Odd Beholder, the project of Zurich-based musician Daniela Weinmann, releases its debut album “All Reality Is Virtual”. In the detailed but precisely articulated pieces Weinmann continues to work on her version of embracing electronica and melancholic pop music. The music, as on the two EPs released so far, is an expression of alienation. In the centre of Odd Beholder the artist meticulously keeps record of the curiosities of the world around her and addresses them in calm yet urgent words.
“Sunny Bay”, the second album by Odd Beholder, the electronica / art pop project by Swiss musician Daniela Weinmann, will be released on September 10, 2021.
On “Sunny Bay”, Weinmann turns her gaze to nature. On the romantic ideas associated with it. On escapism and alienation. And on nature as a process. While her debut album “All Reality Is Virtual” revolved around digitalisation – around the uncanny collection of our data, but also around the spiritual importance of enduring loneliness – her second album is more personal, even though it loosely follows the topics of natural processes such as decay and fertility.
1. The harder the feelings, the softer the facts.
2. Average wildlife populations have dropped by 60 per cent in just over 40 years.
3. If our governments don’t take immediate action, we will miss the 1.5. goal. The next four years are crucial if we want to limit the heating of the planet to a manageable (yet dangerous) amount.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Non-Places: Destroyed landscapes, malls, train stations, places with no identity.
And Movies. Lynch, Kubrick, Tarkovski, Gaspar Noé, Yasujiro Ozu, Sofia Coppola, Wong Kar Wai.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I don’t remember. Making music has been around for ever. As soon as I could talk I could sing and as soon as I sung, I invented melodies.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
I think the following albums are a kind of an anti climatic choice, but let me first explain that my favourite albums and the ones I think are the greatest aren’t the same. For now I strictly go with my favourite ones. These are albums that I can listen to whenever and feel sane and good and not alone in the world.
– love what survives, mount kimbie
– mala, devendra banhart
– devotion, tirzah
– tender buttons, broadcast
– loveless, my bloody valentine
– connan mockassin, forever dolphin love
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Bicycle rides in huge avenues. Drinking cocktails from jars in the Treptower park, passing huge Soviet sculptures that look like occult temples for ghastly beings.
Also, working in studios. Looking at a microphone for days. Stepping out into the night and buying a Club Mate at the Späti. Then almost having a heart attack because I cannot handle caffeine well.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Home. But that was an easy one because my town is basically just a postcard of a medieval village city on a hill except for the Royal, a club where my friends work. It’s a very quiet, very Swiss place. But my home is awesome: I live in an abandoned factory directly on the boards of a river – I can jump out of the huge old windows of my bed room directly into the water. We have a little island in front of our place that is connected to our kitchen with a little rusty bridge. It’s a dream space for sure.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I would take photographs and write poems.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
I didn’t technically buy it, it was a gift by my friend the drummer Michael Anklin. It was a record by ANKLIN | ORON: “DIORAMA – PANORAMA”.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Oh no, don’t ask me that. I have been to a lot of shows and I have played a lot of shows. Live music is about fleeting, wonderful moments, moments of connectivity, of awe, of confusion and revelation – – – I don’t make lists and ranks.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Crucial. But I guess that’s just because it’s there, not because I couldn’t write on a traditional piano or on an acoustic guitar. I love field recordings, distorting and altering things, playing around with stuff. I only recently started to learn how to write sheet music, so technology was very important in remembering (I mean recording) ideas and sketches.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
My sister is a lawyer and my brother a doctor. At times it can be embarrassing to have such stable younger siblings; my brother thinks about buying a home. That’s something I will probably never be able to do. I guess my parents are relieved that at least some of us are doing good; that gives me some freedom – I don’t carry the burden of my parent’s expectations alone.
My siblings chose different paths in terms of material securities, but the main reason they picked their subjects was their intrinsic interest, it had little to do with money. Both my brother and my sister play instruments, my brother wrote raps when he was young. They both have a sensual and creative side; we all share a very dadaist humour and a rather dramatic temperament. I feel that creativity is something that connects us rather than divides us.
My mental health was really fragile, I had dark episodes when I was a teenager. It must have been hard for them sometimes to have a struggling older sister. Art was my way to turn my shit into something nice, something meaningful (at least to me). So I think they don’t need to understand my music at all times to feel that it is my life vein.
Photo © Self Portrait