20130310-223226.jpg Van Ark is a B.M.P (Beat Maker-Producer) who has a wide range of   styles that will satisfy your listening pleasure. His musical ability to play live instruments and sample from the dustiest of crates are far beyond your imagination. Van’s knowledge of music will make you feel like a student in music class, taking notes in preparation for a pop quiz. Beatmakers-Producers and music lovers, meet Van Ark.
INST: Let the world know who you are and where you’re from?
VA: My name is Van Ark Producer/Musician/Music Artist from Richmond,Virginia
INST: Who have you worked with & how long have been beat making or producing?
VA: I started playing trumpet in a band when I was in middle school then started making pause beat tapes during high school. Soon after, I got into making beats on various drum machines and old keyboards and went on from there. In total; I’ve been producing for 13 years and ended up working with artists such as Baatin from Slum Village, Leaf Erikson, Shuanise, and I have also done remixes for the band No Bs! Brass.
INST: What equipment and or software are you using?
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VA: Well as far as equipment, I’m mostly into hardware and live instruments
such as, Ludwig Drum set, Yamaha Electric Guitar, Bongos, Various Percussion Instruments, Cassette Recorder, The Roland Spds, 1978 Roland Vk-09 Organ/Synth, Boss SP-505, The korg Monotron analog synth, The Microkorg, Emu XL7, numark portable turntable, vinyl and as far as software i just use protools to record and mix in…lol thats alot but i make everything from Experimental music, Jazz, to Hip-Hop and Folk Rock so everything I metioned is utilized according to how I sculpt a live composition, performance, or beat. .
INST: What made you want to create beats?
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VA: When I first started; I was influenced by producers and artists, such as Stereolab, Weather Report, Prince, Bjork, Large Professor, Rza, Madlib and early Slum Village. Listening to them trained my ear as a composer, musician and a beatmaker for me to understand different ways and approaches of making music.
INST: Do you use or prefer sampling over playing live instruments?

20130310-223729.jpg VA: I would say it depends on what mood musically I’m into, so sometimes I might want to do a one man band performance and play every instrument live, or just pull out the sp-505, some vinyl, chop up some samples and make a beat so i would say it’s 50/50

INST: Who would you say has influenced your style?
VA: Some of the artists that influenced my style is Sun Ra, Raymond Scott, Suzanne Ciani, Early Kraftwerk (70-73) J-Dilla, David Axelrod, Coldcut, Pete Rock, Prince, Stereolab, Chick Corea it’s so many to name.
INST: Do you ever see yourself quitting or retiring from beat making?
VA: I don’t see myself retiring from making music because it’s my meditation and creative expression in the form of sound design.
INST: Is there a difference between being a producer and being a beat maker?
VA: I think it’s a difference because as a beatmaker you are just taking pieces of sound and putting it together as a collage of sound for a track as opposed to a producer who can operate as a musician, the person that sculpts the overall concept of the album, song and or compose the entire soundscape of the sonic plate.
INST: Any tips, tricks, or advice that you’d like to share?
VA: I would say as a beatmaker and/or producer get into listening to different styles of music and expand into playing instruments because it will broaden your horizons that will make you more versatile into various settings of musical enviroments such as working with bands, singers and artist from all genres…
INST: Where can we hear your work?
VA: you can tune in to my work at my music site www.arkteknologies.wordpress.com and please feel free to subscribe!
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