Google+ Little Bird: October 2013

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Love Your Local - Fiona Soe Paing

Fiona Soe Paing
Tower of Babel
Release: 2012
"Skeletal, off-world electronica"  Its quite minimalist, and lots of people have said it's like the sounds from another planet!   But its also quite soulful, and sometimes a bit creepy and unsettling! '

You know why I like this? Because it's weird. I funking love weird stuff. Imagine if Bjork had an alien alter ego..... 
Fiona Soe Paing is of Burmese/Scottish origins and utilises both languages in her music along with unusual sounds - using her voice as a proper instrument blended into her electronic music. Tower of Babel is a short, 3 track EP, giving you a taster of what she is capable of. To me it sounds like a lovely blend of Bjork and Infected Mushroom. Pretty cool.

 "I never think of myself as a musician, as I am not an instrumentalist, though I can play a little guitar, and two finger keyboard. I originally  wanted to be a singer but couldn't find the right  band to sing with. After singing in lots of bands that weren't quite the right fit, I felt I had better learn to play an instrument so I could write my own material.  I learned some guitar and started a folky band, then when computers and music software became affordable, I started learning to produce on Cubase then Logic.   Its great that now music software is so intuitive, its really easy to produce your own tracks, and I dont have to use musicians or hire a studio, except for the mixing and vocals. "

She's right, it is a little out of this world and unsettling. Like in 'Signs' when they hold up the baby monitor and hear the crackling noises...This is the kind of music that they would have picked up.

'I'm influenced by so many artists, but if I had to pin it down to a few names, I would have to mention
classic jazz vocalists such as Nina Simone and Billie Holiday, innovators like Bjork, the electronica of Boards of Canada, and most recently, The Knife and Fever Ray.   I love how those vocalists use their voice as a real instrument, and how Boards of Canada create such incredible atmospheres and sense of place with their sounds, and The Knife and Fever Ray are also doing something pretty unique. '

Each track has something different to offer.. 'Daymoon Sun' has an almost tribal feel to it, with a form of chanting recurring throughout, 'Tower of Babel' is completely haunting with it's different layers of unusual sounds. 'Behrot' feels out of this world, with it's space-like sounds and quite weird and wonderful vocals.  

It's different. Different is hard to come by I feel.

'I work solely with the internal sounds  in the Logic programme, and start just by trying out sounds until I find a sound  that I like, that has a real character of its own, and that sounds unusual to me.  Then I try and use that as a basic for some drum parts, and just add layers till a nice loop comes together.  I then improvise vocals until I have a melody, then re- arrange the basic loop around the vocal, taking out parts to let the vocal cut through, or adding fills and instrumental hooks around the vocal part.  When the structure is all there, I finally go to a studio and record final vocals, then come back home and tweak the arrangement before taking it  back to a studio to mix and master.  All my basic arrangements are done on my laptop, usually in bed! '

I love how unsettling this music is. Music should evoke something inside, if it doesn't, they're doing it wrong. Good job lady. This is definitely something I would like to see live.
Fiona Soe Paing is hoping to release her album 'Alien Lullabies' by the end of the year - so keep an eye out.

H x