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visitors since May 12, 2002
May 3, 2002
Excuse me while I tidy my room

Another long, effective day with the 'Vois in her studio. She wanted help writing a bio for her Electronic Press Kit. We have a chat, and I suggest this:

Describing Amarevois and her music is like trying to fling a gossamer thread around the moon. It might be possible, but no one has worked out how. She's impossible to pigeonhole, because she does it all. She's a great singer, a great guitarist, a great producer, a great songwriter. Listening to her music is like being gently bathed in swirls of dreamy complexity. It takes you on a vast, inexplicable journey.

Cybertrance opera. Ethereal funk. Blazing rock with intimate, classical elements. A whole range of themes, carefully strewn about an ambient landscape.

Amarevois is a multi-talented musician. As a singer she's seductive; as a guitarist she's raunchy. She plays lush, intimate piano, left-wing bass guitar, and, amongst other things, viola, trumpet, flute, clarinet and alto sax.

Seven years ago Amarevois set up her own recording studio, Azimuth Arts, which enabled her to present a finished product. She has years of experience working as an audio engineer, and has written and composed for film, radio, television and theatre.

Fifteen years ago Amarevois started writing songs and poetry. Initially, the songs came out of learning different instruments. "When I learnt to play saxophone, for instance, I just naturally started writing music that I could play on the saxophone," she says. "Over the years, as I've learnt so many different instruments, I've ended up with a lot of different songs, in a lot of different styles. This album is a refinement of the best of them. It's a gathering of voices."

As part of the barter system we use, she then gave me a lesson in Pro-Tools, the incredibly sophisticated music composition software program that she's an expert at.

What I learnt can be neatly summed up in three words: "tidy your room."

Gone for chaos

Now, for those who can't believe that a piece of music composition software, even a very sophisticated one, can offer such a lesson, let me explain.

I've known for a very long time that what I really want to do is write: songs, stories, jokes. As I assess what I've achieved so far, I can confidently say that I've made some degree of progress in all these things.

At my advanced age, "some degree of progress" seems increasingly insufficient.

Amarevois once looked at where I work, and pointed out something that I'd never noticed: "this arrangement doesn't work. Your guitar is in a case on the floor, and your piano is off to one side, where you don't see it. How do ever remember to play them?"

I responded with a thoughtful pause. Several minutes of complete silence followed. Eventually she added another observation: "and have you ever thought about tidying up around here?"

At least the answer to the last question was easy: no, I'd never thought to tidy up around here. I went all machismo for a second, and loudly announced that I had a choice, and that I'd gone for chaos. "It's always worked for me," I declared, swooshing my arms around in the manner of an unimportant Shakespearean character. But then I lapsed into another thoughtful pause. I'd suddenly realised that one of my most treasured assumptions wasn't true.

So when she asked how I remember to write songs, my honest answer is that I haven't always remembered. And the periods of forgetfulness have sometimes dragged on for years. And being enshrouded in a lifestyle of chaos has often meant that I've found it difficult to remember what my real goals are.

What I noticed about Amarevois' studio was how conducive it was for getting real work done. Everything had been streamlined to make it the best possible environment for writing. The only things on display were all related to music.

And what I saw her doing with Pro-Tools was working, very quickly and very efficiently, on details. Having got her studio set up properly, she was on to the next stage: composing, fine-tuning, editing. Getting the details right.

Meanwhile, I'm still enshrouded by chaos.

Time to revisit that.

Time to tidy my room.

     Posted by Sean Hegarty at 12:23 AM in the Amarevois category | Comments (0)
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