Jonathan Kawchuk Presents: Grammar Trapping

After collaborating with the likes of Nico Muhly and Ben Frost, and serving as a sound tech for the Philip Glass Ensemble, Canadian soundscape artist Jonathan Kawchuk will give his debut album, North, a wide release on January 26 through Paper Bag Records. But while the record presents a meditative melange of drifting piano melodies, string-scraping drones, and field-recording ambiance, the music that inspires him is decidedly less chill…

“I have a Spotify folder that holds all these time-capsule playlists. Whenever my life enters a new feel or vibe, I make a playlist of whatever new music I’m listening to at the time. I have a playlist called ‘i’m learning’ for a stretch of my life when I was sneaking into university classes. I have a playlist called ‘ooo nåni nåni,’ which is when I moved to Toronto. There’s ‘Damn He Woke Me Up Early,’ ‘i miss mutek,’ ‘17 crux,’ ‘This way out!,’ et al. I do this when I’m writing as well; listening and picking apart a ton of music helps me hunt for the language I’m trying to speak. And even though my new record North is coming out soon, I thought it would be fun to share the playlist of what’s informing my music right now.”—Jonathan Kawchuk