January 25th 2019 will see the release of ‘Nighttime Birds and Morning Stars’ – American experimental guitarist and composer Sarah Louise’s 4th studio album. In her most fearless work to date, Louise broadens beyond folk forms, turning streams of raw electric guitar into entire oceans of aural texture. Her rich playing is warped beyond recognition through inventive synthesizing and digital manipulations. The innovative songs share warmth and compositional tendencies with Deeper Woods; however, remarkably, Sarah Louise’s stunning sophomore Thrill Jockey album breaks through the boundaries of solo guitar, bearing little resemblance to its predecessors.
1: Plants have feelings.
2: Bees buzz together in winter to stay warm.
3: Ancient ideas about the universe.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
My relationship with the natural world. I have a deep reverence for the earth and make music as a way to share it.Where music comes from is one of the greatest mysteries.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I was always experimenting with my voice as a kid. It’s amazing that we have an instrument built into our bodies. I began playing guitar as a 13-year old and fell deeply in love.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
The 5 that come to mind now are:
Maison Rose by Emmanuelle Parrenin
The Complete Early Recordings of Skip James
Journey in Satchidananda by Alice Coltrane
The Expanding Universe by Laurie Spiegel
Are you Experienced by Jimi Hendrix
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Post-industrial creative city. Lou Reed.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I live 30 minutes away from the nearest town. There is a bridge over a creek surrounded by lush rhododendron where I like to stop and sit on my walks.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I am trying to figure out ways to integrate my music practice with sharing nature with people. One way to start is to be still and listen to the tuning of the world.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Sosena Gebre Eyesus.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I think Bjork’s vision has space for anything.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I love whenever I can play with my trio of Emmalee Hunnicutt and Thom Nguyen.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Meditation is an endlessly vast ancient technology. My DAW allows me to record myself and manipulate sound the way I want to. Both are important to me.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have a big sister who is really supportive. She’s an artist who explores ethical and aesthetic issues surrounding emerging technologies. We are both interested in presence and perception. I really hope we can collaborate one day.
Sarah Louise’s Nighttime Birds and Morning Stars will be out on 25th January 2019 via Thrill Jockey. Pre-order here!
Photo © Katrina Ohstrom