How has music inspired you?

Music is everything to me. It keeps me alive. Obviously it helped me
through my father's passing by giving me somewhere to turn. It
provided a safe place where I could disappear to when I was at my
lowest, and could not find the words to express to a human being how
devastated i was. There were (and still are) days where I just didn't
want to talk to anyone but couldn't stand the thought of being alone,
so I would lose myself in whatever song(s) i needed to hear at the
time. I guess you could say music inspired me to stay healthy during a
time where I could have tried to ease the pain of losing my dad
instead of turning to drugs or bars or other harmful methods of

Your musical inspirations –

So many! Imogen Heap is a huge inspiration to me. Kate Havnevik,
Charlotte Martin, Zoe Keating, Terami Hirsch...I am really so lucky
that a lot of the musicians I look up to are involved in Map The
Music. I think about how grateful I am for that every day. Some other
people I just love are Jeff Buckley, Tori Amos, Ani Difranco, Andrew

Has music helped you through a difficult or traumatic time in your life?

I wouldn't be here without it. If it weren't for this film I am
putting together about music I have no idea where I would be. Maybe in
a ditch somewhere! Surrounding myself with music...going to concerts,
interviewing musicians, listening to new artists....has been what
keeps me happy. Even when I miss my dad the most.

Are there any songs or CD's that are meaningful to you?

"Walking Man" by Zoe Keating. That song is so beautiful to me. It just
moves me somehow. When I first got to know Zoe I told her that and she
was kind enough to play it for me! I cried like a baby. People were
probably thinking "Geez what's that girl's problem?!" And then there
are a few albums that I have special memories attatched to. Like
"Disintegration" by the Cure reminds me of my first love...which is a
good thing and a bad thing. "Swandive" by Ani Difranco got me through
the initial craziness of planning to go out on tour and make a movie.
Even I thought I was crazy, but I did it anyway. The lyrics for that
song are so powerful.

Discuss the creative or songwriting process-

Well I don't write songs, but I do spend a lot of time writing
interviews for people who do. I try to get them to find a way to put
into words how both their own and other people's songs change their

Discuss your feelings about the powerful or life-changing effects that music
 can have on a person –

Music is a muse for everyone. No matter what their creative outlet is,
music effects it. Guaranteed. Whether they play an instrument or just
sing to themselves in the shower, music is always around. Some people
may notice it more, but its a part of our being. Its natural. It
enhances whatever mood you are in. When I need to be miserable and get
it out of my system I have a song for that. When I am excited I have a
song for that too. Why do you think people have thousands and
thousands of songs on their computers? Because every single song means
something different to each different person. It is a way people to
stand out and find who they are. When you are getting to know a
person, one of the first things you ask is " What kind of music do
you listen to?" Must be important then!

Your thoughts on the connection between music and healing-

They go hand and hand. Music IS healing. It's a safe type of high that
can relieve you from whatever pain you are in for at least long enough
to find the strength to fix yourself.

Map the Music

Map The Music is a documentary film about music, and what it means to
people. We went all over the country interviewing people about it,
trying to find out why music is so incredible powerful. We also spent
some time with some amazing artists such as Imogen Heap, Kate
Havnevik, Charlotte Martin, Zoe Keating and many more, asking them why
they are so involved in music and what it does for them. What does
music mean to you?!

Map the Music

Map the Music/Ethereal Voices














*How has music inspired you?

music inspires everything… even on a mundane level music inspires… it accompanies cooking, painting, it inspires me to let my hair down & dance… listening to music inspires me to create more music… it inspires me to sing loudly & badly in the car to 80s hits, it keeps me sane, makes me cry when I need to let it out… & sometimes it inspires a need for silence… to hear more subtle music… the beauty of going out to the desert or the bush is that you hear the music of nature, the insects, animals, birds & the plants & the wind & the ocean… music is everywhere… it’s inbuilt…

*Who are your musical inspirations?

kate bush, peter gabriel, arvo part, nick cave, billie holiday, debussy, bjork, neil finn, nusrat fateh ali khan, ali farka touré, the church music I grew up with (hymns & evensong services) choral music, eastern european folk music, african street music…

*Are there any CD's or songs which are meaningful to you?

there are too many to list… to name a few:

‘little water song’ written by nick cave and sung by ute lemper – it moves me incredibly every time I hear it – he is a brilliant songwriter & she is an incredible interpreter, there’s an amazing strength yet fragility to this song…

‘non, je ne regrette rien’ by edith piaf is so beautiful, raw & filled with the stuff of life – this song is drenched in joy & pain, but mostly a wonderfully defiant joy… I sang this at a friend’s wedding…

‘bist du bei mir’ is one of my favuourite classical pieces – a very simple song, full of pathos & beauty… & I love the german language, how it sounds & how it feels to sing… I’d love to record in german someday…

paul simon’s ‘the cool river’ always humbles me as an awesome songwriting achievement, it’s brutally incisive yet terribly compassionate at the same time, & somehow manages to be frantic & soothing … & it concludes with one of my favourite lines: ‘sometimes even music cannot substitute for tears…’

*Has music helped you through a difficult or traumatic time in your life?

oh yeah… !

my adolescence was fairly traumatic… & music was what kept me alive really, it gave me hope & kept me sane. I started writing music when I was eleven… I didn’t share my music with anyone for a long time but I did a lot of writing & listening… it took a long time before I actually started singing out loud… I actually practiced in silence… I thought the music through in a lot of detail before I made a sound… but I knew the voice was in there. And having that outlet, of writing & believing in music, got me through that time… it was my saving grace.

when I’ve lost someone, I’ve written constantly… and any time there has been difficulty in relationships, writing about it has helped...

*Discuss the creative or songwriting process-

this always changes… sometimes I start with a musical phrase in my head… sometimes it’s a lyrical idea…

for orisha’s new album, it often started with a basic beat that shane had come up with which I’d take & put melodies over, then we’d workshop the layers…

most often I’ll be improvising at the piano & come up with melodies, then start to string them together… I like to start with a base & buildup layers of melody & harmony…

lyrics I will sometimes improvise & later edit, or I’ll already have some phrases I want to use, I’ve kept a journal since I was eleven where I do a lot of streams of consciousness & I write a lot of lyrics that way…

then again, sometimes a song will come to me fully formed… as though it’s written itself… usually it’s a lot more work than that though!

*Discuss your feelings about the powerful or life-changing effects that your music can have on a person-

I feel that playing music is a vital part of life, whether or not you perceive yourself to be musically gifted… it’s tragic that our culture doesn’t take this for granted the way some others do… singing is powerful as a healing tool for anyone... allowing yourself to have a voice is a powerful thing… listening is also powerful…

I don’t think we fully understand yet what music really is. we know that it’s a language which transcends cultures and boundaries, but it’s far more than that… its healing powers are documented, with humans, animals & even plants…

from my own experience I know that playing & singing grounds me in a way that nothing else ever has… for me, it brings me home… when I’m singing for an audience I know why I’m on this earth, there are no questions… I’m exactly who I’m meant to be… even though in one sense it exposes me & leaves me vulnerable it also strengthens me more than anything… giving myself to the moment musically is like falling in love, or believing in god… it requires surrender & trust…

‘With their second album 'Falling Open' (TBR) Orisha continue to explore the edges of vocal-based electronica, playing with the diverse influences of choral music, jazz, dub and opera to create another lush, moody sonic journey which alternates between tense restraint and total surrender. More eclectic than their debut, the music remains as dark, mysterious and beautiful as ever.’

Orisha have completed their second album, falling open follow-up to the critically-acclaimed eponymous debut. Tracks from the first album received airplay across Australia, Europe and America, including high rotation on JJJ, featured in several compilations and in various independent films. It was Revolver Magazine’s dance CD of the week and received rave reviews…

                                                       Art by Arianna

What inspires you?

Many things inspire me. Studying the artwork of others, whether it be book illustrations, movie animation or other paintings and drawings. Seeing something new can always be inspiration for a new idea.

Music is by far one of the most idea-provoking things for me.  Every song has its own story to tell, which brings the opportunity to draw a picture to tell it.  I can't really say one musician in particular inspires me.  I like a lot of artists in the music world, and many of their songs have given me much to express through my art.

What inspires your art?

I mainly draw in the Japanese art style, Manga.  Studying the work of other artists in that field helps me better develop my own abilities.  The style of Manga is often associated with the fantasy genre, so it only enhances the fantasy atmosphere in my art.  I have always loved fantasy, in much of my artwork you'll find mermaids, vampires, etc.  Animals, whether real or from the world of fantasy, also find their way into my pictures. Canines have always held a particular interest for me.

Any other artistic mediums that you like to work with?

I use graphite pencils or ink for drawing. Occasionally, I work on painting with acrylics.  And as a sidenote, another form of art that I enjoy is music.  I'm learning how to play piano and guitar, and I've been singing for several years.  I also write song lyrics during my spare time.

Any current or future projects planned?

It's a secret, you'll have to wait to find out.

to find out how Arianna's artwork is being used to help the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab.

                                             Kaile Creations

What inspires you?

Music inspires me the most! Almost all of my favorite songs have a character and plot to them. Another thing that inspires me...dreams. I like taking scenes from them and trying to put them on paper or canvas.

When did you first realize that you wanted to be an artist?  How have you evolved?

When I realized that I was getting better at and growing as an artist. I've always liked learning new ways to draw and paint. I've found my favorite techniques by practicing and experimenting.

I enjoy fantasy art, I love putting my favorite subjects in it, people, birds, cats, and dragons.  I use the Japanese style of art, Manga, to draw people. This gives my characters the features that I really like, such as big eyes.  I give extra attention to eyes, I have an obsession with them...

Any other artistic mediums that you like working with?

I love painting, but I also do pencil, colored pencil, ink, polymer clay figures.

Any current or future projects planned?

We're working on ideas to help fund some projects for the gulf (see below).

to find out how Kaile's artwork is being used to help the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab.


©Voices and Visions