Questions to Chiasm in matters of "11:11"
Hello Emileigh! My name's Myk Jung, writer for German magazine Sonic Seducer, here with a small catalogue of questions concerning your new, fourth Chiasm-album "11:11".
QUE 1 This is a very fine work of electronic art, the flair of which is rooted in the 80's, maybe, yet it reveals a very unique power and character. How would you personally define its character? How long was this album in making - were you able to choose from a great pool of song-ideas?
I would define it as industrial-influenced electronic with female vocals, created by a woman left alone to interpret her experiences. I tend to listen to a wide variety of music alongside industrial/electro/EBM, so I'm never really sure where all the influences on my subconscious are coming from. I just go with it and try to create something new. I began writing most of the songs on "11:11" after the release of the "Apple Island EP" in 2009. I started with about 20 song ideas and then narrowed down my favorites after working with them for a while. The exception is the track 'Reliance' that I wrote for my first demo album "Embryonic" in 1998, and this new version is a rework/re-recording of that with additional sections and vocals.
QUE 2 In 'Petals' and some other tracks your voice appears quite erotic, tempting, compelling, something like this... is this a sort of strategy of yours? :)
The songs ideas often start off somewhat spontaneously and the vocal parts are included in the initial writing process. I like to stay true to the present when working on something new, so at first there isn't a lot of strategy involved. I usually record as I write, mostly unscripted, then I work with the result later. As far as changes in vocal intimacy, I think it's related to the proximity of my voice to the microphone during recording. When I'm feeling more vulnerable towards what I am revealing, I am quieter and stand closer than when I'm more confident or impulsive (louder and further away). It all depends on my mood at the time, and eventually becomes a matter of deciding whether to reveal what at first was simply myself in a room experiencing the moment.
QUE 3 Please describe a bit the way you develop your arrangements & lyrics!
It begins with a spark of inspiration, whether it is a sound I'm working with, or something I’ve written in a journal along the way. I layer from there until I find combinations that feel just right. After the initial brainstorming and recording phases, I go back and pick out the parts that appeal to me the best and continue. I do try to write lyrics as often as I can, but often they are just lines that inspire entire songs by themselves. I am most creative when completely alone and undisturbed, so I try to arrange time for that weekly, and take notes the best I can the rest of the time to be saved for later. After the majority of the songs have been recorded I go back and try to create some organization to keep it moving. On occasion I get a full track that just comes to me instantly, such as "I Want Some More". I woke up with it in my head on a Saturday morning and was actually available to record immediately, so there weren't a lot of changes after that session. It's great to me when something just is what it is and I'm happy with it.
QUE 4 My favourites so far may be "Reliance" and "Draw A House", for their hypnotic magic is overwhelming me. Are there any tracks which are closest to your heart?
I'm glad you like the "Draw A House" song, because it's the first track I've written that was mostly inspired by the fans themselves. They contact me frequently regarding how my music has affected their lives, and I wanted to give them the opportunity to contribute back to my process. So, I had them draw images of houses for me to interpret, based off a project I recall doing once in grade school that I learned more about with psychology classes in college. It really was an opportunity to look into their souls and the song is the result of that introspection they provided. I'm working on a similar project right now as far as fan participation and it's called "Evil Mad Libs". On the "11:11" album, I really like "Angry Tree". It's one that I kept going back to and didn't find much that I wanted to change. I like that listeners are drawn to completely different songs on the albums based on their own feelings and experiences.
QUE 5 What is the lyrical content of "Reliance"?
The song is about the dynamics of a relationship that is somewhat destructive and self-destructive from the perspective of one individual or perhaps both. Reliance – I am the one you must depend on/ you need to find a plan to fall on/ I provide what nails you to the ground/ how can I trust you after what I've found/ through pity and ridiculous love/ rip me apart/ 'til I can’t handle being so disintegrated/ disintegrated/ destroyed and crushed/ I've made you my own/ through pity and ridiculous love/ you tore my soul apart/ I knew right from the start/ an empty heart/ a body full of hate/ you left me in this state/ I can’t relate/ with nothing left to lose/ you anger and confuse/ relent/ abuse/ I'm deep inside it now/ you left without a vow/ I'll show you how/this time we fall apart
QUE 6 Is there a lyrical theme, a sort of story-line, perhaps, or a main-idea running through all the titles of "11:11"?
The album title is in reference to the time of day, so if there is a theme it might be a mindfulness of the moment, or an emotion-check of sorts. I usually notice it if I am near a clock at that time, and it reminds me of what I am working on musically. There are 11 songs on the album, and they are mostly about an intersection of experiences, perhaps a struggle to integrate them, and the path chosen from there. The titles are: Petals, Angry Tree, I Want Some More, The Sea, Hideaway, So Lost, Draw A House, Answer In My Mind, Reliance, Obligatory, and Space.
QUE 7 For some reason "Draw A House" reminds me of my old band The Fair Sex and their track "In The Desert" (1995; you might check this out). "Draw A House" is a song that may create visions before the listener's mind's eye: a lonely path leading to mysterious places… or something like this. Do you bear similar visions while you are creating your songs?
Certainly, and again, this track actually started with dozens of fan-drawn images, so it was inherently visual. I do intend to put some sort of video together for this, and I have imagined quite a bit in my mind while writing it, so we'll see what comes of that. Sometimes it's just easier to describe a memory or an idea that can be visualized than something completely abstract, so I usually have an image in mind while writing. I'm listening to your song right now and really like it. :)
QUE 8 I'm sorry, this might seem like a real standard-question, yet there is almost no escape from that question concerning this outstanding title: - So what is hiding behind the album title?
I nearly always notice the time "11:11" on the clock, so I wanted to pay tribute to that. It also turns out to be a numeric chiasm, but I realized that well after I decided on the title, so it was just cool to discover. People have interpreted all sorts of things about the number itself. Some have referred to instances of genetic memory or considered it a number of chaos, but I feel more comforted when I see it, so I try not to speculate. I just wrote an album instead.
QUE 9: Here you may answer the question(s) that you wish I would have asked! :)
Yes, I keep working on new music! Thank you for your interest and support!