Hybrid label and collective, New York.

Cultivated Sound is a hybrid between a collective and label in Brooklyn, New York. We are focusing on showcasing artists locally and internationally. Our mission is constantly evolving as we strive to integrate programs with collaborators and residents. To cultivate music as sound and introduce new music breaking genres.

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CSS074: Brian Wenner
[DJ Set]
Text. Mara Peralta

Welcome to Cultivated Sound mix and feature session CSS074 with Brooklyn based composer Brian Wenner. Delivering a wide dynamic mix that cohesively moves between his original compositions and his personal liked tracks. The movements he creates using experimental sounds as noise inspires us for a deep listening experience. We invite you to listen again with us.  







Wenner has composed for dance, theater, multi-channel installation, and digital release. His most recent album is entitled 'Paragon Moon,' and was released in June of 2021. His compositional approach centers around layering combinations of sampled, field-recorded, and original content to craft something new and unique. Wenner formerly released music as part of the audio/visual project Prism House from 2013 - 2020.

We really like the dynamic range of your set, what are some of the ideas you had when you recorded this set?

Brian: The main idea behind the set was to include a lot of music that I’m currently listening to, and then also integrate my own released and unreleased music and sketches. Once I selected all of the tracks I began arranging them in Ableton Live in a way that made sense and flowed. The set moves between moments of melodic ambience to more experimental and harsh sounding themes. I like mixes that have a strong dynamic arc, and that is what I hoped to achieve when I recorded this.

What are some of your current musical influences? What record speaks to you and inspires you to make music?

Brian: I haven’t been influenced by anything lately per se, but I have been going on Bandcamp and just browsing through their experimental music sections to find new things to check out. There’s a vast sea of amazing and challenging music out there, and it takes me some concerted effort to find it. One particular release I’ve found inspiring is a collaborative record by Luke Slater, Anthony Child, KMRU, Lady Starlight, Speedy J, and Tom Moth. It’s entitled ‘DIALOGUE’ and was recorded during quarantine. Each artist recorded and performed remotely, but you wouldn’t know it by listening. It feels really cohesive, yet also super exploratory and interesting.

What does “listening” mean to you as a composer and sound designer?

Brian: I make music predominantly from sampled content and field recordings, therefore I tend to find mys

elf analyzing my environment from a perspective of, “how could this sound be used in a piece of music?” It can be kind of weird to stop on the street and be like, “that air conditioner sounds really strange, let me record that,” but it can also be fun and rewarding to use those sounds in a composition. The same thing applies to finding sounds on Youtube. Sometimes I’ll watch a video and there will be a really interesting sonic moment that happens, and I’ll rip it to a .wav file and use it. I didn’t start listening to my environment critically until I learned about Musique concrète and early electronic music when I was in college. 

We love your recent self-release 'Paragon Moon' while composing why did you decide to release a long-form album and tell us some ideas behind this record.

Brian: Thank you, I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the release! The idea to release a longform album grew out of my realization that all of the material I was recording seemed to complement each other. I worked with a very specific palette of sounds on ‘Paragon Moon,’ and because of this it felt appropriate to let each of the musical themes blend into one another. The source material of this release centered around bells, chimes, and field recordings that were recorded and then manipulated with a modular Eurorack system. The main idea behind this album was to create something that felt cohesive, but also had enough musical variation to tell a story. ‘Paragon Moon’ fits somewhere between being a deep listening record and an experimental-ambient release.


Paragon Moon


Released June 25th, 2021

‘Paragon Moon’ is a longform album consisting of improvisational sessions recorded and edited in quarantine in October, 2020. The source material centers around bells, chimes, and field recordings that were recorded and then manipulated with a modular Eurorack system. The result is an ever-evolving soundscape that encompasses elements of deep listening with experimental undertones.


Can you tell us about your background and stories? How did you get into making music?

Brian: I’m originally from Akron, Ohio and spent my life in the Midwest prior to moving to New York in the summer of 2010. I’m the only musician in my family so my strong interest in music has always been something that I’ve never entirely understood. When I was young I was very into playing competitive sports, but around the age of 13-14 I began getting more interested in music. I started playing guitar and formed a band in high school, and later had a band in college as well. During college I also began getting interested in electronic music. I took a “History of Electronic Music” course and learned about early electronic and avant-garde composition. This really inspired me and I quickly began making my own laptop-based music after this. It became a bit of an obsession and I found that I was playing a lot less guitar and was focusing on creating tracks on the laptop.

How did you figure out what gear to buy and what advice can you tell the community when purchasing new gear?

Brian: Buying gear and being interested in gear is something that is actually quite new to me. For the last decade I’ve made music entirely on the laptop using either Reason or Ableton Live, as well as some VST plug-ins. Only in the last couple years have I been buying more outboard equipment. My new obsession has been with the Eurorack modular world and I recently built a system that allows me to sample and manipulate audio in really intuitive and interesting ways. I’ve grown to love the tactile nature of Eurorack and I find that it makes me approach sound differently than using a computer. It’s an instrument that you have to learn and understand in order to get it to do the things you want. There are also a lot of happy accidents and randomness when using a modular system. That is something I find very appealing.

Last track that moved you?
Tim Hecker - Trade Winds, White Heat off of his album Radio Amor.

Favorite producer?
Oneohtrix Point Never is probably my favorite producer. Seeing his ascension to becoming a prominent film composer and collaborator with people like The Weeknd is really inspiring and exciting. I love his albums ‘Returnal’ and ‘Replica,’ but his entire catalogue is great. His work is always ambitious and his sound design is unique and impressive.

Last film you watched?
Minari. I highly recommend this film. It’s thoughtful, funny, sad…all of the emotions. Another great release distributed by A24.

What's the best club you've played at?
Elsewhere in Brooklyn is the best club I’ve played. I had the opportunity to play in the Hall opening for Plaid and that was a really special experience. I performed alongside my longtime visual collaborator Matt O’Hare, and it was our best A/V performance to date. It’s a great venue to play at or check out a show.

Favourite album to relax to?
I have a couple favorites that I always go back to. Huerco S - For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have), and Heathered Pearls - Loyal. Both are great.

Next city you would like to write and play at?
I visited Berlin, Germany a few years ago and I’ve always wanted to write or perform there. That city has a deep respect and appreciation for electronic music, and the clubs all have amazing sound systems.

Oliver Coates - Caregiver part 4 (spirit)
Pan Daijing - Let
Aki Onda - Koln
Prism House - Breathe
Bass Clef - 15 Song From Benedenland
Brian Wenner - Untitled #1
Sarah Belle Reid - Collide (excerpt)
Brett Naucke - Pre-CGI
Brian Wenner - Separator 3.3
Kassel Jaeger - Mortes-Eaux
C. Lavender - Dimly Lit Exit
Brian Wenner - Untitled #2
Brian Wenner - Make It Swing
Keith Fullerton Whitman - Automatic Melody
Matt Evans - Data Fog
Prism House - Until Tomorrow
Brian Wenner - Seasick (unreleased)
Evan Caminiti - Morphogenesis
Drew McDowall - Agalma I (Folding)
Claire Rousay - A Kind of Promise
Pendant - NMQ-HYT3 of 41 / 1

Interview by Mara Peralta 
Produced, Mixed, Mastered by Brian Wenner
Original Album Artwork design by @jedeyr
Additional artwork design by Raul Coto-Batres