Name: Melody Prochet aka Melody's Echo Chamber
Occupation: Singer, songwriter
Current release: The new album by Melody's Echo Chamber, Emotional Eternal, is out via Domino.
If you enjoyed this interview with Melody's Echo Chamber and would like to find out more, visit her official homepage. She is also on Instagram, Facebook, twitter, and Soundcloud.
Where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play?
I guess I usually feel the rush to create when there is an emotional overflow.
For me, mostly, the tension of disenchantment triggers the mechanic as I try to re-enchant my own world. I feel like stimulating creativity gets the psyche flowing. It's like a breather in your brain.
I love to use music to create unknown landscapes, other worlds I can go to wander. Like everyone else gently mad, I have millions of ideas flying by. And then only a couple get materialized, thank god!
For you to get started, do there need to be concrete ideas – or what some have called a 'visualisation' of the finished work?
I think it's all imprinted and dancing in your cells; the landscapes, the emotions, the poetry you've fed your mind and body with through the years. I feel like they naturally shape what you create.
For Emotional Eternal, the process started in a cathartic momentum, a kind of spiritual experience. From there, I think, I did envision the clear idea of a simple and essential turn in the elaboration of this album. It was probably a counter-reaction to the previous album's delirium.
I do have sonic visions for sure and then sometimes it happens or it doesn't Sometimes reality transcends the imaginary, like the strings on Alma - the Voyage for example, When Josephin Runsteen recorded the strings guided by Fredrik Swanh and Reine Fiske without me, it just surpassed my expectations, resembling something like felicity.
What does the balance between planning and chance look like for you?
I can say for sure that I always want to create space for chance to happen. But this time, only into very structured frames of time. It actually worked out being as inspiring if not more for us to have a sort of time guardrail.
But we still worked madly to make it sound as natural as though it had come about by chance. We found an equilibrium on Emotional Eternal.
Do you have certain rituals to get you into the right mindset for creating? What role do certain foods or stimulants like coffee, lighting, scents, exercise or reading poetry play?
Yes of course, I have been obsessing about my vocal sound settings from the debut album onward. I actually had to record all my vocals into the mac microphone to use that effect on my computer instead of using Swahn's great mics. He wasn't that happy about it but we always adapt to each other's oddities.
In the studio it was coffee and a lot of smoking for me. Swahn makes his studio very cozy with all his Swedish tricks. Reine has his favorite music baths to get in the right moods.
When do the lyrics enter the picture? Where do they come from? Do lyrics need to grow together with the music or can they emerge from a place of their own?
I think for me it mostly comes from the rhythm and flow of the song.
When it's a lot of words, syncopated, lyrics come easier from the French source. When it's a floaty melody, in English. But I love the mystery with languages. I think each language has its poetry and it's so strange that you still feel the emotion even if you don't get the lyrics.
I get that feeling with Özdemir Erdoğan's songs in Turkish. I later read the translation and realized why they were resonating with me so much.
Especially in the digital age, the writing and production process tends towards the infinite. What marks the end of the process? How do you finish a work?
I think for me it resembles a spiritual experience when I write alone. It feels like entering a door between two lands, it's a completely different world when I'm recording or writing a song. Time is different, I can go on without end or limits when there is no structure for me to stop.
It also has that purifying quality to it, there's a whole palette of states. I get transcendance and hypnotic states but mostly joyful times in the studio sharing this passion with people I love creating with.
Once a piece is finished, how important is it for you to let it lie and evaluate it later on? How much improvement and refinement do you personally allow until you're satisfied with a piece? What does this process look like in practise?
Personally I think having the time to let the pieces resonate is precious to evaluate the quality of it. You give yourself the time to have some ideas to elaborate, and just see if we get tired of the song or not after a few months.
I am a slow creator and person in general, chasing timeless butterflies.
What's your take on the role and importance of production, including mixing and mastering for you personally? How involved do you get in this?
I've been obsessed with the record's production, arrangements and sounds. It's a passion work. I think for me it's more like painting or sculpting music.
I can be so tyrannical with co-producer Fredrik Swahn, at times he just goes away from the computer and tells me to edit myself because we just don't hear the same things - sometimes I am so nerdy about the smallest detail, he thinks it's madness.
I could never do this recording work alone, though. For Emotional Eternal I was in lockdown so Swahn and Reine Fiske mixed the record without me, and I did all my comments from a distance. That was very challenging as my ears are very sharp.
After finishing a piece or album and releasing something into the world, there can be a sense of emptiness. Can you relate to this – and how do you return to the state of creativity after experiencing it?
The best part for me is the recording process in the studio and in between sessions, it's the most fun. Also when the record is all done and mastered and you listen to it on your own when your work is done. It feels great when you're happy with the record.
The moment it gets released is a little odd, it's busy and empty at the same time. But it's also magical when people relate to it and reach out to you and it all start to make sense somehow.