Jay Rivera


A lifelong musician and composer, Julian Jay Rivera (aka Jester Black) is the founder of several music projects, including Black Ether (ethereal, psybient, psychill, enigmatic, downtempo): Positive Vision Movement (progressive and alternative rock): Pig Vomit Masquerade - punk and post-punk; and Ethereal Muse - experimental electronica







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

an extension of the inner being

What is your music dream?

To bring the lore of Black Ether to the stage in a Cirque de Solei type of setting

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

I'm not sure that the damage that has been done can be undone at this point, but I'd look for an underlying reason for the need for coexistence. We've got to start right there if we even have a chance.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

That's a tough question. One of my oldest living memories was the day JFK was assassinated. I was barely three at the time, but I distinctly remember Elvis' Hound Dog playing on the radio when it happened. But I'd have to say The Beatles live rendition of All You Need is Love was the most memorable as it taught me just how powerful music can be.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

I'm pretty eclectic. I grew up with The Beatles and still consider them the greatest there ever was. But I really came alive musically in the 70s. Loved early Santana. Loved Led Zep. Got into Luc Ponty, Weather Report, DiMeola. Tangerine Dream was big for me. But most of my influences come from the gothic, new age, and progressive worlds. So The Cure, The Mission, Sisters of Mercy, Fields of Nephilim were huge. Delerium, Dead Can Dance were huge. Anything Steve Wilson touched, King Crimson, Yes, Riverside, Pink Floyd. And then there's Mike Oldfield who I consider a class of his very own.

What inspires you to make music?

Well, in total honesty, the need to escape. Ive been through a lot of trauma in my life. Grew up in a violent world, saw a ton of people I cared about leave this earth all too soon. Live through 9/11 (I was there). More stuff than I really care to talk about here. Music, and in particular, the creative process grounds me. I create my own reality where I can find myself and then share it with the world. Not that I'm a social ignoramus. I'm a highly functional and successful business professional. But that doesn't define me. My art does.

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

A couple of things actually. One is that electronic music doesn't have to come across as a mechanically driven rythymn party, but that it can have a heart and touch people in the same way a Stairway to Heaven can. Another is that there's always light in darkness. I don't mean that in any kind of religious way, but rather that there's always hope.

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

Like a puppet master.......I'll just leave that right there lol

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

I think musicians are asked to do too much these days. The industry has pretty much divulged itself of its responsibility for progressive growth of the art form and its promotional responsibility to its signed artists. Thus the trend towards the independent musician. That means putting in time for promotional activities that take away from the creative process itself. Songcraft suffers. Stagnancy of the artform settles in. We need another revolution like punk did in the 70s to bring everything back into balance.

What do you think of Drooble?

I like it. The interactive format appeals to me.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

People who want to pigeon hole me. Life isn't a flat plain that all looks the same. It has different textures, different flavors. Accordingly, my work isn't something you can put in a container and label.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

I'm constantly checking out local bands. Im in NYC and there are tons and tons of them lol.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Just be real. Music connects on the most human level. Don't simply try to impress. Work to move the audience...that's far more powerful.

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

Prophets of Conviction, Wendy G, Asymmetric, Elu are just a few.