July 2003, Milano, Italy
Interviewer: Ferruccio Filippi
I suppose that the Machine of the song’s title (‘Me and the Machine’) is a phone or a computer connected to the net. Which is your relationship with technology in your life?
‘Me and the Machine’ (#5) raises questions about ego, persona or identity. Further, it refers to Gurdjieff, who suggested we are just sleeping machines, feeding energy for the moon. Perhaps there was also anxiety about the computer age, but for my music, technology is liberating… (e.g.) studio and the internet. Both enable me to overcome local limitations, to communicate…
Could you describe the feelings and emotions… (of) improvisation ‘The Seventh Ingress’?
Transience of human meetings was one of the dimensions in this piece.
Could you tell me anything about Olaf Parusel (in my opinion one of the best artist at all)?
In his band Stoa, Olaf released 3 albums: Urthona and Porta VIII on Hyperium (at that time a leading label of Heavenly Voices in Europe, Germany’s answer to Projekt and 4AD) then Zal on Dark Dimensions (Alice in Chains). Olaf is inspired by Stoic philosophy, poetry & art by Blake, paintings by Goya and Boecklin, photography by Karl Blossfeldt and Bela Bartok’s Herzog Blaubarts Burg. Stoa is memorable for Olaf’s subtle keyboard playing, melodies, poetic orchestral arrangements, and soaring vocals of Connie Levrow and now Mandy Bernhardt.
The last 2 tracks seem to be inspired by ancient Greek mythology. Is it related to Daemonia Nymphe collaboration?
Daemonia Nymphe was involved in the opening track… (but) I’ve been into classical Greek mythology since childhood and studied it at university alongside literature, philosophy and art history; Spyros inspired me to go deeper. ‘Approaching the Island of Sirens’ (#11) was composed by Italian ambient musician… Oophoi, to which I added layers of vocals… ‘Dancing over Acheron’ (#12), created by Mark Krol and Brett Taylor, refers to one of the five rivers of Hades.
Which kind of symbols and metaphors does siren suggest to you? Are there people of our times that can be considered as sirens in your opinion?
Liz Van Dort, Azam Ali, Inna Brejestovskaya, Anneli Drecker, Evi Stergiou, Raphaela Hermes, Nanaco, Andrea Nebel Hagan, Teresa Salgueiro, Chako, Fadia El-Hage, Keltia, Nehl Aelin, Patti Smith, Nico, die screaming to PJ Harvey’s ‘Long Snake Moan’, wake up inside a shell to Bjork’s Vespertine and shimmy out of the surf to Macy Gray’s funky ‘Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak’.
I like very much every song of the album, but ‘Light on the wall’ and ‘Paint the wind’, because of their mix between modern and classical sounds. How were these songs written?
Thank you, ‘Light on the Wall’ was composed with Andrew Persi, together with Mark; Brett added his sparkling instrumentation. It explores avenues of dreaming, astral travel and parallel lives. ‘Paint the Wind’ is dedicated to Karan Wicks, who painted covers for Alexandria and Ariel… recorded with Frederic Chaplain in France, reworked later with Brett Taylor in Australia.
Australia, your homeland, is very attractive for European artists… What is so fascinating in Australia and how does it influence you in your music?
Australia is an island continent with deserts, rainforests, coral reefs and superb beaches. Despite inheriting the English language and constitution, we did not inherit its aristocracy… we (also) differ from America, as convicts not puritans were our colonists; we don’t have such fundamentalism or gun-mania, and our welfare system is more humane… freedom, space, economic strength and my anonymity, all create psychological room… pristine environment: some of the purest air and water on the planet… Your country is also fascinating, Ferruccio. Last night I saw a great Italian comedy, Neapolitan Spell directed by Paolo Genovese and Luca Miniero. It’s about a child in Napoli who was born speaking Milanese. Nobody could explain her condition…(!) I love Respighi, Calvino… and Renaissance alchemist Ficino, in the circle of Botticelli; my mandolin is Venetian. Viva Italia!
How do you choose the songs to play live when you go on tour?
We’re choosing songs that are possible to perform acoustically… but I love Francesco’s songs so much that I’d be happy to focus on his own albums. Grazie, tanti baci, dolce Ferruccio! – Louisa.