5 Questions with Noah Berman


And There I Was (2017), credited to Faunaphor, combines the suite-like construction of arc | radius | curtain with the song-based format of shift/away and haha. Like a longform classical composition, this album’s six extended songs are connected by common musical and lyrical motifs that are continuously developed and re-contextualized. As we push ourselves to expand our musical vocabulary, we combined impressionistic harmonic devices inspired by Debussy and Ravel with arrangements inspired by Talk Talk, The Blue Nile, Steve Roach, and Ambitious Lovers. In 2018, Faunaphor was chosen to support Múm at the legendary 9:30 Club in Washington, DC.

1. What do you do in the world of music?

I compose for film and podcasts, and play guitar with ensembles in rock, jazz, and classical music. I am the guitar faculty at Camp Encore/Coda, where I coach rock and jazz ensembles and teach various classes, and I teach guitar, ear training, and music theory lessons in person and over video chat.

2. Tell us about your history with synthesizers

Growing up I experimented with my sister’s Yamaha VSS-30, which served as a gateway into synthesis and sampling. After studying jazz and classical music in college, I became interested in synthesis and music production, which I began teaching myself using various online resources.

3. Tell us about a project you worked on or a piece of music you created, in which you found the process particularly interesting.

To create the pointillist, evolving guitar soundscape that plays throughout Faunaphor’s “I see you in my dreams”, I created a custom sample library of about 100 guitar sounds and effects that my collaborator, Louis Weeks, mapped to a MIDI keyboard and and played as a new instrument.

4. How has Syntorial helped you in your sound design process?

Syntorial taught me the vocabulary and techniques of synthesis, which has made me a more effective collaborator when working with producers and keyboardists. By applying the principles of synthesis to the electric guitar, I have been able to create a vocabulary of expressive devices that sound electronically processed but are created manually.

5. Who have you been listening to lately?

Gavin Bryars (in general), Descendre by Terje Rypdal, Hats by The Blue Nile

Have an interesting story to tell? We want to interview Syntorial users from all walks of music life, from hobbyist to professional to mega-celebrity.

Contact us if you’d like to be considered for an interview.