Carl Stone is an American composer currently based in both Japan and Los Angeles who is a pioneer of live computer music, having used computers in live performance since 1986. Stone studied composition at the California Institute of the Arts with Morton Subotnick and James Tenney. Stone’s newest album, Stolen Car, is out via Unseen Worlds. Joshua Minsoo Kim and Stone talked on the phone on September 9th, 2020 to discuss studying under Subotnick and Tenney, how his approach to music has changed over time, and more.
Joshua Minsoo Kim: Hello! This is Joshua, is this Carl?
Carl Stone: It is! Hi Joshua, how’re you doing?
I’m good, how are you?
Pretty good, thanks.
How has your day been? Are you okay out there in California?
Yeah, we had a big heat wave over the weekend. It’s cooler now. I was just looking at—I’m down in the south so we have some fires going, but it’s nothing like up north. I’ve been looking at some photos of the sky in the Bay Area. It’s like nothing anyone has ever seen before. Where are you?
I’m a little bit outside of Chicago. It’s definitely nothing like what’s happening in the Bay Area right now.
It’s pretty wild! Anyway, how’re you doing?
I’m good, I just had a busy day. I’m a school teacher, on Wednesdays we have meetings all day long. I’m a little tired, but it’s 6pm now so it’s been a few hours. It can be draining just being on Zoom for an entire day.
Well thank you for making time for me!
Of course! I wanted to ask you, do you make your own hot sauce? Have you ever made your own hot sauce?
My own hot sauce? Well, I make different salsas. I guess they’re kind of like hot sauce.
What’s your favorite type of salsa to make? What are your salsas usually like?
I kind of make it Mexican style. A lot of cilantro, onion, garlic, tomato. This time of year I use hatch chiles, which are in season right now. I like chipotle [peppers] very much.
I’ve been trying to get into hot sauce. I like spicy food in general but do you have any recommendations for hot sauces that I would be able to buy online? I’m just curious if you have any recommendations, because I know you’re into hot sauces, or at least were.
It kind of depends what you’re shooting for. Are you looking for something with a vinegar base, like Tabasco-style?
I’m definitely a huge fan of all things vinegar.
Oh, you are! Well there was this one really good chili lime… let’s see if I still have the bottle… there’s a chili lime hot sauce that I found somewhere… (looking through cabinets). No, I guess I used it all up. It was really awesome. I could try to find the brand and send you a link or something [Editor’s note: Stone later emailed me a link to Frank’s RedHot sauce, of which there is a Chili ‘n Lime version].