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Posts Tagged ‘Finders Keepers Records

Step Right Up: Paper Dollhouse

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Interview with Astrud Steehouder & Nina Bosnic, Paper Dollhouse.

“I feel like the experience and the record took us on a journey, like it had an intention with us rather than the other way round.”

—Nina Bosnic

Words: Mark Carry

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I recall first discovering Paper Dollhouse sometime in 2012. The mesmerizing debut album ‘A Box Painted Black’– released on Bird Records, an offshoot from UK’s Finders Keepers Records in 2011 – carved a unique world of cinematic homespun folk creations that contained haunting vocals, acoustic guitar, found sounds, electronic manipulations and slide projector as seamless textures embedded the dark minimal gothic folk framework. Paper Dollhouse began as the alias for London-based artist Astrud Steehouder that would later evolve into a collaborative project with visual artist Nina Bosnic. The resultant sound is masterfully captured on the group’s utterly transcendent sophomore full-length release ‘Aeonflower’, which retains the dense, cinematic dimensions of its predecessor while unleashing a more expansive and intense experience for the listener to get beautifully lost in.

A wide range of enthralling sounds is dotted across ‘Aeonflower’ from the gorgeous opening synth-based odyssey of ‘Oracle’, the spoken-word dance opus ‘Helios’ to the meditative slow-burning lament of ‘Your Heart’ and closing guitar-based ambient gem ‘Siren’. The album’s ten immaculate tracks inhabit an ethereal dimension of fragile beauty, pain, loss and hope where crushing noise scapes and cinematic techno is interwoven with brooding synthesizer-based laments and deeply affecting vocals.

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‘Aeonflower’ is out now on Night School Records and Bird Records.

https://www.facebook.com/PaperDollhouse
http://nightschoolrecords.com/
http://www.finderskeepersrecords.com/

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Interview with Astrud Steehouder & Nina Bosnic, Paper Dollhouse.

Congratulations to you both on the incredible new full-length, ‘Aeonflower’, which sees you explore more electronic-oriented soundscapes in comparison to the more homespun folk-based 2011 debut ‘A Box Painted Black’. One of the aspects I love about ‘Aeonflower’ is the ethereal dimension these new beguiling songs effortlessly inhabit. Please discuss for me the making of ‘Aeonflower’ and your aims from the outset in what you wanted to achieve?

Astrud Steehouder: The record took a long time to complete from inception to close but it needed that sense of duration to reflect a cycle of sorts, and the kind of depths that are not daily scenarios. It’s ethereal in the sense that it has a dark otherworldly quality but it’s equally just the sum of experience pushed through a filter of somewhat swamplike glittering rain. It’s got a very stark Greek/ Roman myth vibe which kind of came into being when naming the tracks. That part was deliberate as to me it seemed at that point like dark islands and mermaids. The tracks were pulled together like a detailed patchwork quilt, the fabric of each episode and emotions spanning time, following affecting events. Some tracks were recorded in my bedroom, some in Nina’s, some in isolation, some recorded purposefully in the studio, some reworked. Then Matt wove it together with the tape loops on the suite on side B which complete it in my opinion. The intention was to create a spectral, dark pop record. I think it goes way down into the depths in places but I think a challenge and discomfort is important in places.

Nina Bosnic: For me it was definitely a cycle, it captures and weaves together so much of both our lives over a long period of time. When I heard the record for the first time in its entirety I felt like I had not heard it before and it really affected me. It is strange. Some recordings on it are from years ago and from many different places and stages of my life and the record encapsulates so much for us. My grandmother’s voice is on the record, when she was alive, as is my mother’s singing which I recorded in our house a few years ago. All these sounds and voices are weaved deeply within, swelling to the surface every now and again. I feel like the experience and the record took us on a journey, like it had an intention with us rather than the other way round.

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The new record contains a wide range of enthralling sounds that encompass an entire spectrum of utterly compelling sounds from the gorgeous opening synth-based odyssey of ‘Oracle’, the spoken-word dance opus ‘Helios’ to the meditative slow-burning lament of ‘Your Heart’ and closing ambient gem ‘Siren’. Please discuss the instrumentation used on ‘Aeonflower’? Can you shed some light on the electronic processes utilized throughout the record? 

AS: I was conscious that I didn’t want it to be purely electronic because it would have felt disingenuous at this stage to solely rely on backing tracks and vocals to perform. The guitar provides a heavy grain which goes really well with Nina’s synth I think. ‘Your Heart’ was created at home with layered synths and vocals on my massive Yamaha keyboard, as were ‘Black Flowers’ and ‘Oracle’. It has some really nice synth bass sounds which sound great with delay and reverbs and they’re really warm. They’re all played manually, no midi or quantising. The drum hits on ‘Black Flowers’ are just pressing the drum patches by key which gives it that sort of manual, false quality which I really like.

Helios’ was originally a demo I made using the Boom drum machine in Pro Tools and my keyboard for an earlier mix for a site called Discrepant. You can compare the two versions to hear what Matt did with it; he broke the kick apart to make the whole thing sound much more pounding. There’s an additional slowed down siren at the end where he hung a mic out the window to capture a police car. We sat there all night with the mic but he got it in the end, no reason for it, it just sounds good. ‘Stand’, ‘Siren’, ‘Diane’ and ‘In The Sun’ were tracked in a studio.

The vocals in ‘Psyche’ are phone recordings from one of Nina’s friends in Bosnia; she has such a great accent, it works so well for that track. ‘Diane’ was built with a single synth and vocal recordings straight into the sampler using all the inbuilt effects. Nina’s vocal is processed through a Boss VE 20 pedal- we wanted a kind of compressed, metallic sound to contrast with the ultra-ethereal vox throughout. Matt uncovered loads of tape loops on old tape machines and added those at the end of the record. They’re from a different era. They work really well. We had them going round a gin bottle in the hallway at one point. It reminds me a little of the Caretaker record ‘An Empty Bliss Beyond This World’, the dislocated warmth of it.

Please recount for me writing and recording the captivating track ‘Helios’. The spoken word segment works so wonderfully. Lyrically, I wonder would this aspect of the music form the song or would the words come afterwards? 

AS: I was on my may home from work, I was on the tube platform and I heard it in my head so I went back home, wrote it down then built a techno-ish track from it the same night. I layered up the vocals and added delay but now Nina’s doing them it sounds much richer. I like that some of the lyrics are pretty unusual for this kind of sounding material, it’s kind of mundane or cold but very metaphorical and heavy. The words clearly have dual meaning also.

NB: We practice this song in our bedroom singing into hairbrushes and dancing, it is ritual. And somehow, naturally, when performing Helios live, we are always looking at each other and taking it so seriously. I think the music and repetition of the lyrics kind of hypnotises us and pulls us in. But remembering our hairbrushes it makes us laugh and I think it must appear strange and unsettling to watch.

PDH SF

A myriad of ideas and illuminating spirit of invention lies at the heart of the Paper Dollhouse creations. Can you discuss the minimalist approach you have developed since the formidable debut? A tight musical telepathy seems to exist between you both; showcased beautifully across ‘Aeonflower’s sprawling sonic canvas. Can you reminisce also on first crossing paths with one another and how this collaboration has blossomed over the last few years?

NB: We met when we were both seventeen. Neither of us were making music then. We talked about starting bands for fun. Our paths crossed again several years later through music. We became close friends about five years ago and shortly afterwards started working together creatively in various capacities. At the time we were both involved in other music and art projects and it was so natural to feed off each other, inspire one another and to develop a desire to work together.       

AS: I wanted to work with Nina because she’s not afraid, she’s highly creative and understands the importance of a minimal approach when required. She’s a really good critic and stops me approaching things or presenting things in a way that’s too contrived. We’re really good friends and from early on understood visuals and atmosphere in a similar way, understanding the loss and the beauty in things. That said, I don’t want to convey complete sadness and though there will probably always be a melancholic tone to our music, I think a pop record is possible.

NB: This summer will be a time for a weird pop record with French vocals and lilac coloured artwork. Less sadness and more playfulness and light.

One of the great hallmarks of the new record is the extremes of mood (and sound) the music unleashes. For example, white noise, drone sounds, industrial and synth pop flourishes are somehow interwoven together, forming a deeply affective and highly emotive journey. What were the challenges in the recording stages? 

AS: Definitely creating consistency throughout a set of tracks that had been recorded in completely different ways and were very different in style. Matt really nurtured this record and let it breathe but transformed it into a set of pieces that lie together, they make sense. The track order was important and there was some careful editing to squeeze the tracks onto one side of vinyl. I was adamant I wanted ‘Helios’ to sound like the demo version but far better and he managed to reproduce it in a way that still sounds like us rather than him. That’s something we discussed and I think now it sounds like the version in my head, which must be a big challenge for a producer.

‘Siren’ is a stunningly beautiful ambient exploration that serves the fitting closer to ‘Aeonflower’. Please discuss the construction (or deconstruction) of this beautiful closer. 

AS: This began as an instrumental, fogged out guitar track with loads of reverb and delay and no vocals. There’s a version on a Resonance session I did solo with Alex Tucker a while back. Over time in rehearsals we experimented with vocals and Nina added synths which really give it a subtle gravitas which weight and balance it, that was missing before. It has a heavy noise element in fact which belies the super ethereal vocal. It’s where I get to use some of my guitar pedals. I harmonised with myself on the recording so it’s kind of improvised. You unconsciously know your natural timings so it’s easier to sing the phrases again. I think the drone descent at the end was an inspired production choice.

What were your earliest musical memories? I wonder are there certain records out there you feel have served a profound impact on you?

AS: Not sure of the earliest though I was very into Jean Michelle Jarre, Beverley Craven (also the Happy hardcore version) and Starlight Express soundtrack especially AC/DC. Opus 3. The Funeral March, I used to try to improvise the chords of that on the piano when I was about 8 so I kind of had my own version going on.

NB: My earliest musical memories are of the Bosnian folk songs my parents played and sang at gatherings with their friends, they still do this. This type of singing and playing music had a profound effect on me. There was a time when I couldn’t sing with them, but now I do. It’s liberating. There is so much history and folklore, so many mixed moods and emotions connected to the ritual of playing this old music. There is a lot of improvisation too, and trance like qualities which is something I love and take a lot of inspiration from.


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‘Aeonflower’ is out now on Night School Records and Finders Keepers Records.

https://www.facebook.com/PaperDollhouse
http://nightschoolrecords.com/
http://www.finderskeepersrecords.com/

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To buy the new record ‘Aeonflower’: Night School (LP) and Bird/ Finders Keepers (Tape/ DL):

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Forthcoming Paper Dollhouse tour dates are as follows:

April 25th: The Hello Goodbye Show, Resonance FM (Live)
May 2nd: Fuse Arts Space, Bradford
May 3rd: The Islington Mill, Salford for SFTOC
May 6th: The Lexington, London (with A Grave With No Name)

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Written by markcarry

April 23, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Time Has Told Me: Emerald Web

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Interview with Kat Epple, Emerald Web.

“My music comes from my connection with nature and spirit. In fact, all of the music of Emerald Web was created as a part of our spiritual journey. I continue to create music from that place of magic, wonder, and inspiration. After all, that is what makes it fun to make music.”

—Kat Epple

Words: Mark Carry, Photographs courtesy Kat Epple.

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Emerald Web comprised the duo of Kat Epple and Bob Stohl who created a unique blend of “electronic space music”, fusing early electronic and organic musical hybrids with use of innovative synthesizer orchestration. The band recorded composed on keyboards, digital orchestrations, flutes and Lyricon. Their eleven studio albums include: “Dragon Wings and Wizard Tales”, “Whispered Visions”, “Sound Trek”, “Valley Of The Birds”, “Aqua Regia”, “Nocturne”, “Lights Of The Ivory Plains”, “Traces Of Time”, “Catspaw”, “Dreamspun”, and “Manatee Dreams of Neptune”. In addition to self-published albums, the duo were also signed with record labels Fortuna Records, Celestial Harmonies, Passport Audion Records and Scarlett Records. The album “Catspaw” was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1986. Other musicians who performed or recorded with Emerald Web include Barry Cleveland, Jon Serrie, Ben Carriel and Steve Weiner. Emerald Web also composed soundtracks for the legendary Carl Sagan.

Named after a laser show formation, and combining influences from science fiction films, fantasy novels and a broad musical spectrum, the husband and wife duo would balance day jobs as synth programmers as well as TV and film soundtrackers under the moniker of BobKat productions with evening synthesizer shows at galleries, spiritual centers and even punk clubs. The near-mythical composers were among the first to DIY blend synthesizers and acoustic instrumentation in a studio equipped with Arp 2600, Mini Moog, EML Synkey, Roland RS202 String Ensemble and Electro-Harmonix Vocoder (audio processor), plus a range of woodwind; both Kat and Bob were trained flautists, making colourful use of Bill Bernardi’s innovative Lyricon, a hybrid flute/synthesizer, with some guitar assists by friend and co-composer, Barry Cleveland.

Ever since their ’79 debut “Dragon Wings And Wizard Tales”, the other-worldly music unleashed by Emerald Web has ceaselessly illuminated the star-lit skies above with each passing note, in its stunning beauty and divine radiance. A band who constantly pushed the sonic envelope and created new age music borne from the ‘70’s prog scene (later to be dubbed “space music”), the band’s final studio recording would be “Manatee Dreams Of Neptune” after Bob’s untimely passing in 1989 at the age of 34.

“The Stargate Tapes”  was recently released on Finders Keepers Records,  a compilation comprising tracks from Emerald Web’s storied career. Later this year will see more special releases by this treasured group. Let the Lights Of The Ivory Plains accompany your path.

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Interview with Kat Epple.

It’s a real pleasure and honour to ask you some questions about your ground-breaking and visionary music. Under the alias of Emerald Web, you and your late husband, Bob Stohl have been responsible for some of the most beautiful and innovative musical explorations to have graced the earth — shifting between ambient, electronic and new age. Firstly, please take me back to the inception of Emerald Web and the musical telepathy that exists between you and Bob. I imagine the creative process behind these works of art must have been a deeply fulfilling time?

Kat Epple: Thank you, Mark, for your appreciation of our music!

We collaborated and co-composed music very spontaneously together, but we each had very different approaches. Sometimes Bob and I would play music together and come up with a theme or texture that we both wanted to develop and further explore. At other times, one or the other of us would play a musical idea that would inspire the other to add his/her melody or timbre. We usually would record the rough idea to tape, to remind ourselves of what we were working on. We never used sheet music unless we were working with another musician who was more comfortable with notes on paper.

When I listen to Emerald Web music, I can tell which of us (Bob or I) created the original music idea. Each of us had a very different compositional approach. For instance, I created the original tracks on “Valley of the Birds” and Bob created the original tracks on “Stepper”. Our styles were a good combination for collaboration because we each added our own unique elements.

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One of the many hallmarks of Emerald Web’s otherworldly sound is the innovative synthesizer orchestration utilized on the recordings. Furthermore, you were among the first to DIY blend synthesizers and acoustic instrumentation. Can you please talk me through the electronic elements of Emerald Web’s musical trajectory please? 

KE: We both played silver flute, guitar, keyboards, other woodwinds and vocals when we met. Shortly after that, we began to study music synthesis, and our music became very synth based, but also incorporated acoustic instruments. We caught a lot of flak for “bringing a flute into a synthesizer studio” from some electronic music purists, but we always thought the wind instruments added a lot of dimension and air to the otherwise electronic sound.

The first synthesizers on which we composed music were the Moog 10 and a Buchla with a touch-plate keyboard. We also incorporated Musique Concréte, utilizing nature sounds. At the same time, we were experimenting with Flute Electronique which was a flute with a contact microphone patched through octave divider, ring modulators, guitar pedals, and tape manipulation. It certainly didn’t sound like a flute unless we mixed in the acoustic sound with the electronic sound. The Flute Electronique is featured on our first album, “Dragon Wings and Wizard Tales”.

As technology advanced, synthesizers incorporated preset programs and additive synthesis. The introduction of digital samplers brought a huge array of new sounds to the mix. Multi-track tape recorders increased the number of tracks available. Our sound grew more complex, and incorporated orchestral elements. We continued to incorporate traditional acoustic instruments along with the high-tech synths. We were both recording engineers, and strived to be on the cutting edge of technology.

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Outside of Emerald Web, you were instrumental in assisting synthesizer companies via feedback and consultancy in developing instruments such as the Lyricon wind synth. I would love to gain an insight into developing instruments and the process involved. For example, the enchanting sounds of the Lyricon has shades of guitar strings, oboe and french horn; a sound that is steeped in stunning beauty.

KE: Lyricon inventor Bill Bernardi, was a supporter of Emerald Web, and gave us a Lyricon 1 to experiment with, and to use on our albums. We often met with him at Computone to talk about ideas for improvements, changes and upgrades to the instrument. We were/are huge fans of the Lyricon. It is a unique and innovative instrument, and can be played very expressively.

We also worked extensively with Connecticut-based Electronic Music Laboratories (EML). They created some of the most innovative synths of the time. EML synthesizers are featured on our albums: “Whispered Visions”, and “Sound Trek”. Another interesting instrument that we worked with, was The VAKO Polyphonic Orchestron, which was the brainchild of David Van Koevering. The Orchestron was a keyboard instrument that played orchestral sounds (brass, strings, organ, vocal chorus) from spinning optical discs. It was similar to a Mellotron.

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Recording studio of the electronic/acoustic band Emerald Web (Bob Stohl and Kat Epple) 1986. Photograph courtesy Kat Epple.

Your flute playing of course is central to this new age sound that you and Bob so masterfully created. Can you please talk me through your musical upbringing and your reasoning for choosing the flute instrument? 

KE: Listening to classical music records as a young child, took me to distant lands and wonderful adventures in my imagination. That is where I first heard the sound of the flute. Although I didn’t know the name of the instrument, upon hearing it, I knew that I wanted to learn to play it. In fact, I wanted to learn to play the sound of the entire orchestra and to create my own musical stories (which is what I am doing now)

I started playing piano at 6 years old, and flute at the age of 7.  Even at that time, I wrote my own songs and arrangements. I later played oboe, mandolin, guitar, and ethnic world flutes.

As a young child, I lived in Appalachia. The gospel, folk, Appalachian musicians who played out in the hollows and backroads, and in my Grandma’s country church, were exciting to hear and to watch. Although the style of music was not exactly what I wanted to do, the way they all improvised, and did not rely on sheet music, structure, or formal music training was something that I found inspiring.

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I was interested to read how you both began as flute players in a south Florida jam session, which must have been one of the pre-cursors to Emerald Web’s formation. How soon would you begin your fascination with synthesizers and begin to think of combining the organic and synthetic? It must have been a very exciting time when you both began to experiment in this way.

KE: Bob Stohl and I met at the University of South Florida (1972) at a jam session, where we were both playing flutes. Shortly after that, we fell in love, and both studied electronic music and recording engineering at SYCOM (Systems Complex for the Recording and Performing Arts).

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My favourite album at the moment is “Valley Of The Birds” and particularly the epic title-track. This piece of music takes you on a wholly uplifting voyage, led by the mesmerising flute-led melody. Can you please take me back to the recording of this record, Kat? Can you discuss the inspiration of Valley of the Birds in Berkley Hills where you resided? 

KE: “Valley of the Birds” is still one of my favorite albums and tracks too. It was recorded in our 4 track reel-to-reel studio. The sequencers and synth tracks were recorded as the first 2 tracks, then we added flutes and Lyricon as the other 2 tracks. At the time we recorded this album, we were living in a beautiful ashram in the Berkeley, California hills. The view from our apartment looked over acres of trees, the Bay Bridge, and San Francisco. The trees were filled with birds, and their singing.

This is a quote from a review of “Valley of the Birds”:

“Emerald Web never presents a truly ambient music — behind each musical soundscape lies the intertwined melodies of Bob and Kat’s flutes caressing one’s ear and heart.”

(Ramana Das Yoga Journal)

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Looking back over the immaculate songbook of Emerald Web’s vast recordings, is there a particular album that holds most resonance with you today? I would love to know if your techniques — be it writing, composing, studio recording, production, engineering — had changed or transformed in any way throughout the years?

KE: I guess “Valley of the Birds” and “Manatee Dreams of Neptune” are my favorite Emerald Web albums. All of those techniques you mentioned have changed immensely, partly because of the changes in technology, but also because I have grown as a musician and as a person.

I still enjoy most of our old music.  A couple of years ago, I had the music restored and archived from the old reel-to-reel master tapes. Some of it I had not heard in decades, but as I listen to it now, I think it holds up well.

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You combined influences from science fiction films, fantasy novels and a broad musical spectrum. These worlds are forever present in the music of Emerald Web as a vivid sense of mystery, fantasy, nature and sheer beauty is interwoven in the music’s rich tapestry. What were the films, books and music that you and Bob were obsessed with most that served inspiration for your own music?

KE: The first time I remember hearing electronic music was on the soundtrack of the movie “Forbidden Planet”, and I was enchanted by the sounds.

Our first album, “Dragon Wings and Wizard Tales” was inspired by Usula LeGuin’s “Earthsea Trilogy”. In fact, when we sent her a copy of the album, she sent us a reply saying that she thought the music was beautiful and powerful.

I would say that JRR Tolkien was a definite influence too.

Bob and I were both studying Silat Kung Fu at that time, and that was an inspiration.

Science Fiction was very important to our sound too. We read Asimov, Heinlein, Vonnegut, Bradbury, etc. Sci Fi movies had a major impact on us and our music too. In fact, we enjoyed performing at Star Trek and Star Wars conventions as the featured “Space Music Band”.

Musically, some of our influences were King Crimson, Gustav Holst, Vangelis, Larry Fast, Walter Carlos, Pink Floyd, John Cage, and Claude Debussy.

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The band Emerald Web (Bob Stohl and Kat Epple) in their recording studio in 1979. Photograph by Charles O’Connor; courtesy Kat Epple.

Please discuss for me the soundtracks you composed for Carl Sagan? This really does feel like a match made in heaven, where sight and sound becomes one giant mass of unknown beauty. Please take me back to these special collaborative projects you were involved with Carl, and indeed what the process entailed? Was it a case of being given some visuals/scenes and then composing music to identify a certain mood? I can imagine working on these soundtracks must have been hugely rewarding for you and Bob?

KE: We were huge fans of Carl Sagan and the “Cosmos” television series. It was honestly a thrill to work with him!

We worked with Carl Sagan on several films about the SETI program (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). The documentary, titled “Is There Anybody Out There?” on PBS, included Steven Spielberg, and featured Lily Tomlin as on-camera host and narrator.

Later, we worked with Carl Sagan and his production team, when the Voyager 2 Spacecraft reached Neptune. Emerald Web worked on films and television specials as Voyager 2 gave our planet its first glimpse of Neptune, as the extraordinary photos began to arrive back on Earth.

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In recent years, you have been working closely with the Finders Keepers label as part of the Emerald Web archival project. This has already led to the incredible compilation, “The Stargate Tapes” from last year and Emerald Web’s ‘79 debut “Dragon Wings And Wizard Tales” to be released on CD for the very first time. It must be lovely for you to think there is such a special interest in these recordings that formed such a big part of your life, throughout the 80’s. What more hidden gems do you hope will see the light of day from the archives, Kat? 

KE: It has been a great experience working with Andy Votel, and his archival record label, Finders Keepers. It is really good to have the early Emerald Web music restored and available for people to hear again. I appreciate the new fans that are hearing the music for the first time.

Finders Keepers plans to re-issue the album “Whispered Visions” in 2014, and to release other early Emerald Web albums in the future.

There will also be a collector’s limited edition of the album “Catspaw”, on the Anodize Record Label.

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Other musicians you performed and recorded with include Barry Cleveland, Jon Serrie, and Steve Weiner. Barry Cleveland co-composed several Emerald Web compositions, as well as adding some gorgeous guitar parts. It must have been special to have friends to contribute to what the core duo of Emerald Web were creating? 

KE: We always loved collaborating with other musicians. I recall many late night music sessions with a variety of artists and instrumentalists playing harp, guitar, cello, violin, synths, dance, video, and more. Unfortunately, we either didn’t record those magical experiences, or the tapes have long since been lost.

We played on albums with Barry Cleveland, Carlos Reyes, Michael Masley, Patrick Ball, Steven Halpern and more. Barry Cleveland is a long-time friend, and we are scheduled to play some music together in autumn of 2014.

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In terms of live performance, Emerald Web played concerts at galleries, spiritual centres and even punk clubs. Did you tour much during this time? I can imagine it must have been difficult to replicate the Emerald Web sound in the live context? Do you have particular favourite shows from Emerald Web concerts?

KE: It took a lot of musical equipment on stage to re-create the music from our albums, but we did it. My very first synth was an Arp 2600 which consistently drifted out of tune. I developed the technique of manually tuning the oscillators “on the fly” as I performed on stage with it.  Our sequencers had “volatile memory”, which meant that we had to program the sequences right before the concert, and as we were performed on stage. It took several hours to set up the equipment for our full show.

Among my favourite concerts were the ones at Morrison Planetarium at The California Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park. We would collaborate with the planetarium’s star show and laser show artists/technicians to create a powerful audio/visual experience.  I remember standing on a stage under the planetarium dome, while over our heads, the stars would be moving, planets spinning, and laser beams flashing. Sometimes I had to hold onto the keyboard stand or mic stand to steady myself in this dizzying setting. Argon laser beams flashed just a few feet above our heads to create a criss-crossing matrix of green laser light…….an Emerald Web.

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What are your thoughts on the contemporary music scene? Do you have personal favourite records from the past few years? 

KE: There is an amazing variety of music that is easily accessible today, in contrast to the early days before digital downloads. Back then, it was more difficult to find new and unusual music. There is also so much more music available since a musician doesn’t have to be signed to a major record label in order to get his/her music heard. But of course, just because your music is on iTunes, etc., doesn’t mean that people will find it or buy it.

I listen to many types of music: World, Electronic, Americana, Jazz, Classical, Electronic Dance Music, Latin, Film Scores, to name a few.

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Lastly, I would love to ask you what your philosophy on life is? 

KE: My music comes from my connection with nature and spirit. In fact, all of the music of Emerald Web was created as a part of our spiritual journey. I continue to create music from that place of magic, wonder, and inspiration. After all, that is what makes it fun to make music.

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Thank you for the truly beautiful music you have created and all the best for both the present and future.

KE: Thank you! Thanks to all of the people who have appreciated the music of Emerald Web over the years, and to those who are hearing it for the first time.

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http://www.katepple.com
http://www.discogs.com/artist/84389-Emerald-Web

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Written by admin

August 13, 2014 at 10:18 am