New voice: Annemarie Borg

annemarie_borg

[ composer, singer, writer, environmentalist and speaker ]

Annemaries describes her recent project ~

I have two main projects at the moment; both involve art, music and communication via creativity.  One is The Antara Project, which is a community and a philosophy.  This project deals with refocusing on creativity in the education system to promote social change via releases, conferences and setting up festivals.  This project has the very kind support of Artists Project Earth.

My latest music project and next release In nomine Cetus focuses on musical composition, visuals, and our Natural world, in this case the communication between human creativity and whale songs and vibrations. This is the subject of my talk in Helsinki next June at the Ambient Music Conference.

BIOGRAPHY

Born in Paris, with a French and Swedish background, Annemarie Borg graduated in Law in Paris and studied music to obtain a diploma in Performance and Opera Studies from Birkbeck University in London. In addition, she studied psychology and acting, and her career thus far has taken Borg throughout Europe and across America.

Borg’s passion for French Music and Poetry led her first to combine interpretation and musicality in songs regardless of the time in which they were written. Multilingual Borg sings, scripts and performs her own one-woman shows. In Paris, she was a prize-winner in the Concours General de Musique et d’Art Dramatique.

Since 2007 Borg has combined her classical background with a new found passion for electronic and ambient music and field recordings as well as visual art forms and poetry. Borg thrives on crossing boundaries of predetermined styles.

Over time, she has worked with a range of wonderful and skilled musicians such as Kenny Clayton, Nicolas Meier, Dave Suttle, Gabriel Keen, Tomas Weiss, Antonio Testa and Nova.

Borg’s music has been described variously as “eclectic and experimental” and “electronic with some classical coloring with at times engaged and highly emotional vocals”.  She is passionate about merging media of expression, creativity, imagination, communication, education and reconnecting with our natural world.

She founded and directs the Antara Project, which focuses on creativity, education, communication and change.

INTERVIEW

What is your earliest musical memory that, in looking back, has proved to be significant regarding your career as a composer?

When I think about this question, two very strong memories and events feel immensely significant.  The first one seems to explain why my inspiration is so rooted in my love for our natural world.  As a child of 6 or 7, I remember spending hours in front of the sea during my summer holidays, and blending my voice with the sound of the waves, singing as they crashed onto the rocks. I was extremely shy and this just seemed to make me feel so free and alive, and gave me a sense of belonging.  What is amazing is that I seem to have come full circle as my music now shows, when I compose blending ocean, orchestral sounds, and my voice with the songs of the cetaceans.  I live and breathe nature through my music, as in “A day of sky“. 

The second image which I recall often is my encounter with classical music: sitting under the piano at my aunt’s house in Paris listening to her playing Debussy’s La Cathedrale engloutie.  I remember the feeling of being carried away by the sonic vibrations of the piano into an amazing fantasy world under the sea.  What little girl’s dreams are made of!

Are there composers who have been influential or relevant regarding your own work?  Has this changed over time? 

Oh so many.  I grew up with music and loved it…how they influenced me, I don’t know but music and Visual Art and literature were just part of my life, a constant nourishment for a very thirsty mind.  I suppose it starts with Debussy, Chopin, Mahler, Vivaldi, Grieg, Bach, Eric Satie and Poulenc, without forgetting Fauré, and moves towards Arvo Pärt and Gorécki via many more; standard American composers like Gershwin, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael; impressive queens of blues and jazz and opera singers.  I loved Mozart and Verdi, but also Boards of Canada, Sigur Ròs, and many more.  I discovered later also electronic and Ambient music, e.g. Brian Eno and JM Jarre, John Cage, Klaus Schulze. I love at the moment the minimalist ambient techno approach of a Japanese artist like Tetsu Inoue.  I also have just found out about my direct ancestor, the Norwegian composer and violinist Ole Bull, so maybe something in the genes.

Would you mind speaking a little concerning your working process, i.e., do you have a regular schedule for writing; do you use a computer for composing (either for creating pre-composition materials or notation), if so, do you find that it inhibits your process?  What other technology, if any, do you use?

Ah, working process.  This makes me smile, because whether creativity or artistic flow I cannot ever give the name “work” to what I do.  It is a passion, a lifestyle.  I have a completely unpredictable schedule except for deadlines and workshops. I can write poems in the middle of the night as well as compose early in the morning, it just suddenly happens.  I write, sing and compose entirely from a deep feeling and emotional place.  I know there is structure inside me which will appear in my music, common denominators in my work, dynamics which are instinctive and learnt somewhere, but I still rely mostly to the inspiration of the moment, of the thought, of where I feel I am, it seems to flow from a private well.  It drives me constantly. 

Notation for me comes after composition, if I want my work to be played live, this would be also in the form of graphic notation.  I use classical instruments piano, cello, some percussive instruments and my voice, field recordings and I am passionate about technology. 

The mixing stage and mastering is another facet of the composition, and needs a very different approach to listening and reassessing what the music means and where it can move to, before it is released into the world.  This is when you paint a picture with the elements of your composition.  Space, time and colors come into play to create the final picture.  

I think for a musician this is the best time ever, as an independent and self-sufficient artist you can do so very much if you really work hard and are open to challenges.

Website | Soundcloud | YouTube

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