Name: It Was All A Dream
Members: Amy Maskell, Sophie Lowe
Recent release: It Was All A Dream's debut single "Kookaburra" is out via Some Other Planet. They're currently recording their first album together.
Recommendations: Uh (a South London experimental dance duo); Kay Gasei (an amazing London based artist)
If you enjoyed this interview with It Was All A Dream and would like to find out more about the band, visit them on Instagram.
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?
We started playing together over 12 years ago in our former project - Peluché.
Listening to music can feel like being understood, and making it reflects the intangible core emotions back to you, leading to a better understanding of ourselves.
Some people experience intense emotion when listening to music, others see colours or shapes. What is your own listening experience like and how does it influence your approach to music?
Music literally gets into the heart and plucks at those strings of joy and pain. Writing music feels like a necessary emotional release.
How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?
It’s been a breakthrough to define a clearer path for our future that is coloured with ambitions for happiness and contentment in our art - instead of fame and fortune.
It has also helped to stop comparing ourselves to the progression of others, as every musical journey is unique.
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 (Amy) am very grateful to be around such diversity of music culture. I see my personal identity as a being South Londoner shaped by this diversity, and i am experimental and openminded in my approach to making music because of it.
I (Sophie) identify as someone on the introverted end of the spectrum, and performing music can be a way to connect in times of solitude. I wouldn’t feel comfortable to talk to a large group of people in a room at once, but through music i can express myself to them.
What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?
Creating a non judgemental safe space to let ideas flow. Part of our approach is also to talk out anything we have bottled up before playing. Once released into the room it has the potential to turn into a lyric or a melody.
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”?
We are inspired by what has been before us, but we aim to create something that is true to ourselves.
Perfection does not exist, and it is more important to learn as we go and accept that everything has flaws.
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?
Drums, keys and vox. Having a space to experiment with our vocals and instruments and encourage each other to reach new musical edges. Having another to bounce creativity off is vital to our art.
Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.
Our typical Sunday starts with yoga (mostly Sophie and sometimes Amy) and then we sit and have a tea and a good chat.
During our rehearsals we practice our current songs and normally always write something new. We try and get fresh air when we can and drink more tea and plan what is next for us.
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please?
The collection of songs we will be releasing in September is focussed on processing the past, and each song has been a meaningful part of this journey.
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?
Our preferred way to create music is collaboratively. Listening to music alone enables a deeper observation, but listening with others is a connective experience for us - both listening experiences are equally important.
How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?
Music transcends the physical world, opening our inner world to a landscape of possibilities, reflections and dreams. It can bring about societal change by gently moving it into awareness or jump starting it into change.
It’s a direct line to the heart.
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?
During times of sadness and pain, music can be a blanket of hope. Finding solace in the notion that emotions are a shared human experience.
There seems to be increasing interest in a functional, “rational” and scientific approach to music. How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?
Neither of us are particularly scientifically minded, so we are probably not best placed to answer this question. We are grateful for the technological developments that have deepened our work.
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?
Creativity can blossom from the most simple observations and experiences. Music can express the complexities and emotions that arise from something as simple as enjoying the sun on your face.
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 is able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?
Music connects to our spirit and soul, and maybe human kind was born with these musical vibrations. The frequencies of music brings us back to our true essence.