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MELBOURNE SYNTH FESTIVAL INTERVIEW: BEATRICE

MELBOURNE SYNTH FESTIVAL INTERVIEW: BEATRICE

Beatrice is an artist that carries you deep into the textured soundscapes of her cinematic bass music. A vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and electronic producer from Melbourne, she has an artistic bipolarity and sophistication that weaves itself through every beat, bar and polyrhythm. She creates compelling and intimate music with a gritty distorted edge that immediately strikes a chord with audiences and Beatrice recently garnered industry attention with an invitation to attend the inaugural Red Bull Music Academy in Montreal in 2016, as well as participation in The Seed conference and two Arts Victoria grants which funded releases.

A recent addition to the Operatives roster and a rising performer on the Australian festival circuit she has performed at most major electronic festivals from Rainbow Serpent to The Falls Festival to Let Them Eat Cake. She is also the DJ for Australian rapper Joelistics of TZU fame and is one of the co-founders of new pop band ‘Haiku Hands’, who work with producers such as Hermitude, Jaytee Hazard and Lewis Can Cut. For the past eight years Beatrice has been a workshop facilitator and advocate for Indigenous woman’s music throughout Australia. She is currently producing for and working with the Kardajala kirri-darra (Sand Hill Women) featuring songstress Eleanor Dixon, hailing from the Marlinja community in the Northern Territory.

Live on stage, as you will see at the Melbourne Synth Festival opening night concert this Friday, Beatrice radiates electronic vocal lushness and a futuristic atmosphere of deep hip-hop, subterranean bass and electrifying break beats. Ahead of her appearance at the MSF launch concert we catch up with Beatrice for a chat

Do you recall the first time you heard electronic music?
YES! I vividly remember riding around my home town of Wagga Wagga on a bike listening to an album called Sambanova by Pnau. It was such a poignant moment for me as I remember being absolutely blown away by the textures of the sound and the intensity of the bass and the drums.

Who were some of the artists or albums that inspired you through your teens?
I loved Radiohead and Portishead a lot. They were a major influence. Then when I finished high school and moved to Melbourne I heard hip-hop for the first time and that was another massive influence.

What was your first instrument?
I started playing guitar and piano in High school.

What was the first piece of music gear that you acquired?
The first piece of electronic equipment that I got was my computer and Ableton, then the first piece of hardware was a Roland SH09.

What has been your most memorable gig to date?
That’s a good question, I feel like every show is memorable for such different reason. Off the top of my head I would say that playing Let Them Eat Cake last New Year’s day was a highlight. I got to perform in-between Tourist and Jon Hopkins, two really great artists. It’s also one of the best festivals in Australia and it’s my birthday, so that was a good one.

Tell us about your live rig journey and what gear do you use now on stage?
My live show has been a work in progress like it is for most artists. I feel like currently it’s better than ever and is finally something that feels risky and different enough from the studio but also still totally aligned with my studio sound. Currently I play a lot of samples, effect the beats and use lots of software and process my vocals like an instrument.

What’s on the gear wish list?
I need a new microphone! That’s the absolute gear purchase priority, I have been borrowing a friend Jeremy’s (Thanks Jez!) for way too long. Apart from that, I have bought some new pieces over the last year, a Sub37, Juno 6 and another secret synth and I feel like I need to use them till I have exhausted them and then I will start looking for more acquisitions. I have just spent a week with a friend in Switzerland, SIMPIG and he has really got into modular stuff in the last year, so that might be the next foray.

How did the Red Bull Music Academy experience come about and what has come out of it?
RBMA was such a crazy cool thing. I stayed up all night doing the application and then rushed to get it in a minute before the post offices closed. Then when I got the email saying I had got in, I was so blown away. It was then one of the most amazing inspiring experiences of my life. Meeting so many cool producers from around the world, all making super interesting music. It expanded my concepts of what music is and really ignited a whole other journey into sound manipulation and music making.

Tell us about the Kardajala Kirridarra project and how you became involved?
I have been working out in Central Australia with female musicians doing production workshops and collaborating on music for around 8 years. This culminated in meeting Eleanor Dixon from Marlinja community (about halfway between Darwin and Alice Springs), who is an incredible person and artist and we started working on music together and then we worked with her aunty Janey and cousin Kayla and formed Kardajala Kirridarra – which means Sand Hill women in her language Mudburra. We released an album last year and have toured Australia together since then. I feel very honoured to get to work with these women.

What is the history of your other project, Haiku Hands and how did the European tour came about?
Haiku Hands is a project that I stared with Claire Nakazawa and Joel Ma (Joelistics, TZU) a few years ago. We started writing together for fun and it has since become a force of nature. It’s an amazing project that lets me explore heaps of new sounds, new parts of my voice and a whole new stage character. We collaborate with heaps of really talented artists and are getting to travel to new places. We just got back from Iceland which was one of the most incredible places I have ever been.

What can we expect from your appearance at the Melbourne Synth Festival?
Lot’s of bass and vocals.

What are you most proud of so far in your music career?
Probably my relationship to music and creativity. I still feel like such a novice and my thirst for learning and experimenting and exploring sound is only growing stronger. I also feel very lucky to be able to have the opportunity to work on music, it’s a very privileged position that I definitely don’t take for granted.

What do you have planned for 2019?
I am supporting Jon Hopkins in February at the Metro in Sydney, releasing my second single and hopefully an album in 2019.

Tickets to the Melbourne Synth Festival opening night concert can be purchased HERE or at the door

http://beatrice-musique.com.au/
https://soundcloud.com/beatrice-musique