PA2013 Interview #4



body lyre

Rhydian Thomas: Vocals, Harmonica, Guitar, Brass, and Sampling
Angus Winter: Guitar
Callum Gay: Drums, Percussion
Kalem O’Brian: Bass

Hannah McDougall talks with musician Rhydian Thomas,  from The Body Lyre, about their performance in The Live Music Series, featured in the Performance Arcade 2013. Their distinct sound is a broody swirling of weather patterns that can only come from a city like Wellington.

So there is a huge array of instruments involved! How does that affect your sound?

RT: Yeah, when we record it’s definitely all about texture: overdoing, re-doing, and mixing it all up. There are moments where you can pick out individual elements and moments where it all mixes together. I like the process of recording where you treat the studio like another instrument itself.  When we record and when we play live are two different things. When we play live, we try to capture as much of the recording that we can.

What’s the process when you have to convert your music into a live set?

RT: Well this is a big cabinet. It’s actually what I used to study at Vic. So you know rock music in the 50’s… Elvis Presley’s recordings where the first where the recording was not aimed to replicate any form of live set.  Recording in the studio became a new form of art in itself. In any song the recording is the work to begin with, the live set is always a re-interpretation of that. Something as simple as a beat will change the entire genre of the song sometimes.

And when you perform live there is a new aspect added, which is the audience.

RT: I try and pretend they aren’t there! You know the performance is for the audience, but I don’t want it to be a specific experience for them, or too performative. You know there is that sort of overly slick, rehearsed live thing- “How are you guys going tonight?!”- I’ve just never done that. I’d probably prefer to perform in the dark!

What are your intentions for the Arcade?

RT: I’ve been to the Arcade the last couple of years and I really enjoy the fact it’s a place that doesn’t rely on bar money to pay for the job. It’s a place where you’re actively encouraged to do strange things, interesting things, where you don’t have to be overly practised and polished- so we can treat it as an opportunity to focus on the sound. It’s a chance to incorporate new elements to what we are doing, perform new songs, and a fresh set list.

The Body Lyre will be performing on Saturday the 16th of February from 2pm in The Afternoon Music Series in The Performance Arcade 2013 on Wellington waterfront.


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