The Sunday Music Drop is a weekly radio series hosted by the KQED weekend news team. In each segment, we feature a song from a local musician or band with an upcoming show and hear about what inspires their music.
Composer, musician, and songwriter Joel St. Julien has lived in the Bay Area for almost 20 years and grew up playing instruments like the piano and clarinet.
He describes his sound as emotionally charged ambient music that creates a space for the listener. His song “Masking Two” is from his album Masking that was released in June 2022 and is a collage of samples that incorporate his voice, guitar and synthesizer.
“This album is all about the idea of masking. So, we all in ways mask different parts of ourselves and sometimes we know that we’re doing that. Sometimes we don’t know,” Said St. Julien. “The song is about things coming together, things being more clear.”
While he has been writing songs for years, Joel St. Julien said it wasn’t until the pandemic that he began to see his music as part of a healing process.
“When I’m doing my own music, there’s an element of it being a way to process what’s going on either within me or with what’s going on outside that still affects me,” said St. Julien. “So that process usually involves using my voice or my guitar or my synthesizer and improvising recording a ton of work.”