Multi-instrumentalist and music theory aficionado, Jamie Moore has been a longtime friend of The MIC, and finally released his much anticipated debut EP, Stoneflower & Other Microsongs. Sitting down with Stef from The MIC, Jamie reveals his songwriting process and the inspiration behind the dichotomy of including both microsongs and standard-length tracks on the EP.
SJ: What was your first memory of music?
JM: One of my hyper-fixations as a kid was film scores and soundtracks. This was around the time the first Shrek came out, and the idea of a movie soundtrack being comprised of licensed pop songs was still a thing to a degree. So I’d listen to these soundtracks on my sisters’ portable CD player(!) and memorize the songs and sing them incessantly. I’d also memorize music cues from the scores to films and video games and hum the melodies nonstop, aping the sounds of orchestral instruments as best I could and almost certainly sounding very annoying and weird to people who could hear me. But in my mind, I had the full force of the orchestra behind me, and I guessed subconsciously I yearned for the ability to capture moments and emotions through music the way my heroes Danny Elfman and Harry Gregson-Williams et al did in my favorite movies. Music wasn’t always an explicit ambition of mine, but it was always with me.
SJ: How would you describe your own sound?
JM: This is a tough one because, for one thing, I make it a point to be something of a musical chameleon, never lingering too long in one style, as a way to reflect the broad listening palate I’ve cultivated over the years. The other issue is that genre is so slippery and imprecise to the point of being nearly meaningless. I could tell you I make “alternative” music, but that umbrella term covers artists as disparate as Stone Temple Pilots, Sheryl Crow, Imagine Dragons, Lorde, etc. You could label me DIY cause I did, in fact, Do This Myself, but I worry about having put too much polish on my work for it to be authentically lo-fi enough for a hypothetical audience. Ultimately the only thing I can say about my music stylistically is that it’s mine, and I try to make it fun. If you can pigeonhole me into one sub-genre, I must be doing something wrong.
SJ: What do you think was the best part about going to school to study music? Worst?
JM: Undeniably, the best part of majoring in music turned out to be the people I’ve met and the connections I’ve made. I learned plenty I didn’t know before college, but the real reward was meeting like-minded musicians and cultivating meaningful friendships with people I could potentially make great art with. I wouldn’t trade my music school friends for the world. The worst part was the Studio Maintenance night class that was 7-10:30 PM every Wednesday night at a commuter school, and also, it only ran in the fall. Literally, the only thing that could have made that class worse is if I’d had to take it over Zoom.
SJ: What made you decide now was the time to release your first EP?