Hélène Vogelsinger is a french singer, composer and sound designer. In her modular synth project, she explores different places and connects with their energies to create unique and suspended moments. Her pieces are a combination of evolutive patterns, ambient textures, voices, orchestral instruments and recording fields. Her creative universe is poetic, spiritual and soul searching.
1: Compassion is human instinct (Max Planck)
2: Consciousness exists outside of the brain (Dr. Peter Fenwick)
3: Pigeons show superior self-recognition abilities to three year-old-humans (Keio University)
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Energy. Energies. The invisible that surrounds me. I can not see, but I can connect with, we all do : ) In my album, I connected with different places, and traduced their energies into music. I then performed this music in the environment they were created for.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I’ve been singing forever. As a child, we moved a lot with my family, and singing, music, has always been the light on my path, the conductive wire of all things. It was something really sacred for me, that needed to be protected. Sometimes, when motivation slows down, I just need to reconnect with this pure state of music, and I’m balanced and full of energy again.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Infinite possibilities ! I’ll just go for the first five that come to my mind.
In C – Terry Riley
Isla Resonantes – Eliane Radigue
Trace Of The Stars – Shigeaki Saegusa (三枝成章)
Daniel Schmidt – In My Arms, Many Flowers
Hiroshi Yoshimura – Soundscape 1: Surround
And a bonus, Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Huge, vast spaces. One of my brothers lived in Berlin for a few years. I visited him, maybe 8 years ago. At that moment, I was living in Paris in a very tiny apartment.
And I found Berlin full of air and space. Somewhere you can deeply breathe in.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I’m currently based in a provincial city in the south west of France. Not for from the mountains, not far from the sea. My favourite spot is anywhere near Le Gave, a river that crosses severals departments. It is a 15 minute walk from where I live. I love the sound of the water, the sound of the wind blowing in the vegetation. When I feel overwhelmed, I go for a mediative walk, and everything becomes clear.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I think I’d write stories. I love stories, they are like melodies. They have the power to teleport you in other realms. They can guide you somewhere.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
I found an old vinyl in a sort of charity shop the other day. I haven’t find a lot of information about it. It is called ‘El Condor Pasa de Los Condores (Music of The Andes).’ You can hear Indian flute, harp and guitar. It was released in 1985. I haven’t totally explored it yet.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’d really love to work with artists that create and perform different forms of art. I also would love to work with scientists. I am very interested in the impacts of sound on the brain and the environment. Working on immersive projects that include all the senses would be a wonderful experience to live too.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
It is not my best gig but more a key moment. I played at a festival named Le Placard. I think it simultaneously happens in a lot of cities around the globe. It is a headphones festival. I played in an isolated room and spectators were in different rooms, comfortably installed, most of them eyes closed. The sense of sight was ignored. People could immerse in their own projections and worlds. That is the precise moment where I started to re-think the musical environment.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
I’m in a total symbiosis with my modular synthesizer. I really see it as a small orchestra, full of colors, timbres, articulations, infinite modulations. I have a very profound attachment to this instrument which really lets me express deeply things like never before. It also allows me to duplicate myself, jumping from singer, to synthesist, to technician and so on.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Yes, I have 3 big brothers. We don’t talk a lot about it. But I know they are following what I’m doing. I think they are happy as long as I am.
Photo © Chalisk Pito