Julian Harris

Me and music

I like to say that I grew up in an electronic music studio -- my dad was the professor of electronic music at Victoria University of Wellington in NZ so in the 70s I remember vividly the smell of audio tape and the sights of rows upon rows of dials and knobs of kit like the Synthi-AKS. I remember the tremendous excitement in 1984 when the studio got an Emulator II. 1.7s of sound on a 5 1/4" floppy disk. $16,000 for that synth in NZ (maybe $US10000). In 1984 can you IMAGINE what that price is equivalent to these days. It was an elite time. It's brilliant to see vastly better tools and distribution now available basically for free. Wizzing over there after school one day and pressing keys to hear sounds we made play back at different pitches. It had a reverse button which was so much fun and a COMPLETELY new idea. My dad is a tape splicing expert -- that's how you did "samples" before digital audio. Over time I collected a few synths of my own -- mostly donated / leant by my dad. My first synth of my own was the Roland SH101 -- mono analogue and immensely fun. It took years to save up for different bits and pieces: Casio SK-1 was the first sampler I had, a little toy but you could do some fun tricks with it. No stored memory so if it turned off -- all gone. Tascam Porta 05 4 track tape audio. Roland JX-3P second hand that was immensely fun. Got some basic drum machine that was fun then dad gave me his old TR-606 (we couldn't afford the TR-808) when he "invested" in an E-MU Drumulator ($NZ2000 I think). Most of that kit I "leant" to a friend when I left NZ in 1999. I don't know where is is all now. These days my studio is Garageband mostly on my phone but I have a Roland drum kit TD-KV1 and a Casio Previa 88 key weighted keyboard to dabble with.







What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music brings bliss into my life.

What is your music dream?

To create and play music every day that people love.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

A way for every musician to make a comfortable living

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

To A Child, by my father Ross Harris, that I was featured in as a baby in 1973

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

So many! Kraftwerk, Laurie Anderson, Art of Noise, Yello, Chick Corea, Da Lata, Goldfish, Fat Freddy's Drop, Les Hommes, The Mighty Bop, OMD, the list goes on.

What inspires you to make music?

It's an inner compulsion, but it's particularly inspired by my kids. I started singing a lot when my first son was born.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

Joy and fun

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Never done it! I'm a studio musician.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

I think there are more ways to make money than before but with such an insane excess of talent it's always going to be tough to make a lot.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

Da Lata wasn't on your list.