Saturday 29 March 2008

Julia Kent Interview

Julia Kent left Rasputina in 1999, after releasing two albums on Columbia Records, and shortly thereafter became a member of Antony and the Johnsons. She played on and contributed string arrangements to the group’s Mercury Prize-winning record I Am a Bird Now, and, as a Johnson, has toured Europe, North America, and Australia; played at Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall; and appeared on numerous television shows. In addition to her ongoing participation in Antony and the Johnsons, she also has performed and/or recorded with many other artists and ensembles, including the Angels of Light, Burnt Sugar, Larsen, Angela McCluskey, Leona Naess, Teddy Thompson, Devendra Banhart, Mi and L’au, and Rufus Wainwright.

Her debut solo effort, Delay, is a cd of multitracked cello and found sounds. It was inspired by airports, by transitoriness, and by the private emotional worlds that we create amid the disorientations and disjunctions of travel.
Delay was recorded over the course of a year (or so) at home in between touring and traveling. After so many years of playing with other people Julia felt that it was time to do something entirely on her own. As a result she is the sole composer/performer on all tracks. The title refers to both the effect, to traveling and to the fact that it took so long to record. It is also an homage to Arthur Russell's World Of Echo – a masterpiece of (among other things) externalizing the intimate. Important Records

AP ) What does the Cello represents to you and why did you choose it as your reference instrument ?

JK )For me the cello is almost like a human voice: it has the same range and the same expressive possibilities. I think it offers interesting possibilities as a solo instrument, because of its range and because of the different textures you can create with it.

AP )What was the most bizarre thing , that you saw yourself involved in a airport ?

JK ( I always feel that I look a bit bizarre, with my cello and my mountain of luggage!

AP )Why did you choose these airport names ? are they special among so many others ?

JK ( They are all airports I have traveled through and I selected the names because the sound of them evoked certain things.

AP ) In songs like "Dorval" you can sense a much bigger approach to the classical than with "Tempelhof" , that suggests something much more aggressive and radical , how can you combine so different realms in your music ?

JK ( I'm interested in exploring as many different musical realms as possible, and I like the fact that the cello is capable of creating sounds that are quite aggressive, as in "Tempelhof."

AP ) You studied cello in a classical way , why did you decide to a much more alternative approach to exteriorize your relation with the cello ?

JK ( After studying classically I ended up playing in rock bands and in other nonclassical projects, which is how I ended up exploring the nontraditional side of the instrument.

AP ) You use a lot of pedals and samplers on your songs , why did you choose to use this equipment that normally is not asociated with a Cello solist ?

JK ( I like using effects in the same way that I think a guitar player might: to expand the sonic possibilities of the instrument and to create unexpected textures.

AP ) How did the specialized classical reviewers received your record ?

JK ( The only piece I saw from a classical reviewer was really perceptive and positive.

AP ) Where do you think "Delay" should be in a record store ? In a classical , Alternative or World Music area , and why ?

JK ( That's a very good question! I generally describe the music as "ambient." Certainly I don't think it qualifies as "classical" or "world music." Probably "alternative" is the most accurate category?

AP ) My favorite is "Barajas" , what could you tell about the creation of this particular piece ?

JK ( "Barajas" is named after the airport in Madrid, which is has a quite spectacular design. Musically, I was trying to create an agitated and cinematic atmosphere.

AP ) What does come to your mind with the name Antony and the Johnsons ?

JK ( I am very happy to be a Johnson!

AP ) What was it like to be involved in the process of recording such incredible beautiful songs with Antony ?

JK ( Antony is amazing: he is such a talented and beautiful person and I feel really lucky to have had the chance to work with him.

AP ) You have a long list of brilliant collaborations , Angels of Light, Larsen, Backworld, Jarboe, Devendra Banhart, Angela McCluskey, Leona Naess, Teddy Thompson, Rufus Wainwright , among many others , witch one was more rewarding and why ?

JK ( I always learn a lot through working with other people. I am always particularly enthusiastic to have the chance to do things with Michael Gira of Angels of Light--he is a brilliant producer.

AP ) After being been known in supporting roles , what does it feel like , being the star of the show and having half the world adoring your music ?

JK ( Oh my goodness, I so wish that were true! I have to say that with "Delay" I wanted to make something entirely by myself, and I have found it really empowering to have been able to do that.

AP ) Do you thing that was a big help for your solo carrier to have worked it so much famous people ? i suppose that is easier to promote your music , if your are associated as "Cello of Antony and the Johnsons" .

JK ( I think definitely it helped a bit, though I feel as though the audience for my solo music is pretty different.

AP ) You must have lots of wonderful memories of the times with Rasputina , could you share something special that happened during a tour ?

JK ( I have lots of memories, definitely! I did have a lot of fun touring with them, the most surreal experience being when we opened for Marilyn Manson and the audience threw various objects at us!

AP ) Why did you chose Shayo to release your debut album ?

JK ( Yann has been super supportive from the very beginning and he did an amazing job with the record in Europe. Important Records released it in North America.

AP ) Future plans , more collaborations and new solo album ?

JK ( I am working on a new solo album as we speak and talking to various people about collaborations.

AP ) Any plans to a visit the Netherlands soon , for a concert ?

JK ) I'd love to play in the Netherlands, but no immediate plans.

AP ) Pros and cons for bloggers ?

JK ( I feel as though bloggers have been really supportive of my record and I'm most grateful!
thank YOU very much!!!

" Delay " Shayo Records - 2008
Mp3 | Julia Kent - Barajas

Julia Kent