Bill Callahan: On Unconscious Work & Creating Through Living
June 14th 2017
Photo by Ben Hunt
Bill Callahan talks to Stephen Ferris about his musical DNA and “unconscious work.”
Musician, writer, visual artist: Bill Callahan is a prolific creative, and a man of few words. Asked if he likes to hang out with musicians, Callahan responds, “No I don’t.” What about constantly visiting new cities? “It’s not that fun.” Does his music fit an ‘Americana’ label? “I feel like you can call me whatever you want as long as I can keep making music.”
Indeed, it’s Callahan’s music that speaks the loudest. From his days performing under the name Smog, to his recent Vivid shows with long-term collaborator Matt Kinsey, Callahan’s work has showcased a profound bareness; space that is less absence than concision.
Space is something Callahan grants himself outside of music. “[I do] a lot of unconscious work, I call it pre-work, which basically just means waking up in the morning and living life…I believe that my unconscious is doing a lot of work, even though I’m not putting pen to paper.”
Callahan’s mind was probably actively composing his magnum opus as he talked to Stephen Ferris on Mornings. Have a listen to the full chat above.