Eget Værelse is an artist collective and label founded in 2010 by Maria Bertel, Jaleh Negari, Sonja LaBianca, Maria Diekmann and Anja Jacobsen. Eget Værelse contains the projects that these five persons are creating together, alone or in co-operation with others outside the collective. Currently Eget Værelse consists of the following projects: Selvhenter, Valby Vokalgruppe, Diekmann, Ymers Pizza, Frk. Jacobsen and Oum.
They split the questions between Sonja Labianca, Maria Bertel and Jaleh Negari.
1.What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
A lot of different things. I wouldn’t say there are smaller and bigger inspiration. There are moment where you find something very boring and not very interesting and the same things in other moments tells the biggest tale or reflects a pattern or a structure or sparks an idea in you.
We recently talked about the artist Corita Kent in the band , who told her students to watch shadows everyday for 20-30-40 minutes. The same shadow in the same corner of your room everyday for a week, and discover the endless forms, and colors and movement in those shadows. I think that´s a real good picture on how everything is a source.
2.How and when did you get into making music?
I started playing drums at the age of sixteen by a kind of coincidence. My neighbour played in a youth club near our house, and one day she called and said that their drummer had stopped and if I’d like to try. I instantly said Yes! and started playing cover songs with them. Very soon I got drawn to writing original material, and from that on I found people who were interested in making music together and learned to play and make music in those different band s. In my first real band I meet Sonja, and we played a kind of ska-music.
3.What are your 5 favorite albums of all time?
5 albums that I´m digging a lot these summer days are:
Robert Wyatt – ‘Heaps of Sheeps’
An incredible record with music from the african country Burundi, called ‘musique du BURUNDI´, released on Ocora, with the most amazing out of this world pygmy vocal songs. Mostly recommendable !
Arthur Russell – ‘Love is overtaking me’
A newly released tape by the danish synth/drum duo Arm, called ‘Astral Triade’
and the classic ‘Hounds of Love’ by Kate Bush, who I just recently truly has discovered.
4.What do you associate with Berlin?
Second home. A slow pace.
5.What’s your favorite place in your town?
My studio and my 12 kvm city garden.
6.If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
7.What was the last record you bought?
A record by Meredith Monk called ‘Radio Songs’. I am very fascinated by her use of the voice complimenting and resembling the instrument at the same time. The compositions are elegant and beautiful, appear simple yet complex.
8.Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I am very happy with the collaboration we have within Selvhenter. It is really a true learning experience, that I find to be very stimulating and inspiring. What more can you ask ?
For the future, maybe our next release, we would like to collaborate with a foreign record label, that can help distribute our music abroad. At the moment we take care of distribution our selves, but I think interesting new opportunities could happen if we find the right label for us to work with.
9.What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Uhh, there are many, both as a performer and spectator, and all kinds of them ! – Most recently I attended a concert at the DR koncerthuset in Copenhagen, where the symphony orchestra perform a piece by Olivier Messiaen called ‘Poemes pour Mi’. It was amazing !
10.How important is technology to your creative process?
I guess it is important. We really found the amplified sound and the overtone spectrum it illuminates (I guess amplifiers also counts as technology). Sometimes we record the improvisations or ideas to not forget them instead of writing them down. And we are trying to be open in the creative process so if it makes sense for us to bring more technology into the process we will go for it.
11.Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
I think most of the families (both siblings and parents) are very supportive in general to the way we conduct our lives. For my part, there has been only a little concern about the direction, because it’s a hard business. The concern has mostly been about finance and social security and so on.
Selvhenter are part of the program of By the lake Festival.