By Ryan Hamm
December 14, 2011
Trying to describe Active Child to a new listener presents quite a challenge. The Pat Rossi project combines the emotional drama of R&B with the reverent synths of Washed Out and the soaring eeriness of a fully classical choral ensemble. An unexpected mix, to be sure, made even more interesting when you find out Rossi also used to be a choirboy.
“I think initially I was much more into this exploration of electronics and synths,” Rossi says, “and I’m still there, but I think I’m slowly moving into a kind of classical infuence with more organic elements, live instrumentation and strange compositional techniques. I think definitely it was buried in there from when I was about 9 years old, and it’s all coming out now.”
As for the R&B notes? Well, it’s because Rossi is still finding his voice—and he wants to write about real emotions. “I think for me, some of the stuff came out vocally more R&B because I’ve started to explore my own vocal expression just like anything else,” he says.
“I think that’s kind of always been the basis for a lot of soul music—love lost, or falling in love, or feeling heartbroken, or all these different sentiments. These are real emotions I’m pouring out, not just some fabricated storyline.”
Another thing you might notice about Active Child is the use of church imagery throughout his music. That’s because Rossi has an admitted fascination with spirituality. “I guess I’m just continually searching for my own spirituality in many ways,” he says.
“I think maybe the fact I went to a Catholic high school, and before that I didn’t have any experience with religion. I always had kind of a curiosity for it. I’m fascinated by the idea of there being something else, just like everyone else is. I try to explore that realm.” Rossi says he’s inspired by various types of spiritual music. “I’m very intrigued in the style of music that is associated with a lot of different religions
as far as meditative music, monks and stuff like that. I’m kind of tied into that same spiritual realm. I feel most inspired by my own music when I’m in that realm—like a confessional where I can get into a loop of sounds and I can get lost in it a little bit. I guess it’s my own sort of Sunday church experience.”