2013 CD by singer - composer Kristin Amarie is being heralded
as one of the best New Age vocal albums of the year. Filled with Kristins
lush, multilayered vocals, Notes From A Journey was
superbly produced and recorded in New York by Alex Salzman,
who also contributes keyboards, guitars and programming to the CD.
Also on hand are several other contributing musicians, including New
Age maven David Lanz, who adds in his patented keyboards here.
Kristin is being compared to acclaimed New Age singing goddess Enya,
although dare I say, Kristins music is even more symphonic in
places. Coming from Norway, Kristins music has a kind of worldly
effect and at times on some tracks she uses her voice more like an
instrument rather than complicate the albums orchestral effect
with a lot of words. The Enya comparison aside, theres plenty
of amazing New Age symphonic sounds in play on Kristin Amarie's excellent
presents an interview with
mwe3: Tell us about growing up in Norway and when you arrived
in New York. Where are you living now and how would you compare New
York with Norway and other places youve lived? Are you planning
to stay in the US?
KRISTIN AMARIE: I grew up in a typical Norwegian family; 2
kids, mom and dad. My younger brother and my parents still live in
the same town outside Oslo, the capital. I visit at least once every
year with my family.
Now I live in Upstate New York where the winters are very similar
to where I grew up. Of course the US is different in many ways from
most places I lived in Europe and Asia. There are so many more malls
here and chain stores. In other countries you will still find those
little independent stores. Public transportation is more common abroad
and people tend to walk rather than get in the car. I like the openness
you find in Americans... Always friendly and welcoming.
I would love to spend part of the year in the US and part of the year
in Europe, preferably Southern Europe as I feel very much at home
mwe3: I was reading about your early influences like Bach and
Chopin. What period of music did you grow up in and were you influenced
by contemporary pop vocalists and artists as well? What music was
the most inspirational for you?
KRISTIN AMARIE: I grew up with my parents music; Dean
Martin, The Beach Boys, The Seekers and of course a lot of Norwegian
music. When I was in my teens I moved to Cyprus and I would listen
to Greek Cypriot music on the radio all the time. I worked for a short
while with friends from Israel and Lebanon and was exposed to music
from these countries. My stay for over ten years in India made me
appreciate Indian rhythms. All of the above influenced me and can
be heard it in my album, Notes From A Journey.
mwe3: What was your early musical training like and do you
practice singing / vocalizing every day and how do you strive to improve
as a musician and composer?
KRISTIN AMARIE: I started taking vocal lessons when I was in my
early teens. I had some amazing teachers and will forever be grateful
to what I have learnt from them. I try to sing a bit every day. To
grow as a composer, I listen to a lot music and when I hear something
I like, I figure out what it is that moves me. Sometimes I will build
on this in my own music.
mwe3: Notes From A Journey is your debut solo CD. How
long did it take to create and record the album and tell us about
working with producer Alex Salzman as well as album guest David Lanz.
Seems like you guys hit worked well together on the CD. How did the
album fall into place?
KRISTIN AMARIE: From my first composed song First Light
to the very last one Elusion I took less than a year.
Working with Alex Salzman was very exciting. He is such a great musician
and producer. He knew exactly where I wanted to go with my music and
he brought me there. I think of my songs as my babies. I create the
babies and the producer dresses them and make them ready to face the
world. Alex taught me a lot both about composition as well as the
music industry in general. I would love to work with Alex again.
Once I had created First Light I knew that I had more
inside of me that needed come out and I kept writing. I quickly decided
to make an album. I am impatient and wanted to release as soon as
possible, so I kept giving myself deadlines. One of which was to release
this album within a year of releasing my first single.
I fell in love with David Lanzs music years ago. Around a year
ago we started working together professionally. Working with David
is a dream come true for me. He is a wonderful person and the most
inspirational musician! He has created some of the most beautiful
pieces and for me as a new composer he is truly my mentor. David and
I are still working together and plan on releasing both a Christmas
album as well as an album in the ambient genre in the near future.
I am very lucky and blessed to have David around all the time as we
now share both music and a home together.
mwe3: Are there any singles from the album? I was thinking
Elusion would make a great single off the CD. What is
the history of that track and can you tell us something about the
lyrics to that song and your lyric writing in general? Where do you
draw inspiration and can you give a another example from the new album?
KRISTIN AMARIE: Actually, a few of the first tracks were released
as singles before the album came out.
Elusion is about fear. We have all experienced fear at
some point in our lives. I was in a very complicated relationship
and I am still suffering from anxiety from those years.
My lyric writing is based on my life experiences and also on the fact
that I am a hopeless romantic. I love romantic music. Without
You is the most romantic song on my album. I wrote lyrics to
it while David was still living on the West Coast. Its all about
longing for the one you love.
mwe3: People are calling you the 21st century Enya because
of the ethereal type of sound you get on your album. Would you call
yourself a New Age singer / artist or do you feel more at home being
part of the pop or even the neoclassical world? What do you think
of the world wide New Age music scene and what vocal or instrumental
artists inspire you today?
KRISTIN AMARIE: Well, when I first started creating music for
Notes From A Journey, I had no particular idea or goal
for the genre in which it would end up. I started out thinking it
would turn into something more jazzy, but quickly went back to my
roots of classical training with the vocals.
I am not particularly happy about being put in any genre at all. I
think many artists find themselves reluctantly put in a box
genre-wise. My music is touching ambient as well as classical and
I think the New Age scene is exploding with sub-genres
and it has become very difficult to describe New Age music.
It encompasses everything from solo piano to world rhythms as well
as the typical ambient relaxation music. There are, however still
people out there who think New Age music is only for those with certain
spiritual beliefs and/or lifestyle. I would love to change those beliefs
with my music...
I am inspired by artists who dare take a different approach. I like
the unexpected in music. David (Lanz) is my greatest inspiration,
but I listen to and get inspired by my fellow Norwegian composer Rolf
Lovland and his Secret Garden, Hans Zimmer, Ryuichi Sakamoto
and many others, too many to name artists as well.
mwe3: What other interests do you have outside of music and
what do you like to do to relax? Are there any causes youre
involved with or special hobbies you can mention?
KRISTIN AMARIE: I used to read a lot and also do some oil painting
and drawing. But with my latest release there is not much time left
over for anything but music...
I listen to music to relax or I go for a walk or a drive in the beautiful
Upstate New York countryside.
mwe3: What are you planning for 2014 as far as writing new
music, planning new recordings and possible live concerts? Also will
you be traveling this coming year?
KRISTIN AMARIE: David (Lanz) and I are writing new music! Some
will end up on a Christmas album and some will be on a new ambient
I hope to set up some shows around the US in 2014. Right now, I travel
with David and perform songs from my new album as a special guest
at his concerts. Travels are planned for the West Coast this coming
spring. We also have Concert Series set up in our home her in New
York. They have been selling out quickly and we are planning for fall
2014. There are also some talk of Music workshops here at our home
Thanks to Kristin Amarie @ www.AmarieMusic.com