MUSIC NEWS
UTR Premiere: Stream Motte's New Album 'Strange Dreams' (+ Tour Dates)

UTR Premiere: Stream Motte's New Album 'Strange Dreams' (+ Tour Dates)

Thursday 16th February, 2017 9:23AM

Christchurch-based artist Anita Clark aka Motte is today unveiling her gorgeous six-song album Strange Dreams, which we are delighted to premiere here at UTR. A follow-up to her 2015 offering Songs For Movies, the new record sees Clark take the violin to strange and interesting places, using a delay pedal to stretch and expand the instrument's melancholy tones while she builds up the songs with layers of ethereal vocals and light touches of synth  courtesy of her New Dawn bandmate Indira Force, with whom she will be touring over the next few weeks.

Soak up Strange Dreams below, while you read our interview with Clark and check out the Motte + New Dawn tour dates below...



You use violin in a unique way to build beautiful (and sometimes slightly unsettling) atmospheric songs. When did you start playing violin, and what triggered you to really start experimenting with it?

I don't remember starting to play the violin, but it was around the age of 5. My parents told me i had seen some girl playing and i was incredibly insistent on taking it up and i've pretty much played ever since. I've played so many styles of music, not so much classical, but it's only been in the last few years i've been playing around with pedals. When you've played an instrument for a while it becomes interesting to see how much you can possibly get out of it, and a beautiful thing happens when you run a violin through some overdrive.


What puts you in the best mindset for writing music? Are you constantly conjuring up ideas during waking hours or do you purposefully set aside time to work out songs?

I write most of my songs with a delay pedal and use that effectively as a looper. My song writing is in an on-the-go improvised style so the songs end up very cyclic and is usually an absorbing, meditative process for me. The best place is in my bedroom, set up on the floor, maybe with some candles for atmosphere, ha, and i almost always write my vocals in the car and record them to my phone.


Was there anything in particular you wanted to convey with Strange Dreams, thematically or otherwise?

Not really. My first album was fully improvised and the first time I had experimented with those pedals, the delay in particular. So that album was the whole initiation of Motte, I recorded from start to finish on a c90 tape on a 4-track tape machine. The songs were just cut into tracks, I didn't even change the order. Strange Dreams is the follow-up album, Im still experimenting with the sounds I can make and the tools, but the songs have much more of a structure. I've included vocals and some beautiful bass synth by Indira Force but kept things quite restricted and minimal still. I like to make things evocative and mysterious. The violin is such a sad instrument, and I decided the other day that my style is to try and ride the line between beautiful and unsettling. Other than that, I wasn't purposely trying to convey anything in particular. Jason Greig from Into The Void told me last week I played the violin like a psycho, which in itself I thought was a beautiful thing.


You also have the New Dawn musical project with Indira Force, with whom you are also touring. How did that project come together and how does it differ from the music you make for Motte?

New Dawn was a bit of relief for the both of us from our solo projects. Not that anything is really that stressful, being in the New Dawn duo just gave us the freedom to not be too serious about ourselves, and we really enjoyed working together creating soundscapes that didn't necessarily rely on our vocals..although we really ruined that sentiment by writing a total pop banger, ha. Motte definitely has a more modern classical feel, or with using the cyclical delay maybe harks a little to Steve Reich and those repetitive minimalist composers. In other words I don't have the sick beats or the synth washes. But maybe next album...


Can you tell us some of the strangest dreams you’ve had of late?

Oh gees, so many end of world dreams, dust storms, red skies, meteorite showers. I have night terrors sometimes and wake up to see people in my room or strange clouds of black shards that fly like wasps. Mostly I sleep with a lamp on to be honest.


Motte and New Dawn Joint Release Tour

Saturday 18th February Aotea Square, Auckland (Midday)
Saturday 18th February, Golden Dawn, Auckland
Saturday 4th March, Pyramid Club, Wellington w/ Paperghost
Sunday 5th March Newtown Fest, Wellington (New Dawn only)
Saturday 18th March, Darkroom, Christchurch w/ French Concession
Saturday 25th March, None Gallery, Dunedin w/ Lucy Hunter
Sunday 26th March Grainstore Gallery, Oamaru
Friday 31st March Lyttelton Coffee Co, Lyttelton w/ Instant Fantasy
Saturday 1st April, Audio Foundation, Auckland (Motte only)



Strange Dreams is available on vinyl through new Dunedin-based label CocoMuseReleases, and on cassette through Wellington's Sonorous Circle.





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related gigs
Motte and New Dawn - Joint Album Release
Sat 4th Mar, Pyramid Club, Wellington






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