‘Organic, Meditative, Spacious’ | Interview with Alighted

Alighted returns with the new 3 track EP titled Fold containing an exciting remix by UK electronic duo Plaid. The result is for the ones looking for melodic driven, atmospheric, dreamy electronika.  Read our discussion with the artist below.

Describe your sound in 3 words

Organic, Meditative, Spacious

Tell us a few things about your upcoming EP Fold. What is the main idea behind it?

It’s funny… When I reflect upon the process of creating this release, the main idea that comes to mind is, perhaps, the lack of a main idea. Delivering my first EP, Resurfaced, earlier this year was a deeply personal and emotional experience following a serious health scare. By the time I started working on Fold, I was so eager to create without the specter of fear looming over my shoulder that I really didn’t give much thought to the main idea. I simply sat down and started recording. What I wasn’t aware of at the time was how much I would grow from this process of purposeless creation. I was rewarded with a new skill that I desperately needed—learning to be comfortable in the playground of the unknown.

What if you collaborate with a producer to remix your work but you think that the end result does not respect your original idea? How would you deal with such a situation?

Personally, I love when a remixer “disrespects” the original idea and takes the music somewhere entirely new and different. In some ways, Plaid did this with their remix of “Fold” although I would obviously not call it disrespectful. They heard something in the original that transported them to a particular space and they realized that space in the way that only Plaid knows how to do. The resulting remix is truly special and unique. I can understand feeling protective of an idea, especially when collaborators are involved, but sometimes the best ideas come from surrendering control and allowing others to follow their own inspiration wherever it might take them.

What moment in your career are you proudest of?

The entire year (2021) was full of milestones for me—everything from starting my own record label (Garden Broom Recordings) to hearing my music played on BBC Radio 6. In retrospect, the moments in my career that I cherish the most are the ones that I shared with others. For example, I am a part of an experimental music project with a singer (Mana Contractor) called NMND. We played our first show at the historic Troubadour in Los Angeles almost two years ago. I will never forget the feeling of hearing our first EP going off through the sound system at the venue. It shook both of us to the core! These are the kinds of moments that are the most important to me, and when I feel the most pride in what I do.

If you had to choose one Synthesizer (analog or digital) which one would it be?

The GR-1 Granular Synthesizer by Tasty Chips Electronics. I searched for a hardware granular synthesizer for a long time before I finally found the GR-1 and fell in love with it. It’s capable of generating tremendous soundscapes, dense textures, and lush pads from any source material you feed it. Did I mention you can also process incoming audio in real-time?

When it comes to live performance, is Electronika realistically a genre that can be performed live?

Definitely although it depends in some part on your definition of live performance. Artists like Plaid are so good at translating the studio to the stage, which is really the biggest obstacle to overcome when performing electronic music live. Computers and instruments have come a long way. You can realistically create a compelling set using nothing more than a laptop and a MIDI controller.

Does it scare you that the average listener might listen to your production driven music in very low quality internal laptop speakers?

I used to shake my head at the state of listening in the world but I feel at peace with the notion that most people will hear my music on an average system. The quality of the average listener’s experience is less important than I used to think, too. That’s not to say that I don’t find great enjoyment in obsessing over the tiniest details of sound in my music, but I know that if I do my job right a great production will only serve as the vessel for an even greater song, which is often independent of production quality.

You have a Master of Fine Arts in Music Technology at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Is songwriting a talent or a skill?

Both come in handy when it comes to songwriting but they are by no means the whole picture. Most songwriters, composers, performers, etc., will probably tell you that the hardest part of the creative process is learning how to get out of your own way. Talent might yield more opportunities and a degree might make you more skillful but it takes practice and self-awareness to overcome the self and unlock creativity as a state of being.

What should we expect from you in the near future?

The new year (2022) is poised to be a busy and exciting one. I’m currently working on my first album. NMND, the experimental music project I’m a part of, is working on a new EP. Last but not least, I’m producing music for several network television shows that will air in the spring. Keep your ears open!

Thank you!

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