Recently we sent Chelsea D from The New Thing (Monday 9pm) on a round the world trip to get to know some of our upcoming Global Rhythms artists ! Next stop the Miriam Lieberman Trio !
Hi Miriam, how would you describe 2016 for you so far?
I would say may 2016 has been an inspiring one so far. I started off playing with my trio at Woodford Folk Festival which has to be one of my all-time favourite festivals. It’s a real buzz to begin the year there. And I also decided that I really wanted to make a new album this year. Around that time I started writing new songs and knew with the right time that I could put into it, I could complete a whole album worth of songs. But I didn’t have the money to do it and so with the encouragement of some very dear friend, filmmakers, I decided to venture into doing a crowd-funded campaign, which was very successful. And I have been recording the new album and also finishing off some studying to be able to have the right pieces of paper to be able to teach music. And I have been also teaching music in Arnhem Land and also in Indonesia where I am right now.
You released your fourth album Birds of the Moon almost 2 years ago, how do you feel about that project looking back on it?
Yeah, so Birds of the Moon was released in 2014 and I think it was a real turning point album for me, because before that I think my style was very much directed towards recreating a West African kind of vibe because that’s being one of my greatest inspirations in music and in terms of rhythms and instruments. But the album Birds of the Moon felt like it was a turning point also because it was when I began actually writing my own music on Kora. The new album is really a development of that because most of the songs are written on Kora and in all different keys and tunings and so it was really the beginning of becoming more adventurous and moving more strongly into my own style of playing.
You have announced that you have almost completed your fifth album, can you tell us a bit about how the process of creating this album has been?
So yeah, the new album is almost completed, all the parts have been recorded and all the songs have been written and it is currently of the stages of final mixing and it’ll go on then to being mastered. We will be launching it on the 27th of October, which is exciting indeed, launching it at the Camelot Lounge and then we begin a tour to various places and states around the country!
Are there any particular musical inspirations that have affected the direction of this album?
In terms of inspirations for the new album “Full Circle” I would say that West African music is still a big inspiration for me in terms of rhythms and fields and of course writing on the Kora but also just the art of telling a story in a song which I think is a very powerful thing to try and do. Hopefully successfully sometimes… And also I guess I’ve been listening to people like Gregory Allan Isakov, he is a new favourite of mine, and then Paul Simon and also any music that really feels like it transforms my emotional state. Because I believe that music really has that ability and I think it’s not really about how you get there but if you can move people with your music then you know you’re doing something right.
You ran a hugely successful Pozible campaign to fund this album, can you tell us a bit about your experience with crowd-funding?
I feel an immense amount of gratitude that this new album “Full Circle” was completely 100% funded by people that wanted to hear the music and believed in it and believed in me and that I could come through with the goods, come through with ten new songs and recording that they were going to enjoy. It was a challenging time doing a crowd-funding campaign even though I was told that it would be a lot of work, when I was in there it really was a lot of work and I was constantly on social media and emailing people and talking to people about it and thinking of innovative ways to get people to notice of what I was trying to do and also to make sure that people knew how much I appreciated when they did pledge. It’s very very exciting because not only it did give me the money I didn’t have to record the album but it also gave me this sense that all these people were, some of them are part of my community and close friends and others are people that I haven’t even met and this feeling that all of these people were quietly supporting me in doing something that I feel passionate about. I feel so really blessed to be able to be a musician and to be able to write music and share it with others!
When can we expect the new album to surface?
So, “Full Circle”, the new album, is going to be out on 27th of October, which is not very far away. There is a lot to do between now and then but we’re going to be launching it at Camelot Lounge, it’s a Thursday night and then we’re going to the Blue Mountains and then we’re up far northern New South Wales, Brisbane and then Victoria, the ACT, etc. etc. So yeah, it’s gonna be a busy time but we’re looking forward to sharing that work with everyone that wants to hear it!
Finally, what can the lucky people who are attending Global Rhythms expect from your performance?
What can people expect from our gig at Global Rhythms? Well, I’ll be playing a lot of songs on the Kora, the West African harp and also guitar. I’ll probably throw in a few songs from the new album because it’s getting close. And I’ll be playing with two dear friends who are extremely talented musicians: Lara Goodridge, who also played with FourPlay and Baby et Lulu, she is an exceptional violinist and vocalist and Kate Adams who’s been playing with me forever, she’s a beautiful cellist and also vocalist. So yes, three women playing strings. Africa meets Australia meets a few other places. It should be a lot of fun!
Be sure to catch the Miriam Lieberman Trio at Global Rhythms on Sunday the 25th of September at Bicentennial Park Glebe from 12pm