How has music inspired you?
Music is everything to me. It keeps me alive. Obviously it helped me
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
"Walking Man" by Zoe Keating. That song is so beautiful to me. It just
Discuss the creative or songwriting process-
Well I don't write songs, but I do spend a lot of time writing
Music is a muse for everyone. No matter what their creative outlet is,
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
Map the Music
*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.’
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