Cole Blouin

Augusta, ME (Guitar)

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Cole Blouin, 21, is currently studying Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory, formerly Oberlin College. He played piano from ages 7 to 14, guitar since he was 14, and jazz guitar since he was 19. One talent that Cole wishes he had is not needing to sleep. He explains, “I’d like to not need sleep- like, I could sleep if I wanted, but could also just not sleep and somehow be well-rested. Maybe then there would be enough time in the day… Until then, there is coffee.” Cole’s happiest music memories are, “There have been so many! It could be a big moment onstage, or drinking coffee on long road trips and really feeling the music (as a listener), or improvising with a friend at 2 AM- they’re all so valuable and different!

The musicians that most influence Cole include Julian Lage, Django Reinhardt, Jim Hall, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Bill Frisell, Ambrose Akinmusire, Chris Thile, Tony Rice, Joanna Newsom, Sam Amidon, Leonard Cohen, Rufus Wainwright, Tin Hat, Punch Brothers, Radiohead, John Luther Adams, Gyorgy Ligeti, Terry Riley, Kaija Saariaho, and Oliver Messiaen. The musician, living or dead, that Cole would most like to meet would be Coltrane. He says, “It’s a common answer, but probably Coltrane. It seems like he really got ‘it’, where ‘it’ is many things, including how/what to practice, how to live a well-rounded life while maintaining focus as a musician, and how a large-scale interest in many things translates into music. I say this having already been able to meet a few of my favorite living musicians though.”

Cole’s advice to younger musicians is three-fold, he says, “1. Voraciously consume all the music you can. Listen to music while you fall asleep. 2. Put together an ‘aural cocktail’ of short snippets (30 seconds to 2 minutes) of your favorite music and listen to it twice a day for a few months. You’ll understand both the music and what, specifically, makes it your favorite in ways you could not have predicted. (Or just buy Primacy of the Ear by Ran Blake, which is maybe the best book on music I’ve ever read.) 3. Find the common threads of quality in art outside of music- painting, film, architecture, etc. – or even just go for walks; somehow, it all comes back to music.” In other musicians, Cole most values those who view their practice as a personal search, and approach it with both passion and thoughtful dedication. He adds, “Also, having a friendly, open-minded outlook really makes a difference.”At AMS, Cole is most looking forward to getting to know everyone!

Check out Cole’s original composition Between Mountains below:

Be sure to check out Cole and all of the AMS musicians at the Lucas Theatre on April 8 at the Stringband Spectacular!

Stay tuned to meet more AMS musicians!