Headlands Center for the Arts

Brian Mumford

oregon | music/sound
Artist in Residence Program 2016

Artist Statement

I live in Portland OR, where aside from working public library, movie theatre, record-shipping, record-cover-design, and babysitting jobs, I write, perform, play, and record a lot of music. Some of it is songs. I think of songwriting as a multidirectional process wherein I unfurl aspects of whatever partisanships, inclinations, and affects etc. I’m leaning toward out into a song, while the familiarity of the form which makes it recognizable as a song funnels the tools-at-hand and structural and ideological tendrils through me and whoever I play with. Toxicity, digestion, reinforcement, healing, and destabilization can move in all directions. A lot of my songs are rooted in folk and country traditions, though ruptured, complicated, and complemented with feedback circuits, drones, tape hiss, and homemade oscillators. Sometimes chance elements and candlelight sensitive instruments introduce improvisation to the recitation of these songs.

While At Headlands

While at Headlands I plan to work on writing, playing, and recording a new album of recordings of music and songs; to work on building some revised versions of rudimentary sensitive circuits I designed a few years ago; to work on some drawings and writing to accompany new music; to take a bunch of long walks; to look at the bobcat I heard about; and to think about friendship, partisanship, opacity, and friends.

Selected Works


“Sparrow Command” by Dragging an Ox through Water, 2014; audio recording.

“Wire Haunts” by Dragging an Ox through Water, 2014; audio recording.


“I Don’t Understand What You Like About It” by Dragging an Ox through Water, 2014; audio recording.


“Usurper” by Dragging an Ox through Water, 2014; audio recording.

Personal Website

http://j.mp/bmumform