Carmelo wearing a coat made by none other than our very own, Bailey Raynor.
Carmelo challenging fairy tales characteristic stereotypes. Duds by Tommy Hilfiger.
What is your position at Chai Pani, and how long have you been with them?
I’m a bartender and server, and have been there for 2 years.
How did you first get into music and what drew you to it?
When I was around 12 or 13 years old I was exposed to various types of punk and jazz music. I definitely felt a strong affinity with the breakneck tempos, aggressiveness, and unconventional playing styles. Within a few months I signed up for drum lessons, and that really opened many doors for me.
What/who inspires you in your work? Music, designers, certain eras, nature, moods, etc.?
Inspiration comes in many forms: a passage of text, an interesting concept, an alien point of view, breaks in the quotidian, the thresholds of perception, deceptive moments of silence, ambiguous moods I wish to externalize… I could go on?
How has your career grown over the years? and/or How has your work evolved?
I feel I’ve become more focused on process than product, which has helped me expand and refine my overall approach. I find the creative process more interesting when I’m not adhering to any fixed models or mediums. I also appreciate you tying in the notion of evolution, because it implies there’s no foreseeable end game or linearity, but just mutation and discovery.
What has been the best or most memorable moment so far?
That’s a hard question! Off the top of my head, some of the most memorable moments have been simply sharing my work and receiving meaningful feedback from my close friends and collaborators. Those moments also really remind me that art is a social activity.
Is there anything you’ve finished recently or are working on currently that you’re really excited about?
I recently finished an installation titled Liminalities, which sought to provoke dialogue about environmental listening practices and the networked nature of our bodies. It did this by immersing guests in atmospheric vibrations that exist at the edges of human perception. Since then, I just started working with the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute to help them sonify the live data from their lightning detectors, seismometer, and radio telescopes. Very excited about this!
How do you see your passion growing in the future, and/or what is your dream project?
As far as having a dream project, my answer is twofold: to develop more informed ways of living and creating, and to help bridge connections between different communities and fields of study. I have a passion for finding poetics in unlikely sources, and feel that pursuing these ambitions will definitely help this grow.