Do you want to take your music overseas? Ever wondered what kind of opportunities are out there? In this weeks episode, I talk to synth pop artist Isadoré, about her awe-inspiring musical adventures in Canada! Fresh off the plane, Isadoré tells incredible stories about collecting field recordings in minus 32 degrees, as well as using a drone to film a music video in a haunted city in India. We also cover music production, live set ups, creating visuals for performances, as so much more.
What was Canada like?
I got into this residency at the BANFF Arts Centre, which is is this huge genre for the arts… there is dance, film, puppetry and obviously music. You get given your own cabin in the woods. And equipment that I wanted I could request and have it. I had some friends that I made over there requests things like harpsichords and harps, just crazy instruments that at the time I didn’t realise I could request, because I didn’t realise what this place had! I was just so grateful to have my own cabin and my own piano, and my own speakers. I would bring my computer and just work and it was available whenever I wanted, 24 hour access, so any time I was feeling inspired I could go in and write music.
I think the most inspiring thing about the whole experience was meeting all the other musicians. There were musicians from all around the world, of all genres… which really opened my eyes to a lot of new sounds and new concepts. Especially working with the soundscape, atmospheric guys was pretty cool. They introduced me to a lot of new music which has really shaped the way I approach percussion
Can you elaborate on that?
Using field recordings to replace your typical snare, or your typical hi-hat or whatever. I borrowed my friends zoom, and we would go for treks out in the forrest, like a meter in snow. I would record all kinds of sounds like the crackling of bark or the stomping of snow. My friend had an underwater microphone. So we got to this river, and we went on the bridge and he reeled the microphone down like a fishing line. Because it was so cold, it was peak winter, like minus 32 degrees, at this point I couldn’t even feel my face. So he lowers the mic down into frozen water, we had to find cracks so we could find the water, and it was the most magical experience. The sounds that were coming into our headphones, were like these crackles and pops and squeaks of ice. Because it was underwater as well, there was this kind of silent damp sound over everything.
“It was magical. It took me to a place I had never heard before.”
Isadroré’s current project
My project was based on this book called Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. She wrote this series of stories that she had acquired from around the world, and interpreted them to give women a different perspective on strength. There is something really powerful about storytelling and we can learn a lot though storytelling. If our stories are always masculine driven, or if our stories are always telling us that we should be weak, and we should be saved by men, then we start to believe that and play that role. So what she (Clarissa) did was, she researched all of these myths and legends, and back in those days these stories were only verbal, and she would go to these remote tribes, and she was collecting all of these stories. It’s really nice to hear stories were all the women are really strong and fierce, and soft and gentle. All these roles into one and I think that that is what is really special about a women, is that we have all of these amazing qualities.
So that was my project, when i proposed to BANFF what my project was going to be. And yeah, it was really cool, I’ve never written like that. For me it’s always been based on personal experience, heart on your sleeve style, like get on the piano, cry a little, write a song. So this was different. To open the book, find a story that I connected with, and literally write a song about this story. It was a very different process for me, and I really enjoyed that kind of challenge.
“I think i’s really impotent to just step back and acknowledge what you’ve done and what you’ve put together. Celebrate and appreciate where you have come from, and where you are now.”
Sound effects used in this episode were sourced from soundbible.com