We caught up with Fran Dominguez from Forest Robots to talk about his music.
Tell us a little bit about your yourself?
I’m a music composer from Los Angeles, California. I have been composing music under different aliases since 2004 until finally settling on Forest Robots in 2015.
It has been a lifelong journey but my other passion, mountaineering, has been the source of most of my musical inspiration. However, it wasn’t until the birth of my daughter in 2014 that Forest Robots was born as well.
Its conception first began, vaguely, during my travels to the legendary mountain range of the Sierra Nevada in California. As I often do, I compile pictures and video of the beautiful mountain landscapes, and often narratives of my adventures began to attach themselves to each collection.
When my daughter was born these narratives began to weave into a cohesive story and the opportunity presented itself to use these pictures and stories to teach her about the wonders of nature, the importance of spending time in the outdoors and how vital it is to help in the conservation of public lands.
Soon after, the visual narratives also began to inspire music as well and that’s when at last the concept of Forest Robots was fully formed. After much encouragement from friends and family, I decided to begin sharing this project with the world in the hopes that others also become inspired to spend time in the outdoors and perhaps even become an advocate for the personal benefits of the outdoors and the importance of preserving our public lands as well.
When did you first start to develop a passion for music?
When I first realised how music can be a positive and profound medium for communication that can transcend cultural barriers and can even transcend time.
Which artists did you listen to while growing up?
I grew up with very musical adventurous parents. This lead me to be exposed to a wide range of music genres – classical, jazz, soundscape, soundtracks and 60s and 70s pop. Later on in life I discovered adventurous artists like David Bowie, Brian Eno and bands like Kraftwerk and Cluster which steered me into the electronic and avante garde genres and I’ve never looked back since.
So far my album releases have been comprised of instrumental electronica that ranges from upbeat downtempo dance numbers to more introspective or mediative ambient compositions. I think what binds all of my together so far is my direct inspiration to my mountaineering journeys. In that sense, my music is journey oriented. Or at least it is my hope that it takes you somewhere in your mind that it is inspiring and positive.
What music have you recorded and released to date?
A third Forest Robots album is slated for release in late 2019 after promotional work for the latest non album single “Inevitable” is finished.
Which artists do you enjoy listening to at the moment – and do they influence your work?
I’m currently enjoying the Bandcamp music platform and their selection of ambient music artists. There is so much great music out there, I have to make it a point to bookmark music I like because I can’t keep up with artists names. There are too many out there.
Whoever says music is dead clearly needs to step out of their comfort zone and explore. There is much great music to be found and listening to so many independent artists following their passion without compromise is so encouraging and validating of what I’m doing with Forest Robots.
Who would your dream collaboration be with?
I am rather insular when I compose music and it’s a rather personal process when I do and I quite enjoy it being that way but if time wasn’t a constraint I would have loved to have sat with David Bowie in the 1970s while he recorded his album “Heroes” with Tony Visconti, Brian Eno and Robert Fripp.
What are your plans for the future?
To continue to share the message behind the concept of Forest Robots to anyone that finds it inspiring and enjoyable to listen to. I also have a finished album slated for release later in 2019 and I look forward to getting it out there and continue the musical journey with everyone who has been following with me so far. Hopefully it brings in new listeners as well. I’m also currently working on a fourth album which am looking to finish by autumn 2019 and release it early 2020. So lots of things going with Forest Robots for the foreseeable future.