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100 Musicians Answer the Same 10 Questions

Part Seventy-Three: Irene Tremblay of Aroah

instigated by dave heaton

I find each Aroah release entrancing: smart, moving, stylistic melancholic folk pop music that's atmospheric yet intimate. Aroah is essentially one person -- Irene Tremblay, of Madrid. She's released two albums and two EPs, all on the Spanish label Acuarela. Check out her MySpace page for more information.

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What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?

Working songs out with other people. Iíve always been kind of a despot in that field. Itís hard for me to let go, but the results are great.

What aspect of making music gets you the most discouraged?

Time and money issues really drive me away from taking it seriously. While I was in school it was like a part time job, plus I traveled a lot and it didnít feel like I was living with my parents.

What are you up to right now, music-wise? (Current or upcoming recordings, tours, extravaganzas, experiments, top-secret projects, etc).

Iím halfway through a joint project with .tape. , coming and going from Gijon. Heís one of those laptop people that record toys and sample them. I love his music, but we didnít meet our deadline so I had to put it aside for a while because of another engagement. I hope to get back to the record next spring.

For a couple of years Iíd been talking about a long-play CD completely in Spanish with RaŁl FernŠndez (of Refree) as a producer. Weíd set a date for October, so I had to leave the other project on standby.

So I just spent the month in Barcelona and weíve recorded the CD, weíre almost done mixing and Acuarela has it scheduled for release in February.

Iím very excited about this release, singing in Spanish is a whole other ballgame and the record sounds warmer and tighter than anything Iíve done before. Thereíre even a few songs you can dance to! Iím especially looking forward to playing the songs live.

What's the most unusual place you've ever played a show or made a recording? How did the qualities of that place affect the show/recording?

Once I played on a circular platform on a lovely park in Grenoble, as the sun was going down, it could have been such a beautiful show. But I couldnít get over the awkwardness of three sound technicians coming up to the stage every three songs and turning me to face a different area of the crowd. Iím not much of a stage animal to start with, so this threw me completely off and I probably played the same song three times, worse every timeÖ

In what ways does the place where you live (or places where you have lived), affect the music you create, or your taste in music?

I donít think I really have been influenced by the place Iíve lived. Music was a means to mentally run away from it. Being part American meant having well-paved roads and pretty good maps to travel with. So Iíve lived all over the States in my head. But the world around me hasnít had much of an effect on me, I rarely have been interested in Spanish pop, psychedelic or even flamenco music. I regret that.

When was the last time you wrote a song? What can you tell us about it?

I was sitting on the floor of the recording studio in Barcelona, playing the guitar for kicks while they set something up and for the first time in my life a song in Spanish came to me easy. In English it happens all the time, but writing in Spanish has been very difficult. Most of the stuff I came up for preparing the album in Spanish I hated the lyrics to. This last one, ďPastoralĒ, is very naÔve but itís about naivetť so it all made sense.

As you create more music, do you find yourself getting more or less interested in seeking out and listening to new music made by other people...and why do you think that is?

Iím just as interested as I was when I was an enthusiastic fanzine writer. I saw an excellent Icelandic band called Amiina a couple of nights ago. I hadnít been to a show in a long time though, and Iím not very up to date on the latest recordings by artists I used to consider myself partial to. But discovering new music is important to me, though my taste has changed a lot too.

Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener? (Old or new music? Music like yours or different from yours?)

I tend to listen to one album constantly for a couple of days and then move on. We donít have a dishwasher, so Iíve been washing dishes to My Bloody Valentine for a few days. Rap and hip-hop music was the big thing in this household for a couple of months; weíd listen to anything at all. We had a party a few weeks ago and I think people left early because of that. I easily and frequently cross the line between open-minded and lacking in criteria.

I have a feeling that if I had more Caetano Veloso records around, Iíd be really hooked on him for a couple of weeks.

Name a musician or band, past or present, who you flat-out LOVE and think more people should be listening to. What's one of your all-time favorite recordings by this musician/band?

Tim Hardin, but I wouldnít pick any record in particular, just random songs from The Verve Years compilation.

What's the saddest song you've ever heard?

ďMy ManĒ as sung by Billie Holiday.

To check out the rest of the Q&As, click here.


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