Can you describe your creative practice in a few words?
I guess it’s a sedimentary process, whereby music comes together over the course of months or years. I used to make music quite quickly, but nowadays I add something to a track, leave it a few days, take the added something out again, etc., etc. Eventually I’m left with something I don’t want to change anymore!
Take us through a typical day in the life of Toby Kaar.
On a day wherein I’m making music it’s pretty mundane. A lot of it is sitting at my computer trying to figure out whether I like things I’ve made or not. The computer I use to make all of my music is in my house, so my music making goes hand-in-hand with eating a lot of toast and watching YouTube videos.
How did you gain an appetite for the music industry?
I don’t know if I ever did! I have a manager who has always pushed me to get my music out there but I’ve never been great with it. I guess I want to make music as much as possible, so any chance to facilitate that has been chased up. At the same time there’s a lot of posturing and social hierarchy in music industry shtick so I try keep a distance from that.
One aspect of Above the Fold that we’re attempting to convey is that Ireland is buzzing with creativity. How has your work impacted upon Ireland’s cultural landscape?
Anyone who’s made music in Ireland for some period of time can look back at points where they were present within the landscape, where they had contemporaries and all that. Music is quite funny in that it can exist anywhere between a totally closed community and a huge cultural movement. So I imagine in certain smaller circles my work has more visibly impacted the landscape…
A lot of people will tell you your music is great. A lot of people will hate your music. They’re all wrong, in some respect.
What advice would you give to someone starting off in this industry?
Hmmm. A lot of people will tell you your music is great. A lot of people will hate your music. They’re all wrong, in some respect.
What Irish musician do you think people should know about?
There’s a producer named Spaces who released an ep on bleep recently that I really liked. He’s most well-known now for having worked on Bjork’s last album.
If we are sitting here a year from now celebrating what a good year it’s been for you in this role, what did you achieve?
I would imagine I had released another ep. The last one took a lot longer than I imagined it would. Beyond that, I would like to have expanded my live setup. And bought some new speakers.
What do you hope members of the audience will take away from your talk at Above the Fold?
I can’t really say, considering I haven’t started it yet. I’m kind of planning to give some kind of topography of me making music in Ireland, where I exist within an area within an area, if you get me. I’ve never been asked to speak like this before so it could really go either way.