KRISTIN AMARIE
Notes From A Journey
(Amarie Music)

 

The 2013 CD by singer - composer Kristin Amarie is being heralded as one of the best New Age vocal albums of the year. Filled with Kristin’s lush, multilayered vocals, Notes From A Journey was superbly produced and recorded in New York by Alex Salzman, who also contributes keyboards, guitars and programming to the CD. Also on hand are several other contributing musicians, including New Age maven David Lanz, who adds in his patented keyboards here. Kristin is being compared to acclaimed New Age singing goddess Enya, although dare I say, Kristin’s music is even more symphonic in places. Coming from Norway, Kristin’s music has a kind of worldly effect and at times on some tracks she uses her voice more like an instrument rather than complicate the album’s orchestral effect with a lot of words. The Enya comparison aside, there’s plenty of amazing New Age symphonic sounds in play on Kristin Amarie's excellent album. www.AmarieMusic.com


mwe3.com presents an interview with
KRISTIN AMARIE



mwe3
: Tell us about growing up in Norway and when you arrived in New York. Where are you living now and how would you compare New York with Norway and other places you’ve lived? Are you planning to stay in the US?

KRISTIN AMARIE: I grew up in a typical Norwegian family; 2 kids, mom and dad. My younger brother and my parents still live in the same town outside Oslo, the capital. I visit at least once every year with my family.

Now I live in Upstate New York where the winters are very similar to where I grew up. Of course the US is different in many ways from most places I lived in Europe and Asia. There are so many more malls here and chain stores. In other countries you will still find those little independent stores. Public transportation is more common abroad and people tend to walk rather than get in the car. I like the openness you find in Americans... Always friendly and welcoming.

I would love to spend part of the year in the US and part of the year in Europe, preferably Southern Europe as I feel very much at home there.

mwe3: I was reading about your early influences like Bach and Chopin. What period of music did you grow up in and were you influenced by contemporary pop vocalists and artists as well? What music was the most inspirational for you?

KRISTIN AMARIE: I grew up with my parents’ music; Dean Martin, The Beach Boys, The Seekers and of course a lot of Norwegian music. When I was in my teens I moved to Cyprus and I would listen to Greek Cypriot music on the radio all the time. I worked for a short while with friends from Israel and Lebanon and was exposed to music from these countries. My stay for over ten years in India made me appreciate Indian rhythms. All of the above influenced me and can be heard it in my album, Notes From A Journey.

mwe3: What was your early musical training like and do you practice singing / vocalizing every day and how do you strive to improve as a musician and composer?

KRISTIN AMARIE
: I started taking vocal lessons when I was in my early teens. I had some amazing teachers and will forever be grateful to what I have learnt from them. I try to sing a bit every day. To grow as a composer, I listen to a lot music and when I hear something I like, I figure out what it is that moves me. Sometimes I will build on this in my own music.

mwe3: Notes From A Journey is your debut solo CD. How long did it take to create and record the album and tell us about working with producer Alex Salzman as well as album guest David Lanz. Seems like you guys hit worked well together on the CD. How did the album fall into place?

KRISTIN AMARIE: From my first composed song “First Light” to the very last one “Elusion” I took less than a year. Working with Alex Salzman was very exciting. He is such a great musician and producer. He knew exactly where I wanted to go with my music and he brought me there. I think of my songs as my babies. I create the babies and the producer dresses them and make them ready to face the world. Alex taught me a lot both about composition as well as the music industry in general. I would love to work with Alex again.

Once I had created “First Light” I knew that I had more inside of me that needed come out and I kept writing. I quickly decided to make an album. I am impatient and wanted to release as soon as possible, so I kept giving myself deadlines. One of which was to release this album within a year of releasing my first single.

I fell in love with David Lanz’s music years ago. Around a year ago we started working together professionally. Working with David is a dream come true for me. He is a wonderful person and the most inspirational musician! He has created some of the most beautiful pieces and for me as a new composer he is truly my mentor. David and I are still working together and plan on releasing both a Christmas album as well as an album in the ambient genre in the near future. I am very lucky and blessed to have David around all the time as we now share both music and a home together.

mwe3: Are there any singles from the album? I was thinking “Elusion” would make a great single off the CD. What is the history of that track and can you tell us something about the lyrics to that song and your lyric writing in general? Where do you draw inspiration and can you give a another example from the new album?

KRISTIN AMARIE: Actually, a few of the first tracks were released as singles before the album came out.

“Elusion” is about fear. We have all experienced fear at some point in our lives. I was in a very complicated relationship and I am still suffering from anxiety from those years.

My lyric writing is based on my life experiences and also on the fact that I am a hopeless romantic. I love romantic music. “Without You” is the most romantic song on my album. I wrote lyrics to it while David was still living on the West Coast. It’s all about longing for the one you love.

mwe3: People are calling you the 21st century Enya because of the ethereal type of sound you get on your album. Would you call yourself a New Age singer / artist or do you feel more at home being part of the pop or even the neoclassical world? What do you think of the world wide New Age music scene and what vocal or instrumental artists inspire you today?

KRISTIN AMARIE: Well, when I first started creating music for “Notes From A Journey”, I had no particular idea or goal for the genre in which it would end up. I started out thinking it would turn into something more jazzy, but quickly went back to my roots of classical training with the vocals.

I am not particularly happy about being put in any genre at all. I think many artists find themselves reluctantly “put in a box” genre-wise. My music is touching ambient as well as classical and world genres.

I think the New Age scene is exploding with “sub-genres” and it has become very difficult to describe “New Age” music. It encompasses everything from solo piano to world rhythms as well as the typical ambient relaxation music. There are, however still people out there who think New Age music is only for those with certain spiritual beliefs and/or lifestyle. I would love to change those beliefs with my music...

I am inspired by artists who dare take a different approach. I like the “unexpected” in music. David (Lanz) is my greatest inspiration, but I listen to and get inspired by my fellow Norwegian composer Rolf Lovland and his “Secret Garden”, Hans Zimmer, Ryuichi Sakamoto and many others, too many to name artists as well.

mwe3: What other interests do you have outside of music and what do you like to do to relax? Are there any causes you’re involved with or special hobbies you can mention?

KRISTIN AMARIE: I used to read a lot and also do some oil painting and drawing. But with my latest release there is not much time left over for anything but music...

I listen to music to relax or I go for a walk or a drive in the beautiful Upstate New York countryside.

mwe3: What are you planning for 2014 as far as writing new music, planning new recordings and possible live concerts? Also will you be traveling this coming year?

KRISTIN AMARIE: David (Lanz) and I are writing new music! Some will end up on a Christmas album and some will be on a new ambient album.

I hope to set up some shows around the US in 2014. Right now, I travel with David and perform songs from my new album as a special guest at his concerts. Travels are planned for the West Coast this coming spring. We also have Concert Series set up in our home her in New York. They have been selling out quickly and we are planning for fall 2014. There are also some talk of Music workshops here at our home….

Thanks to Kristin Amarie @ www.AmarieMusic.com

 

 
   
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