Almost four years on from the eerie, atmospheric Pendulous Moon, Clara Hill returns with her sixth album, showcasing once again her ceaseless urge for reinvention. Driven by a craving for spontaneity – to let her ideas Shine – and especially inspired by her travels, both earthly and spiritual, it’s an unusually contemplative record that’s also the first she’s written and produced alone. Conceived amid natural surroundings – from Mexico to Canada to Sicily – its idyllically acoustic, subtly psychedelic, sedately soulful folk largely eschews electronic embellishments in favour of a combination of reflective soul and the moods of 60s/70s Brazilian `tristeza´, making it an honest, instinctive, affecting expression of Hill’s voice at its purest.
1: You don’t need to be something, if you just be yourself.
2: The greatest thing in life you can learn is to love and be loved in return.
3: The nature has all the answers and all the answers are inside of you.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
nature, the silence, the vastness, sounds & noises, synths, other people’s music, profound magic moments, deep conversations, movie scenes, birds, flowers, observing the growth process how a bud becomes a flower, the transience
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I remember when i was a child, i loved the blackbirds voices and i already was fascinated by the sound of my bulgarian plastic guitar. Later I learned singing and playing piano by ear. I was always fascinated by sounds around me. I jumped into another world by experimenting with instruments. Also my mom gave me a lot of music to listen to: from The Beatles, Isaac hayes, brasilian music over classical music to Pink Floyd. I always felt that i wanted to be a musician. Finally with 17 years i started my own band with a friend and began to write and sing my own songs.
3. What are 5 of your favourite works of all time?
1.) Nick Drake: Pink Moon
2.) Boards of Canada: Music Has The Right To Children
3.) Linda Perhacs: Parallelograms
4.) Jorge Ben: live MPB Especial (1972)
5.) Broadcast: Tender Buttons
(The music of Bach)
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
The town i grew up. The place i always wanted to be. The place where suddenly the whole world wanted to be. The place which transformed me. A former divided city in a country which does not exist anymore. The place i don’t want to be anymore.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Interesting current question: even though there will be always music in this world, right now musicians can not really perform. So, I paint, make graphic Design & art. Maybe I would be a florist too, be a psychotherapist, one director, or create jewelry, work with wood, teach other people in music, decorate people´s flats or help handicapped people…
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Funny question in times of Spotify and co. But the last album i bought long time ago was actually a meditation album with Zen music.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Bibio, José Gonzáles, Thundercat, Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Flying Lotus, Angelo de Augustine, Boards of Canada, …
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
1.) My best gigs ever were in Tokyo, MADEIRADiG & Moscow.
2.) The best concerts i saw were Beastie Boys and Ride @ Loft in Berlin. And of course my first concert ever: The Rolling Stones :)
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Technology was always important for me in the past, because the music i made was mostly based on synths and programmings. Right now i try to be more analogue again by experimenting with real instruments & field recordings. My creative process of writing music maybe necessarily does not need technology. But even if i am producing myself and finally do the recordings, i guess without technology i could not work anymore.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I don’t have real siblings – or maybe i have but don´t know it. But my half brother seems to be proud of my music.
Photo © Victoria Alexandrova