Multi-instrumentalist Mauricio Vazquez creates complex, experimental sounds that remarkably conjure the warmth of his San Antonio home-base. Under the moniker Fair Coyote, he has released a collection of songs called “Hunt Saint” and his debut EP “Paths.”
Vazquez’s introduction to music began with the piano, and he dedicated a great amount of time to studying its keys. Soon after, he experimented with several other instruments which have been featured across his discography. Although he shares an interest and curiosity for both synthesizers and omnichords, Vazquez considers himself first and foremost a guitarist.
“I always liked the piano,” says Vazquez, “but guitar reached out to me more in the way that you can bend notes and make it sound like another instrument.”
When Vazquez moved to San Antonio from Mexico City, he started working on scores for directors of small-budget, independent films. His passion for film undoubtedly permeates into his writing and recording process, as his music may be classified as cinematic—both in its sound and scope.
“It amazes me how you can listen to a song and picture a movie scene in your head. I often like to do that,” explains Vazquez. “I picture a movie scene in my head and figure out from there what music would complement the scene.”
From the instant “Paths” begins, listeners can hear suspenseful crescendos reminiscent of the orchestral sounds that might fill a theatre. Vazquez masterfully crafts moments like these throughout the seven-track EP. He manages to construct a melodious intensity while juxtaposing that dynamism with sweet and thoughtful lyrics.“[The music] came from these ideas that I’d culminated throughout years and years. [“Hunt Saint”] was my first shot at writing and composing full arrangements,” explains Vazquez. “I focused and tried to write music that was thought-through but also really intuitive.”
That approach followed Vazquez with him throughout the making of “Paths” as well. His creative process teetered between instinctual and meditative. Some songs took on multiple adaptations; reworked until Vazquez felt they cohesively fit the overall direction of the EP. Other songs, however, emerged quickly and found their final form much sooner. Vazquez conceived the penultimate track “Vision Of” in a matter of minutes.
Ultimately, though, Vazquez placed most of his focus on recording “Paths,” which he completed in his home studio.
“I didn’t know too much about producing at the time. It was kind of new to me,” shares Vazquez. “I recorded home demos and learned on that. I already had plans to make an EP–it was just a matter of learning the right techniques. Writing was 20 percent of the work and producing was the other 80.”
To reflect the expressive struggles of his artistic undertakings, Vazquez joined forces with a friend to launch a short film that would cover what many musicians experience while engaged in the creative process.
Whether it’s writing lyrics or melodies, recording or producing, artists inevitably encounter hurdles along the way. That may have been the case for Vazquez throughout the fashioning of “Paths,” but in its complete and winsome form, the toiling seems to have been well worth it.
In its completed state, “Paths” wholly represents Vazquez. It serves to define him and stands as an autobiography of sorts. The EP clearly belongs to Vazquez in all of its stages, as he wrote and recorded the EP without the influence of others in his home studio. Listening to it, “Paths” feels individualistic in a sense, but meaningful and influential in a grand way.
Despite the creative turbulence Vazquez may confront as an artist and musician, his future looks fruitful. He is currently writing and recording a full length album and he hopes to soon take steps towards more collaborative projects.
To hear the rest of our interview with Fair Coyote, tune into this week’s episode of Discovery Corner.
Or interpret the music for yourself by clicking here.