Updated: Sep 1, 2021
By Will Yannacoulias
Photos Courtesy Ariana Giroux
TransSask Support Services spent the summer preparing to launch the TransCreate Workshop series, an exciting new program through which Saskatchewan based two-spirit, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming artists will teach live online classes in a variety of artistic mediums. The Workshop Series kicks off Saturday September 4th with a two hour class from Regina-based EDM/Electronica producer Ariana Giroux. NSMZ reached out to Ariana, who was generous enough to share with us a bit about her background in music, the TransCreate program, and what she has planned for the class itself.
Thank you for your time Ariana. I’d like to start off by sharing a bit about your story with our readers. What’s your musical background? How did you get into EDM & Electronica specifically?
Hey there! My names Ariana Giroux, and I’m an EDM/Electronica producer based in Treaty 4 Territory! I got my start drooling over bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alexisonfire, and groups like The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers. Like any other kid with an eclectic taste of heavy hitting music featuring guitars and distorted sounds, I begged my mum for a guitar endlessly and the rest is all history. From jam bands to jazz choirs, I was out there trying it all.
Throughout the years of noodling away on a guitar I never quite could get the sounds of my favorite bands. I had also discovered (big shocker to any synth nerds in the club here) that a guitar and an amp would never quite get me to the dubstep and drum and bass I so deeply loved. Next thing you know, I found myself on my way to college pursuing an Audio Engineering diploma. I had taught myself video editing, graphic design, programming, etc. The one thing I couldn’t figure out was music. Fact is, even today I still don’t get music, it's all a mad science filled with wizards wiggling silly little knobs. All I know is that I know what a couple of the buttons and knobs do, and I get to play with them in a giant playground of synths!
It's a defining epiphany moment for every artist when they realize they aren’t limited to listening to music but can actually make their own. What inspired you to begin that creative journey?
From trashy punk shows at dive bars smaller than your uncle’s kitchen to underground raves in fields and queer bars, I adored the music of the artists I followed and interacted with. I always admired that ability to craft and create something, and sought my own way of doing so that felt right for years. Music has always been a way of communicating for me, whether that be with a soft improvised track on my acoustic or a banger of a set in the club while DJing. I wanted to find a way to get more to the point than the rough message I could provide through other’s music. Creating my own music was and remains something that is simply a part of me!
The TransCreate program is such a cool idea, art is the universal language and a beautiful way to connect people. Tell me a bit about how you came to teach a class? What should participants expect from the class itself?
I was brought on somewhat early in the TransCreate program as one of the workshop leaders, and am so glad to be able to help out! The hosting organization, TransSask (an absolutely fantastic queer non-profit you should check out), has been a consistent collaborating group and an avenue of my own advocacy and activism efforts for years, so the moment I heard about something happening I jumped on it!
We’re going to start off the class with a short live performance of a couple upcoming tracks from “Routing Errors”, along with a house or techno track written entirely from the ground up live! Everything is run off an MPC Live (a hardware sampler & drum sequencer), Novation Circuit (drum sequencer & 2 part synth), and a Modal Skulpt (analog modeling synth), all hardware, all from my desk! It's the same setup I use to make all of my music! After the performance, I’ll be sharing a bit about my story as a trans artist here in Saskatchewan and how that impacts my music. Then, as a treat for everyone, I am going to walk through how to make a track for next to no money and provide all the project resources so folks can follow along at home!
Where can folks at home follow up to hear your music online?
As every artist in 2021 will tell ya, I’ve got a Bandcamp (https://eclecticmedia.bandcamp.com/) that acts as the home for all of my finished music! You can also find me on all of your favorite streaming services by looking up “Ariana Giroux”! I also regularly stream my music creation process and live performances on a rights respecting platform, OwnCast (https://eclecticmedia.owncast.tv/). Stay tuned to my Bandcamp for 2 new upcoming albums, “Girl And Her Sampler” and “Routing Errors”!
Registration for Ariana Giroux's "EDM Production and Sound Engineering" course is available here: http://transsask.ca/transcreate/edm-and-sound-engineering