Things have changed a lot since then! I actually moved away from rock entirely after watching an episode of Broadchurch and discovering Olafur Arnalds. I still incorporate odd time signatures and lush orchestrations into my work, so the progressive rock influence remains.

What do you personally consider to be incisive moments in your work and/or career?

One of the most important moments for me recently was building my recording studio. It wasn’t one moment, per se, but accomplished slowly over time. This has allowed me to compose, record, edit and mix all myself at a very high level, and really opened up a lot of doors for me compositionally.

Can you tell us something about your last release “Adam”?

Adam is a very loose concept album about mythology and the life cycle. I like the idea of each of us having a personal mythology that interacts with our cultural mythology at large. Songs on the album deal with each person’s inevitable death and what might come after (Memento More and The Garden), as well as our birth and youth (The Tree of Life and A Sudden Burst of Light).

 

How long did it take to prepare the album?

This album took me a little over two years to finish! I think that has led to it having a fairly diverse set of songs, as my tastes and artistic direction have both changed quite a bit over that time period.

What do improvisation and composition mean to you and what, to you, are their respective merits? 

I think improvisation and composition are intrinsically linked, at least for me. I write by improvising! Interesting ideas come out of trying new things, and improvising can often help to present those new things to you in a natural way.

The role of the composer has always been subject to change. What’s your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of composers today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

I think the role of the composer is simply to contribute to the collection of art and expression produced by humanity. Everyone who makes art is inevitably influenced by the world around them, and their creations are reflections of that world and each individual artist’s experiences, and each creator has a very different idea of what role they are supposed to fill. For me, composers are people who express their thoughts through music, and those thoughts add to the greater emotional record we keep as humans.

 

What equipment do you use to compose your music?

I have a Kawai upright piano and multiple synthesizers. I mostly compose by improvising on the piano until I have an idea I like, then I record it! For stings, I’ll mock them up with a virtual string library and then have players record them in a studio. But because I record as I’m writing, I’m often done with the recording at the same time I finish the composition!

How, do you feel, could contemporary compositions reach the attention of a wider audience? 

I think the people who have a desire for this music will find it. I’ve often heard it said that “all music today is terrible”, but I think that’s a sign of someone who isn’t looking very hard. There’s a lot of great music out there, and interest in it is growing on its own!

Could you tell us something about your future projects?

I have been working with Baldocaster, my longest collaborator by far and synthesizer enthusiast, on a lot of music recently. I expect to release music with him soon! And I’ll be diving more into the synthesizer world myself, and might even pull out some more of those old prog rock influences.

Where can our readers find more information about you?

There is of course my website www.songsforatraveler.com, but the most frequently updated source of info is my instagram, instagram.com/travelersongs. You can also follow me on spotify to get updated on new releases.

 

We thank you for your time!

 

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