13th Annual New Age Album Nominee
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Record Label: Anima Sound Productions
Home Base: West Coast Highlands, Scotland
Genre: New Age
Categories Entered: New Age Album
Work Submitted: Light of Aluna
Artists Featured: Anima (Ali Calderwood & Daniela Broder)
Label: Anima Sound Productions
Who are your influences?: Enya, Clannad, Enigma, Oliver Shanti, Margot Reisinger, Nigel Shaw, Banco de Gaia, Hans Zimmer
Describe your nominated work: Light of Aluna weaves together unique sonic tapestries containing combinations of frequencies, vocals, harmonies and soundscapes to sooth the heart and ignite the memory of the Divine Feminine inside us.
Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording?: We used a variety of complex delays and reverbs to enhance the sonic spaces, allowing the listener to feel fully immersed within the depths of the music. Light of Aluna also features ancient shamanic forms of chanting and Mongolian Humi singing (vocal overtoning) as well as Tibetan and crystal singing bowls and various sounds recorded in nature.
Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned?: The vocals on “Peace” were a spontaneous creative improvisation that we recorded one evening while exploring some soundscapes. We could never recapture the original energy in the same way, so the very first improvisation ended up being the final vocal take we used.
How did you raise the funds for this project? How long do you expect it will take to recoup your out-of-pocket recording expenses?: Over the years we’ve gathered the equipment to build our own studio, and are fortunate to have some close friends who all contributed along with an experienced producer who helped with the final mastering. We funded the pressing of the CDs ourselves, which we have now recouped now through sales… we are very happy as we have also donated 10% of our sales to the Tairona Heritage Trust, who support the Kogi Tribe in Columbia. The Trust acts as a political voice for the Kogi and have helped raised money to buy back some of the ancestral lands that were taken from them.
Why did you choose to submit this work to The 13th IMAs?: We felt like we had reached a new plateau with our sound, and would love an opportunity to get our music out further afield. We were very excited to find out we had been nominated.
What’s your definition of success and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?: Success for us is living in a way that really allows the space for inspiration and creativity to flourish in our everyday lives.. doing things that inspire other people and serve to make the world a better place. In many we ways we are already living that dream…. but to have our music reach out further afield would be a great joy for us.
How will you leverage your IMA honors to achieve your career goals?: The possibility of more promotion and more sales would allow us to put more back into our music and the equipment we have to work with. We strive to capture the highest quality of sound, and recently had the opportunity to produce some of our music in high resolution sound (DSD). We would love to be able to fully invest in the equipment required to allow us to continue working in surround sound DSD.
We also have plans to build a new studio as we are presently relocating to the Scottish highlands where we are making our new home. This place is and completely off-grid and only accessible by boat. It is surrounded by forest and water with its own water supply coming from a mountain spring behind the house. Our electricity comes from renewable resources and one of the first projects on our list is to convert one of the old stone outbuildings into our new studio, fully powered by renewable energy coming from water, wind and light.
Who’s sitting in your audience and what makes your fans unique?: We find a real mix of people who are drawn to our music. It especially appeals to those who are drawn towards meditation and the healing arts, and those who are looking to find more peace and calm in their lives. We are very touched by the many times we witness some of audience in tears when the music deeply moves them.
Who are your musical heroes & influences?: We both grew up listening to Enigma, Deep Forest, Banco de Gaia, and in later years people like Nigel Shaw and Sarah Mclauglan. We have a deep appreciation for the work of Hans Zimmer, Oliver Shanti and Margot Reisinger.
Are there any songs you wish you wrote and why?: We enjoy listening to and appreciating the talent and work of other people.
What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans?: We love Madonna’s album Ray of Light and the music by James (the band) from their earlier years.
How do you discover new music? Do you buy music or are you content with streaming?: We actually don’t often go looking for new music, there’s a few artists we really like and stay up to date with their work and current releases, and other than that occasionally we stumble across new releases that we enjoy.
How will musicians make a living if fans continue to expect music to be free? What don’t fans/audiences understand about the music industry today? With all things there needs to be balance to support harmonious relationships. As energy and resources are put into the creation of music, we see that payment for the music is reciprocity – a way of giving back energy to those who have created it. In this way, there is a working cycle, where musicians are supported to keep producing and creating the music, to be able to buy the equipment we need and what we require to live. People need to understand this, as ultimately it’s about us all supporting one another.
If we look at the state of the world we live in today, this imbalanced dynamic is witnessed in so many ways in so many places. It’s not difficult to see what a lack of reciprocity and the consequential imbalance creates. Ultimately it’s up to each one of us individually to be responsible for what we have taken and to honor it appropriately.
Are digital singles/EPs vs. full albums the future?: We released an EP in the summer last year and plan to release a full album in the next few months. So from our perspective, both have their place.
Finish this sentence: The music industry is…an incredible vehicle for getting music out into the world, though as with anything, we have to have integrity and stay true and not compromise on what is important to each of us as artists.
What do you have in the works for the upcoming year?: We have just completed a big project commissioned by a company in Japan, who asked us to reproduce a selection of our original music in surround sound high resolution audio (5.1 DSD and SACD). We were so blown away by the experience of working in DSD, we plan to record our forthcoming album, ‘Sacred Alliance’ in the same format. This will then be made available in multiple formats of high resolution DSD, FLAC, CD and MP3. We are also in the process of rerecording and re-recording our “Temple of the Heart” album and have plans for a new acoustic album, to begin later in the year