Please explain what just happened.

I’m not really sure, nor do I care.  But I think it had something to do with Dennis Lyxzén.


What is your earliest memory?

I remember being a baby of the barely walking variety.  Something about camping and my mother bathing me in a green plastic washbasin on a campground table.


If you weren’t a composer/producer, what other profession would you choose?

Race car driver. Or perhaps freelance dictator.  I hear that pays fairly well, but the occupational hazards are somewhat fatal depending upon involvement with US interests.


Describe a typical work day.



Is there a time you wish you’d lied?

Yes, and it involved the Los Angeles Police.


What would you say to yourself if you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself at age thirteen?

“Don’t worry so much.  All of these fears and anxieties you have will just bind you up, and mostly they are unwarranted.  Oh, and all those questions you keep inside about God and the afterlife…  listen to yourself.  You know the answer.  You just have to be brave enough to admit it to yourself.”



If you could have only one album to get you through a breakup, what would it be?

What does this even mean, album to uplift or an album to dwell on sadness and loss?  I don’t think an album ever got me “through a breakup.”  I made an album that got me through a breakup.  It wasn’t about her directly, but she was definitely a catalyst.  So, that one I guess.

Oh fuck it…  Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.


What are three websites—other than your email—that you check on a daily basis?



From what or whom do you derive your greatest inspiration?

Whatever I’m into at the moment.  It’s never one thing, or a consistent thing.  Other musical artists, composers, specific films…  usually Westerns of the Italian type or derivatives thereof.

Mostly, I would say elegantly old things.  Ol’ Timey sorts of stuff.  Objects left and forgotten, then found again.  Forgotten places, forgotten objects, forgotten art…vague enough?

Most recently, the photography of Ellen Rogers.



Name three books that have impacted your life.

God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
The Last Empire by Gore Vidal
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut


If you could relive one moment over and over again, what would it be?

That’s far too private of a moment to mention here.


How are you six degrees from Kevin Bacon?

Six?  I can make that move in two.  I had music in the film “The Unborn” with Gary Oldman.  Gary Oldman was in JFK with…Kevin Bacon.


What makes you feel most guilty?

Lying.  So I don’t.


How do you incorporate the work of other artists into your own?

I have been known to use archival footage for my films.  I’ve been hugely influenced by many artists… DJ Shadow, Joanna Newsom, Ennio Moriconne, Black Sabbath, Pepe Deluxe…  but I’ve never directly used anything of theirs except for a Joanna Newsom cover.

Perhaps I could say the whole “spy numbers stations” thing, but that’s not what I would consider art.  They’re secret government shortwave radio broadcasts with no admitted sources or authors.  So screw them.  It’s mine.  Public domain!


Please explain the motivation/inspiration behind Transmissions From the End of the World.

My initial concept was to continue what I had done with my previous albums where I would also have a film, but this time to film and write music all at one time.  Music influencing what was shot, what was shot influencing music to be written.  I had no idea that once I got into it, what an isolating piece would come out of it.  Perhaps because of my own sense of isolation at the time, and trying to recover parts of myself that seemed to have disappeared.

Considering the music itself, I used a lot of antique instruments.  Most of which were in various states of disrepair and still had their original strings on them.  I was really trying to capture that feeling that you get when you walk into a deserted ghost town, or an old empty house…  or when you pick up something old, dusty…  beautiful…  that instance where you smell the age and history in an object or place.  You can sense it.

Inspiration…  all of this “ol’ timey” inspiration was really amplified by one person in particular.  She was a huge influence on me and the direction of my art.  By the time I started this album/film, she was gone.



What is the best advice you’ve ever given to someone else?

I have no idea.  Probably some half-drunken rant I can’t remember.


List your favorite in the following categories:  Comedian, Musician, Author, Actor.

Comedian:  Dead – Bill Hicks;  Living – Louis CK.
Musician:  Too many to name just one.  It would be unfair to the artists and myself.
Author:   Christopher Hitchens.
Actor:  Actor?  Actors are tools for storytelling.  An actor can be great in a role well written and directed, but I don’t hold the actor responsible for a great film.  Let’s put it this way…  Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck were both brilliant in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, but I wouldn’t say that either one of them is my favorite actor.  It IS, however, my favorite film of recent memory.  So there.

Of course, I live in Los Angeles and am expected to hate actors.


If you had complete creative license and an unlimited budget, what would your next project be?

Citizen Kane Part II: Rosebud’s Revenge in 3D.

Or…  an epic, violent, dusty “Spaghetti Western” style film.


What do you want to know?

What it is, and how it is done.


What would you like your last words to be?

“Trust me.  I know what I’m doing.”


Please explain what will happen.

A whole lot of nothing, I expect.

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The Moscow Coup Attempt is the music and film endeavor of Los Angeles based producer, composer, film maker, and covert operative of disenchantment, DEREK WHITACRE. His projects feature mysterious, hypnotic music--down tempo and electronic and ambient--mixed over found sounds and old radio recordings. The music is married to intense, experimental films to create imaginative and suspenseful works of multimedia art.

The Failure of Shortwave Radio (2005) was TMCA's first release. The album is a stream of unconscious interpretation of failures in communication of not just nations, but persons. The heart of the album lies in Numbers Stations and their influence on world politics, the Cold War, and musical themes. The Failure of Shortwave Radio captures the creepy and mysterious essence of Numbers Stations while using hypnotic, down tempo music to apply a broader outlook on humanity and breakdowns in communication.

Insomnia, released in 2006, is an expansion of the ideas and themes expressed on The Failure of Shortwave Radio. Starting where the first album leaves off, Insomnia is an uninterrupted six-movement piece covering 40 minutes of sound and film. The album features the beautiful vocal work of Vera Ostrova on the track "Do You Fear Sleep?" The last track is a hypnosis-inducing, 14-minute recording of a bizarre Numbers Station combined with sound experiments by TMCA.

2007's Recidivism, is a collection of unreleased tracks from The Failure of Shortwave Radio and Insomnia albums, and remixes by The Moscow Coup Attempt and Defrag. Recidivism. includes remixes of the tracks "The Failure of Shortwave Radio pt.1", "Phone Tap", "Vultures", and "Do You Fear Sleep?".

Transmissions From the End of the World is a film and musical exploration of isolation in eight movements. The use of shortwave radio and broken mixtures of traditional American folk instrumentation with electronics makes this an identifiable extension of the TMCA sound. It also features a new and completely original film shot in the most isolated and remote areas of America's Southwest. Transmissions marks a new level of multimedia interpretive art.

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