Music Gateway Meets: BeArte
By Mary Woodcock on 19 Jul 2017
We came across BeArte whilst on the hunt for music to fit a project with a ‘Halloween’ theme. She really stood out with her beautiful production skills and very unique, distinctive voice. BeArte is a fascinating artist, with a drive for progressive writing and a love for breaking traditional boundaries within music. We were very excited to get to know the mind behind such interesting creations. Here’s what we chatted about…
Give us an introduction to yourself!
Since I have started BeArte, I feel as though I am on a sonic spaceship racing through different galaxies. With my female voice, I am weaving the thread between words and music; creating stories that are made visible and audible. My work also explores a fusion of translating music into movement. The visual part in a show is for BeArte as important as the music itself – it intends to plant the seed for a movie to start in someone’s head.
I am a believer in the power of the collaboration between a strong melody and rhythm. Recording and processing sounds which are not in a library gives me a special “spice of excitement”, which is inspired by the work of Delia Derbyshire. It is like mixing a new colour that changes the whole soundscape.
- Photo taken by Anton Kammerl
What inspired you start writing music?
My childhood friend had a piano and an organ. We grew up on a street named after Franz-Schubert, so my first heroes were classical composers – especially Beethoven because of the dark, beautiful colour of his compositions. I would make up stories that lead me into creating music; the princess sits in her tower (high notes) and the witch would stumble through the forest (bass notes on the piano), for example.
When joining my first rock bands I got inspired by Led Zeppelin, Supertramp, Queen, Pink Floyd, Skunk Anansie, Janis Joplin, Musicals, Peter Gabriel, Tina Turner, Synth- and 80ies music, Michael Jackson. After listening to “The Sensational Alex Harvey Band”, I wanted to become the theatrical female counterpart.
I was also shaken by the power of “The Prodigy”. How can someone make music and express everything that I was feeling? I also discovered Laurie Anderson who was sonically making her mark on the world with a message; using music to make people aware of things. The Punk attitude of “The Clash” impacted me, with their demands and power to say no! Kate Bush and Björk have also been key artists within my process of refining my own artistry.
I was first encouraged to start my music career by my dancing teacher Gisela Ochsner, along with Keith Flint (Prodigy), Kieron Pepper (Prodigy and Radiophonic Workshop) has become a mentor for me. I also received a large amount of support from Martin Youth Glover (The Orb, Killing Joke The Verve), whom I have since been working on a collaborative project. Mark “Spike” Stent (Madonna, Massive Attack) nurtured me during the start of my career. He advised me on my first steps into the world of production and sound engineering. Whilst working as an assistant at legendary Olympic Studios, Nick Cave gave me real insights into his songwriting, which inspired me to work on my own song craft. I was extremely lucky to encounter wonderful encouragement all along the way.
What are you currently working on?
“Reflections of the Muse”, which is in the works to be an exciting performance piece, and working on getting a portfolio for sync, particularly for a series like “The Missing”.
What process do you go through when writing?
When I start writing, I let it flow without restrictions. The structure evolves in the process itself. To me, a piece of work has its own essence. My job is to serve it with my tools of time and skills.
Whilst working, I dip in and out of proximities, focusing intently on one part, trying to find the ideal melody, for example. For me, this is like working through a microscope.Then again I step away like a painter to see the whole picture.
My biggest concern is to bring out the essence of a piece. The essence is always connected to an emotion. This is the only pattern I am working with, I guess.
How do you feel about the current musical climate?
It is challenging and adventurous, offering new avenues and approaches. I like that the old hierarchical and rigid structures are breaking up. We are in a massive process, preparing for new ground. Some of it is good, some is unpleasant as in every process. Exciting times! I especially like to see more women in this business. And it is happening, very slowly, but change always takes time.
How do you think that a site such as Music Gateway, can impact how the industry works?
Music Gateway is a child of this process. I love it to be a platform without limitations of place. Being organised into one company, it is challenging the old patterns of the industry. It is kicking old patriarchs off their seat. It is a great concept and totally meeting the Zeitgeist.
Soundtrack written and produced by BeArte, film by The Brothers McLeod.
What advice could you offer to producers starting out?
Be a “sponge” – listen to as many different productions as possible. If it resonates with you, it is a part of you. This way, you are finding and creating your own style.
If it is in your blueprint, play around, be wild and experiment. The shaping and structuring comes late. If you are structured, do it your way, but always experiment and have fun (through all the desperate phases as well).
What is your approach to writing to a moving image?
When I start composing for a project I carefully watch the visual to get the vibe and the overall emotional concept. Of course, I keep a tight eye to the directors brief and the process of workflow, to make sure I don’t go off-track or miss a deadline. If we miss the brief, not even the best composition in the world can save us!
After the first overall impression, I begin marking the changes and transitions. Transitions are a big one. I’m always really accurate during this part, zooming into the marked point to make sure that the note is precise. In this rare case, perfectionism is a good thing!
I constantly reference my composition back to the visuals. In my setup, I use two separate screens for the films; one desktop for the visuals, one for the Audio session. Also, breaks do a great deal to the process – it really helps to come back with fresh ears and eyes!
What has been your career highlight so far?
Working in one of the last Holy Grails of recording studios: Olympic Studios. It gave me a sense of belonging. I was fortunate to work with the best artists and people from the industry and I am still connected with them.
What are you working on, that we can expect to see in the future?
Performing my own material as BeArte, and writing more soundtracks for film, animation movies, and combining all sorts of visuals within my work.
Collaborations are a big part of my creative makeup. I love to connect with visionary people from media and other backgrounds. Different skill sets and backgrounds offer a massive opportunity to create something bigger, with more impact than one could do as a single person.
How would you like to impact the world?
I would make music, sing and perform and write in such a way which might be like the kiss for the sleeping beauty: it would make people reconnect with their emotions and seeing their own beauty and the beauty of others.
You can find BeArte’s website here, where you can listen to songs and learn more about her.
If you would like to collaborate with the likes of BeArte and many more you can create a project here.