“From an early age, I found myself gravitating towards music. I was fascinated by film scores and would always try to listen closely while I watched movies. I’ll never forget the first time I saw The Truman Show or Requiem for a Dream. To me, the music in those films elevated the emotions of the plot and created a visual and aural synergy. When I started writing music, it only seemed natural to follow this cinematic style. I like the idea of music not being constrained by words, allowing a unique interpretation to be formed by whoever is listening. That’s not to say I’m opposed to lyrics though, and I can’t imagine a musical world that is entirely instrumental. It’s all about the desired objective an artist is trying to achieve through their work.
Moving to Pittsburgh in the summer of 2011 was a turning point for me musically. I found myself really excited to be living in a city for the first time, immersed in a world of dynamic architecture, glowing lights, and sounds of traffic echoing against tall buildings. Despite living in an urban environment, my strongest influence has always been nature. Music, like nature, is full of colors, textures, and patterns, and my goal is to bring as much of the natural world as I can into music. Most importantly, I want my music to be meaningful and positive.”
Vacancy is a Pittsburgh based ‘electronic, ambient, alternative, instrumental’ project from Dustin Suppy. His latest EP “Daydream” is released today and I want to thank him for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
I think it was the soundtrack to ‘The Truman Show’ by Philip Glass and Burkhard Dallwitz. I got into film music at an early age. I listened to a lot of other music too, but it was mostly stuff that my older brothers had lying around the house (Weezer, Nirvana, etc.). I borrowed from them a lot, so when it came time to actually buy music I was buying stuff that wasn’t present in the house.
Your last album bought?
Sea Wolf’s Kickstarter funded album called “Song Spells”. I really like it. There isn’t any extravagant production, just a lot of well-crafted music. It’s always refreshing to hear music that is sincere.
Favorite album of all time?
“In Rainbows” by Radiohead. One time I was driving alone from Pennsylvania to Florida, and I drove all the way listening to only this CD on repeat. When I hit Georgia, a tropical storm had moved in and I was forced to drive at only 40mph. It was an exhausting road trip, but listening to ‘House of Cards’ in the pouring rain after 16 hours of straight driving was somehow really soothing. It put me in a comfortable trance. ‘Nude’ and ‘Videotape’ are two of my favorite songs.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Recently I’d say I was most let down by Iron and Wine’s album “Ghost on Ghost”. It just didn’t go in the direction I hoped it would, and the whole thing seemed emotionally flat to me. There are a couple songs I liked from it, but overall it was disappointing.
First concert attended?
I think it was Incubus during their ‘Morning View’ tour in 1999/2000.
Olafur Arnalds playing the New Hazlett theater.
Favorite concert ever?
Olafur Arnalds playing the Midtown Scholar bookstore in Harrisburg. This guy puts on a fantastic live show. What made it amazing was how he made use of the venue. The show was in a really cool used bookstore, and he had visuals accompanying his music that were projected onto the bookshelves. The combination of the music and projections created a dreamy atmosphere that was perfect for the ambient style of music. The effect was really spellbinding.
Least favorite concert?
I saw 30 Seconds to Mars at the TLA in Philly when I was 17. Which shouldn’t really warrant further explanation, but aside from being a lousy show, I got kicked in the head by a crowd surfer. I flew into the person in front of me and instantly felt blood running down my face. A security guard handed me a towel and I had to fight my way through the crowd to the exit. No stitches at least, so that’s one positive thing to take from it.
Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I love the Pittsburgh winter. It’s gripping and scenic. Plus I never feel guilty about being holed up in my attic working on songs for hours at a time. It’s probably my most productive season.
Thanks, Dustin. Stitches or not, a bleeding head was the least of your worries… 30 Seconds to Mars? Now that is disappointing.