Name: Cécile Meyer aka Anna Aaron
Nationality: Swiss
Occupation: Singer, songwriter, producer
Recent Release: Anna Aaron's Gummy is out October 7th 2022 via Hummus.

If you enjoyed this interview with Anna Aaron and would like to find out more about her music, visit her official website. She is also on Instagram, Facebook, twitter, and Soundcloud.

When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?

I started writing music when I was about seventeen. I wrote the songs on the piano and recorded them on my mother's laptop, knocking on the wood of the piano to create sketches of beats. It was extremely lo-fi and makeshift.

I guess my earliest influences came from the trip-hop of the 90s. I just really wanted to achieve the ability to write my own songs, because to me that felt like a tool to influence my reality.

But I also remember that for a long time the music didn't really come out, and I kind of had to fight for it.

When I listen to music, I see shapes, objects and colours. What happens in your body when you're listening and how does it influence your approach to creativity?

To me music is just full of information. Not even necessarily beautiful or not, but just more or less dense layers of information.

When there is a lot, it can get very intense.

How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?

I see my development very much in the context of the struggle to become more independent. When I was younger I only recorded demos, and then went to a studio and had my music produced for me. However thanks to my musical environment I was able to pick up a lot of knowledge and influences which, after a few years, got me to the point where I am now also able to work a little bit as a producer.

I guess my biggest breakthrough - not on a public but on a personal level - was the creation of the album Gummy because I've never made an album before where I took every single decision on my own.

Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please.

I identify as a cis woman living in a queer environment. This has already been influencing my writing and possibly will do so even more in the future.

I guess we always write a little bit with our friends in mind, in a certain sense - even when we think we're writing for ourselves or for the world.

What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?

One key idea I pursue is that low sounds are slow and long, while higher frequencies get shorter and quicker.

I am very interested in this fast range of the spectrum at the moment. It's a place where sound can become twinkling and glittering; a chatter of excitement that is meaningless but manifests the quivering movement of life.

I incorporate this twinkling in many different moods within different kinds of music.

How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?

I don't really think about it in these terms because to me music is a collective experience either way, whether it's traditional or innovative.

I am more interested in experimental music in general but I also wish to communicate with people, and this can become more difficult if you move too far away from the vocabulary of mainstream pop music for example.

I guess in the end it's about finding the right environment for your work.

Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?

I have a few synthesizers and drum machines that I love and the piano has been very important since childhood.

I try to define the palette of tools and sounds I will use before I start recording an album. It helps to achieve coherence.

Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.

It's really hard to describe a typical day because every day is so different. I might be writing, rehearsing, recording in the studio, teaching, practicing my instrument or touring.

Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please?

The song "Golden Boy" for example had a rather interesting process. It didn't come together at all in the beginning, I only had little bits and pieces of lyrics and rhythmic units that I just couldn't figure out as as a loop making sense on a grid of 4. I was working on it in Ableton and it was really difficult.

It was only when I took it away from the computer and to the piano that I was able to figure out what the structure actually could be and what chord progression I could use.

I still feel when I listen to it that there is a slight ambiguity concerning the time signature of the song.

Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results?

I've had both experiences and I can't really say what I prefer.

Writing alone can be more focused because you can consequently pursue your own ideas. But creating together and merging your ideas with others can add new depths to your own work that you've never dreamed of.

How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?

Something I'm aware of is the role of music in ceremonies and celebrations. Music is almost always a part of our gatherings; whether they are entertaining, recreational, political or ceremonial - regardless of whether the events are happy or sad.

This shows me we use it to add a certain dimension to our activities, but what this dimension is I can't say.

Art can be a way of dealing with the big topics in life: Life, loss, death, love, pain, and many more. In which way and on which occasions has music – both your own or that of others - contributed to your understanding of these questions?

By creating art we can possibly create a language of our own, and this might be a way to reclaim our autonomy in situations where we feel powerless.

Also I think peaceful communication between people can be comforting. Art doesn't have to be externally communicative, but it can be.

How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?

Since music is itself a subject of science and there is music about science, I don't know if the two fields are really so separate.

I feel like the only way to answer this question would be to enter a kind of binary explanatory system, and I hesitate to do that.

Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you feel as though writing or performing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?

Again, I feel this is a binary question separating the "creative" and the "mundane". These thinking habits have deep roots and a strong influence on how we see ourselves and the world, so it's interesting to reflect on them.

I would like to see myself as a whole; whether I am making a cup of coffee, playing music or spiritually practicing. It makes me feel to good to think it's all the same.

Music is vibration in the air, captured by our ear drums. From your perspective as a creator and listener, do you have an explanation how it able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?

I think about this a lot, why music is so wonderful and how it's possible that something like this exists. It affects me in an overwhelmingly powerful way. It's my life and I can sometimes hardly bear how much I love it.

So I am of course glad that it is simultaneously a mystery that can't be solved. It's because it's so wonderful.