INTERVIEW WITH KIM SHEEHAN / SECOND MOON OF WINTER

tweety stuff @ronanfromcork

first published in @The Evening Echo 2015-02-5

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Text below photo of article

Second Moon Of Winter Article

‘Second Moon Of Winter’ a trio made up of  Kim Sheehan along with her husband Tom Hodge and brother Ari Sheehan, are gearing up for the release of their debut album ‘One for Sorrow, Two For Joy’ this month on Denovali Records, an independent German label. Reflecting on what led the three of them to working together on this particular project, Kim feels that this was a natural time for them to start sharing ideas, “each of us have had completely different musical journeys and spent much time together socially over the years. We naturally appreciated and supported each others musical endeavours and when Tom and I built our studio in Myrtleville, where we also live, it felt natural to collaborate with Ari, as he lives close by in Crosshaven.”

All three have pursued careers in music that have led them all over the globe, Kim sees all of these experiences feeding into the music ‘Second Moon Of Winter’ make, “our past musical experiences include composition, blues, rock, opera, folk and experimental styles. Each member brings an equal but completely different viewpoint to the project. Aaron plays guitar, I sing and Tom plays clarinet.”

A crucial point for the band is that despite starting in a studio environment they choose to not rely on certain studio trickery, Kim continued, “it is a completely live set-up with no electronic computer generation. We all feed through loops and analog pedals for a very real raw experience. In terms of writing, the project is improvisation based, one will bring a motif and the rest will improvise around it with their particular style. There are no limitations in the studio, anything goes and nothing is better than the next, all is equally valid. We encourage each other to be as creative as possible as we know each other so well we know what we are capable of, we are always pushing the sonic boundaries as far as it can go.”

Kim and rest of Second Moon Of Winter’s attitude to performance is a very clear one, “we think of playing live and recording as interchangeable. We invest a majority of our time in our pedal and loop set-ups because this is where the experimentation in our improvisations happen. For instance I work with various microphones for different vocal effects and these take a while to get right.”

They decided to make ‘One For Sorrow, Two For Joy’ in a series of scheduled sessions that would last just 4 hours, and for which they put various items around themselves on the studio’s floor which influenced how they played, Kim explained the thinking behind both those decisions, “we each have hectic schedules and it was a necessity to put time aside so we could have the space to delve into our collaborative projects. More interestingly, there is a freedom to be found in committing to a structured creative environment in which immersion meets the edge of your purpose, which is to write music. Each track is completely different but all use the same improvisational process. The objects strewn on the floor were conceptual ideas to pick and choose from. We each came with open minds and brought many ideas to the room, some inspired by photos and memories and past musical experiences, with no expectation as to what might come out.”

The interaction between the different styles of music was something all three were very conscious of  as Kim explained “in a way one genre influenced and spoke to the other, cross contamination if you will. The folkloric element was fundamentally innate and was an improvisational result, and through years of Opera study and performance it also felt innate. It was however, important to maintain the integral base of each genre, Second Moon Of Winter is at the core grounded in very real learned musical techniques but treated with interpretation, imagination and improvisation, from the wildest vocal outcry, to the appreciation of silence, to the mist of a memory. We live the music as much as we instinctually create it.”

As all three are working musicians their commitment to this project was in many ways a very personal one, as Kim summed up who they created the music for,  “I think every musician tries to write music that demands to be listened to. We tried to draw out a reactionary process to our improvisations, we wrote specifically for ourselves and without the outside world in mind. Our hope is that the people who will like this album are the people for whom it is written.”

Second Moon Of Winter play Crowley’s Musician Centre upstairs @ The Oliver Plunkett on Thursday 18 February to launch their album. Admission is €7 before 10pm / €10 after, with support from Irene Buckley.

Their music can be heard via http://www.denovali.com or http://denovali.com/secondmoonofwinter/

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