Hubrist / Ambisolace - Community Spotlight Series #15

Hubrist / Ambisolace - Community Spotlight Series #15

6 min

In this interview, we speak with G.W. Upton who embraces two artist personas on Audius called ‘Hubrist’ and “Ambisolace.’ Let’s learn more about this incredible artist, his backstory, and what motivates him to create!

Question 1: Hey there! Would you like to introduce yourself and your two Audius artist projects! 

Hey there! Thanks for having me! My name is G. W. Upton, I’m a California-born musician and teacher based in Berlin for the last nine years. My main focus these days is producing and performing live as Hubrist and Ambisolace, as well as teaching music production at TUMO Berlin.

Question 2: Wow, that is super cool that you have two artist projects on Audius! Tell us about the difference in soundscape between Hubrist and Ambisolace.

Thanks! Hubrist is my longest running project, and it spans a wide range of genres. I think that's a natural result of my influences being so widespread… I’m a multi-instrumentalist and I played in a number of different bands back in the day. I found myself wanting to make more and more complex music, so eventually the tricky logistics of trying to do that with a band led me to electronic production and live performance. The Hubrist project is heavily influenced by hip-hop, trip-hop, and trap as well as various genres of bass music, dub, and electronica. That gets mixed in with my penchant for traditional folk instrumentation… I love blending the emotive sounds of instruments like banjo and lap steel guitar with heavy drums and modern electronics. Ambisolace however, is a new project I started last year dedicated solely to ambient music in all its forms. This ranges from drone ambient sounds for relaxation, meditation, and sleep to live improvisations where I use ambisonics to layer and manipulate live instruments, sounds, and synthesisers in virtual 3D space.

Question 3: Do you enjoy the freedom of creating multiple artist personas to represent different soundscapes? 

I really do relish the freedom of having multiple artist personas, in fact, I wish I had started dividing myself sooner! In the past, I was writing so many different genres under the Hubrist moniker that I felt it was sometimes confusing for listeners and bookers to know about everything that was available. I wrote a lot of ambient music as Hubrist in the past, and my love for that genre has only increased in recent years. It made sense to split that ambient side of me into a new artist that would explore only those types of feelings and sounds. Also, a couple of years ago I began experimenting with ambisonic (3D) audio techniques which allows you to create sounds in immersive formats that extend far beyond stereo. Immersive audio is a big topic these days that I believe is only going to keep becoming more and more relevant, so I am very happy to be exploring this with Ambisolace, I can create and perform music that can be spatialised appropriately anywhere, regardless of if it’s binaural (headphones), stereo, quadraphonic, or a planetarium with 48 speakers in a giant dome, for example.

Question 4: Are you a self taught musician and music producer? 

That’s an interesting question, as the answer is yes and no. I had some private instruction in jazz guitar and bass, as well as some trumpet lessons back when I was just a tiny kid in the school band, but most of my musical learning has been in unofficial and self-taught capacities. I am blessed with some very talented friends who I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time  jamming with, collaborating, and learning from, as well as an unknowable amount of time devouring online tutorials and Youtube lessons. I am a strong believer that higher education in music can be a huge help to the right person, but is in no way necessary to make great music.

Question 5: What is your favorite music instrument and why? 

Oooh, tough question! If we’re talking about some kind of desert island, you-only-get-one scenario, I would have to pick piano. I’m by no means a great or experienced pianist, but I am totally obsessed with the instrument. It's such a huge, wonderful acoustic instrument… it really has the power to make us feel so much with just a few notes.

Question 6: How did you discover the Audius platform and what do you love the most about the Audius community?

Once I started to understand the basics of blockchain, I got interested in how this would affect the music industry. I was wondering how long before all music would be on the blockchain, if nothing else, just to make life much easier with smart contracts, instant royalty payments, and the like. I googled around and was super pleased to find Audius was already established and leading the way. It’s important to me that Audius is moving to fill the gap left by other, lesser streaming services that some of us have felt let down by in the last years, and I’m excited to see where the Audius project is leading us. It seems to be in the direction of a better future where the independent artists that we love can have new ways to thrive in the modern music landscape, and I’m all for it!

Question 7: What is your dream as a music artist and where would you like to see your career in five years? 

Wow, so many dreams… where to start!? My biggest musical dream right now is to perform at The Sphere, Las Vegas. It’s a futuristic new venue housed in a massive sphere with a focus on immersive experiences, gigantic resolution visuals, and 3D audio. For those of us following the development of immersive sound venues, the fact that the audio is dispersed using speakers that utilise beam-forming technology is extraordinarily exciting. It means that the main issue with most 3D sound venues (namely small listening sweet spots) has been solved, meaning theoretically every seat in the house should be able to experience perfect immersive sound with no dead spots or other acoustic issues. I’m always dreaming! Dreaming of performing through underwater speakers for people floating in saltwater, dreaming of performing for people lounging in nets high in the canopy of a forest somewhere, and eternally dreaming of creating new experiences that utilise technologies that don’t even exist yet (how cool will it be when we can bypass the physics of our ears and send sounds and sensations directly to the brain)! As for where I see myself five years from now, it’s hard to say exactly. I see myself continuing to perform and write a lot, perhaps with another artist name or two in the mix to keep things diverse and fun, and in as many places and iterations across the globe as possible. I’ve also been slowly writing a novel since 2019, which I plan to turn into an audiobook with a soundtrack that should see the light of day at some point in the next couple years. It’s by far and away the largest project I’ve ever put my hand to, so depending on how I feel about it once it’s actually done and the response to it, in five years maybe I’ll be crafting another audio story experience, or maybe just happily finding my focus on making lots of music again.

Follow Hubrist / Ambisolace:

Instagram (Hubrist)

Instagram (Ambisolace)