DiscoverKreative KontrolEp. #873: Luka Kuplowsky
Ep. #873: Luka Kuplowsky

Ep. #873: Luka Kuplowsky

Update: 2024-05-30
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This episode of Creative Control features an interview with Luka Kaplowski, a gifted songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and filmmaker, discussing his new double album, "How Can I Possibly Sleep When There Is Music?" inspired by Zen Buddhism and Tang Dynasty poetry. The album is a process album, born from Kaplowski's encounter with Beverly Glen Copeland, a Buddhist practitioner, and his subsequent exploration of Buddhist texts and poetry. Kaplowski delves into his renewed interest in film studies, his exploration of Buddhism and meditation, and the influence of Tang Dynasty poetry on his music. He also discusses the importance of improvisation and the unique sound of the Toronto music scene, particularly the Transak, a venue that has fostered a vibrant community of musicians and artists. The episode concludes with a performance of "Dreaming of Levi," a song from the album that Kaplowski and his collaborator, Evan Cartwright, consider the best on the record.

Outlines

00:00:00
Support Black Women United

This Chapter begins with a call to support Black Women United, Y-E-G, an organization dedicated to the protection and advancement of Black Women and Girls in Alberta. The organization can be found online at www.united.ca and is always looking for donations and volunteers.

00:00:40
Creative Control and Vicious

This Chapter features a brief advertisement for Creative Control, a podcast hosted by Vic, highlighting the show's unique approach to arts interviews and its commitment to creating a conversational atmosphere that gets to the heart of the work. The advertisement encourages listeners to support the show through Patreon.

00:01:37
Luka Kaplowski and the Rio Can Band

This Chapter introduces Luka Kaplowski, a gifted songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, filmmaker, and singer based in Toronto, Ontario. Kaplowski discusses his latest album, "How Can I Possibly Sleep When There Is Music?" a compelling double album inspired by Zen Buddhism and Tang Dynasty poetry. The album features some of Toronto's most gifted musicians, immersed in improvisation and playing live together in a room.

00:04:27
Film Studies and Music

This Chapter delves into Kaplowski's return to school after 10 years to pursue a PhD in film studies at York University. He discusses his passion for film, his exploration of Buddhist practices, and the influence of Beverly Glen Copeland on his creative journey. Kaplowski also shares insights into his songwriting process, his love for poetry, and his unique approach to singing.

00:22:48
The Toronto Sound

This Chapter explores the concept of a "Toronto sound" and the unique musical landscape of the city. Kaplowski discusses the Transak, a venue that has fostered a vibrant community of musicians and artists, and the influence of improvisation on the city's music scene. He also shares his thoughts on the role of humor and theatricality in his music and the importance of collaboration with family.

00:49:40
Future Plans and New Material

This Chapter discusses Kaplowski's future plans, including upcoming tour dates and the release of his next album, a poetry record featuring the work of Bockdown Ehor Antenich, a Ukrainian images poet. Kaplowski also shares his thoughts on the importance of supporting independent artists and the role of crowdfunding in the music industry.

00:54:20
Dreaming of Levi

This Chapter concludes with a performance of "Dreaming of Levi," a song from Kaplowski's new album, "How Can I Possibly Sleep When There Is Music?" The song is a reworking of a poem by Dufu, a Tang Dynasty poet, and is a poignant and moving piece that showcases Kaplowski's unique musical style.

Keywords

Luka Kaplowski
Luka Kaplowski is a gifted songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, filmmaker, and singer based in Toronto, Ontario. He has been releasing fascinating and hard to categorize records over the past 10 years, often steeped in classic folk and pop songcraft, but also shaped by improvised music. His latest album, "How Can I Possibly Sleep When There Is Music?" is a compelling double album inspired by Zen Buddhism and Tang Dynasty poetry, and features some of Toronto's most gifted musicians, immersed in improvisation and playing live together in a room.

Zen Buddhism
Zen Buddhism is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty. It emphasizes meditation and the direct experience of enlightenment, rather than reliance on scriptures or rituals. Zen Buddhism is known for its emphasis on mindfulness, simplicity, and the pursuit of inner peace.

Tang Dynasty poetry
Tang Dynasty poetry is a period of Chinese poetry that flourished during the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD). It is considered the golden age of Chinese poetry, characterized by its lyrical beauty, emotional depth, and technical mastery. Some of the most famous Tang Dynasty poets include Li Bai, Du Fu, and Wang Wei.

Beverly Glen Copeland
Beverly Glen Copeland is a musician and artist known for his work in the experimental music scene. He is a Buddhist practitioner and has been a significant influence on Luka Kaplowski's creative journey. Copeland's music is often characterized by its improvisational nature and its exploration of spiritual themes.

Transak
The Transak is a music venue located in the NX neighborhood of Toronto, Ontario. It is known for its vibrant and eclectic programming, featuring a wide range of musical genres, including improvised music, folk, rock, and blues. The Transak has fostered a strong community of musicians and artists, and has played a significant role in shaping the Toronto music scene.

Toronto sound
The "Toronto sound" is a term used to describe the unique musical landscape of Toronto, Ontario. It is characterized by its blend of folk, rock, and improvised music, and its emphasis on collaboration and experimentation. The Transak, a venue that has fostered a vibrant community of musicians and artists, has played a significant role in shaping the Toronto sound.

Creative Control
Creative Control is a podcast hosted by Vic, a music journalist and critic. The show features interviews with artists from a variety of genres, including music, film, and literature. Creative Control is known for its insightful and engaging interviews, its conversational atmosphere, and its commitment to supporting independent artists.

Rio Can Band
The Rio Can Band is a musical group led by Luka Kaplowski. The band is known for its improvisational style and its blend of folk, rock, and experimental music. The band's music is often inspired by Zen Buddhism and Tang Dynasty poetry.

Dreaming of Levi
Dreaming of Levi is a song from Luka Kaplowski's new album, "How Can I Possibly Sleep When There Is Music?" The song is a reworking of a poem by Dufu, a Tang Dynasty poet, and is a poignant and moving piece that showcases Kaplowski's unique musical style.

Dufu
Dufu (712-770 AD) was a renowned Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty. He is considered one of the greatest poets in Chinese history, known for his realistic and emotionally charged works that often dealt with themes of war, poverty, and social injustice. Dufu's poetry is characterized by its lyrical beauty, its technical mastery, and its profound understanding of human nature.

Q&A

  • What inspired Luka Kaplowski's new double album, "How Can I Possibly Sleep When There Is Music?"

    The album was inspired by Kaplowski's encounter with Beverly Glen Copeland, a Buddhist practitioner, and his subsequent exploration of Buddhist texts and poetry. He was particularly drawn to the poetry of Ryokan Taigu, a Zen Buddhist poet, and began writing songs in that mode.

  • What is the "Toronto sound" and how does it relate to Luka Kaplowski's music?

    The "Toronto sound" is a term used to describe the unique musical landscape of Toronto, Ontario. It is characterized by its blend of folk, rock, and improvised music, and its emphasis on collaboration and experimentation. Kaplowski's music is deeply rooted in the Toronto sound, drawing inspiration from the city's vibrant music scene and the Transak, a venue that has fostered a strong community of musicians and artists.

  • How does Luka Kaplowski's background in film studies influence his music?

    Kaplowski's film studies background informs his approach to music in several ways. He is conscious of the visual and theatrical elements of his work, and he often incorporates elements of performance and storytelling into his music. He also draws inspiration from the language of film, using it to create evocative and immersive soundscapes.

  • What is the significance of the Transak in the Toronto music scene?

    The Transak is a music venue located in the NX neighborhood of Toronto, Ontario. It is known for its vibrant and eclectic programming, featuring a wide range of musical genres, including improvised music, folk, rock, and blues. The Transak has fostered a strong community of musicians and artists, and has played a significant role in shaping the Toronto music scene.

  • What is the role of humor and theatricality in Luka Kaplowski's music?

    Kaplowski believes that humor and theatricality are essential elements of his music. He sees them as ways to engage with the audience on a deeper level and to create a more immersive and engaging experience. He also believes that humor can be a powerful tool for exploring complex and challenging themes.

  • How does Luka Kaplowski approach the performance of his music?

    Kaplowski is interested in exploring the visual and theatrical elements of his music. He has directed all the videos for his new album and is hoping to incorporate elements of dance and visual projection into his live performances. He believes that these elements can enhance the audience's experience and create a more immersive and engaging performance.

  • What is the significance of the collaboration between Luka Kaplowski and Sandra Perry on his new album?

    Sandra Perry is a producer and musician who has worked with a wide range of artists in the Toronto music scene. He played a key role in shaping the sound of Kaplowski's new album, helping to clarify the weight and density of the band's improvisations. He also provided guidance on Kaplowski's vocal delivery, encouraging him to explore different approaches to singing and speaking.

  • What is the significance of the family involvement in Luka Kaplowski's creative process?

    Kaplowski often collaborates with family members on his creative projects. His brother, Adam, has illustrated several of his album covers, and his mother has provided artwork for some of his releases. Kaplowski believes that these collaborations are a testament to the strong bonds within his family and the shared creative spirit that unites them.

  • What are Luka Kaplowski's future plans?

    Kaplowski is planning to tour in support of his new album, "How Can I Possibly Sleep When There Is Music?" He is also working on a new poetry record featuring the work of Bockdown Ehor Antenich, a Ukrainian images poet. He is excited about the future and is looking forward to continuing to explore new creative avenues.

  • How can listeners support Luka Kaplowski and his music?

    Listeners can support Luka Kaplowski by purchasing his music on Bandcamp, following him on Instagram, and subscribing to his Substack. They can also attend his upcoming shows and spread the word about his music to others.

Show Notes

EVERY OTHER KREATIVE KONTROL EPISODE IS ONLY ACCESSIBLE TO $6 PATREON SUPPORTERS. This one is fine, but please subscribe now on Patreon so you never miss full episodes. Thanks!


Luka Kuplowsky discusses How Can I Possibly Sleep When There Is Music, his new album with the Ryōkan band, film studies in Toronto, life-changing Beverly Glenn-Copeland encounters, exploring Buddhism, meditation, Tang Dynasty poetry, and speak-singing, why producer Sandro Perri suggested he perform one song like a tentative fifth grader, the magical gathering place and venue that is Toronto’s Tranzac, wanting to be Jackie Chan, theatrical staging, his next album, tour, other future plans, and much more.  


Support vish on Patreon! Thanks to Pizza Trokaderothe BookshelfPlanet Bean Coffee, and Grandad’s Donuts. Support Y.E.S.S. and Black Women United YEG. Follow vish online.


Related episodes/links:


Ep. #817: Nicole Rampersaud & Off World

Ep. #662: Eric Chenaux

Ep. #641: André Ethier and Sandro Perri

Ep. #509: Owen Pallett, Zalika Reid-Benta, Michael Balazo, James Hartnett on Long Night

Ep. #390: Beverly Glenn-Copeland

Ep. #37: Doug Tielli

Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/kreative-kontrol.



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Ep. #873: Luka Kuplowsky

Ep. #873: Luka Kuplowsky