I am proud to present our first SSR interview for 2006 with the extremely talented Irene Orleansky.A
truly cosmopolitan artist (she is Russian born and lives in Isreal),Irene effortlessly blends world motifs,new age movements,and
even manages to garner a hit in the Isreali Club Cicurt with her new CD "Live the Music". Irene takes a little of her precious
time and sets it aside to answer a few questions.
SSR: Thank you for taking
time to answer some questions for me! You are my 1st interview for 2006 and I am honored and thrilled. You have been very
busy since the release of "Live the Music" (which I love,by the way).Tell me about the impact that the album has had on your
Irene: Thank you, Juan! I’m glad you like my album! People like my album, and some even
purchase it. It encourages me to go on with music. On the other hand, recording the album taught me a lot, and now I know
what are the things I’d like to improve in the future.
SSR The album was recorded via internet
in 3 different countries (Russia,Israel,Spain).What challenges did this environment bring to you?What advantages?
Not all the recording was done over the Internet. Some tracks were recorded at Kirill's studio Music Brothers Records in Moscow
where I came especially for the recording sessions. But most of the tracks each one recorded at his own place. Kirill in his
studio in Moscow, Guillermo at his home in Barcelona, Asi at this home in Tel Aviv, and I - in the bedroom of my apartment
in Kfar Saba. The only disadvantage of recording over the Internet is in mixing, when you have to send and resend the files
to one another. In all the other aspects, it’s pretty much the same as recording at a studio together, but only if there
is good chemistry among the musicians.
SSR: How long have you been collaborating with Kirill, Asi,
and Guillermo? What do they each bring out in you as an artist?
Irene: Each one is a different story and I
can talk for hours about these guys.
I have been playing with Kirill for, let me count, 18 years, since we were really
young. We played in a band together in Moscow. He was a singer and I was a bass player. We have great chemistry and similar
musical tastes. Kirill is a fantastic sound designer and I owe him my sound. He is also a very demanding producer, and his
high standards force me to become better and better. I remember that I had a nightmare after I had finished recording the
CD. In my dream, I arrived in Moscow and Kirill was waiting for me at the airport. I told him cheerfully “I’m
so glad the recording is over! Now we can have a great time in Moscow, see all the friends!” On what he cut strictly
“What do you mean the recording is over? You will have to sing all the vocal tracks again. Professionals don’t
sing like that!” It’s just a funny dream, but it is really “Kirillish”, indeed. Kirill also encourages
me a lot, and he was the one who made me believe that I’m capable of singing many years ago. Another great quality of
Kirill is that he is ready to listen to any crazy idea of mine, he will never reject it until he gives it a try. Therefore
I feel really free with him.
Asi is the person who took me into the world of club music, and I am really grateful to
him for that. The story with Asi started really prosaically. When my CD was almost over, I gave it to a friend of mine, Jaan,
to listen. He listened to it and said “It sounds great, but why don’t you make it more modern? You have great
dj’s in Israel, why don’t you make a club remix of one of the songs?” First I rejected the idea. What do
I have to do with dj’s? But then, after thinking for a while I thought why not? I’m not that old. So another friend
of mine, Sagi, got the phone numbers of three famous dj’s, I contacted them all, and to my surprise they all agreed
to make a remix for me. So I only had to choose the best. And I chose Asi. The result – a nice house remix of my song
“Dance With The Music Of Your Heart” which is played in the most popular clubs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
with Guillermo was a wonderful experience. We have never seen each other and contacted only through emails. Recording with
Guillermo was really magical. We didn’t have to talk much or discuss what’s it going to be like. We contacted
on “cosmic” level. So, Guillermo took me to some new, previously unknown to me, heights.
Here I would also
like to mention another person who didn’t really participate in the recording but is also a part of my album. That’s
Don Schiff, who was generous enough to let us cover his wonderful song “Deep Within My Soul”.
In addition to being an excellent Stickist and vocalist with an innate ability to hear the melody and harmony hidden in every
musical passage, you appear to be an accomplished poet. Your lyrics are not the usual "rhyme for the sake of rhyming" banter
that clouds so many songs today. Is this a conscience effort, or do you just "let it flow"? How do you approach your song
Irene: Each of my songs is a real story, sometimes a very intimate one. So I write songs
only when I am in the right mood to share my deep intimate feelings with the world. When such a moment arrives, everything
flows naturally and simultaneously – lyrics, melodies, rhythms, sounds.
SSR:Tell us a
little about your signal chain both live and in the studio.
Irene: Recording the CD, I played the melody side
of the Stick mostly directly into the sound card of the computer and later processed the sound with Guitar Rig, other VST
effects or hardware effects. In some of the solos, I played through Digitech 2120 preamp processor. I recorded the bass side
with the microphone through SWR Workingman’s combo.
As for playing live, I don’t use much gear. It’s
not that I wouldn’t like to, but that’s what I have. I play the Stick through Ableton Live program that I run
on my PowerBook laptop. I use Ableton Live to loop the Stick and to process the sound with Ableton’s built-in effects,
Guitar Rig and Korg Legacy Collection.
SSR: Word has it that here is a new "project" on the horizon
for you. What is it and tell us a little about it.
Irene: That’s true. I’m working on the venture
of our label Music Brothers Records that I called Artists Pro Artists. I had the idea of such a venture after a few of my
musician-friends told me that they have difficulties selling their CD’s online in their countries. So the idea of the
project is very simple: a group of artists sell their CD’s and iTunes from Music Brothers Records website and receive
all the money from CD sales. Every artist participating in the project also does his best to promote the project and its artists
in his or her country. That’s why I called the project Artists Pro Artists. There are some really great artists who
have joined the venture – the fantastic Russian guitarist Dmitry Chetvergov, one of my favorite musicians the Japanese
Shugo Tokumaru, amazing guitarists Uri Bracha from Israel and Konstantine Baranov from the USA, the stickists John Edmonds,
Virna Splendore, Diego Souto, Toshiaki Kanamaru. And there are already some musical editions and radio stations that are willing
to promote the project. I hope there will be more great artists and promoters who will join us. So if there is someone who
wants to join the project as an artist or as a promoter, please contact me at email@example.com I’m going
to launch the project somewhere in the middle of May.
SSR: What's next for you? Any plans on coming
to the US?
Irene: First, I have to complete some tasks at hand. I'm working on three tracks now. One is the
remake of the Door's Riders On The Storm Kirill and I are working on. The other two are the tracks I'm working on together
with the Israeli electronic musician Fon. One is the ambient remix of one of my songs, another is his trance track on which
I am singing. I also have to launch the Artist Pro Artists venture about which I told you before and prepare the materials
for the Russian magazine Music Box in which I have a column dedicated to the Chapman Stick. I write articles about the Stick
there and interview Stick players. For the next issue I'm preparing an interview with Don Schiff, in the previous issues I
interviewed Emmett Chapman and Guillermo Cides. Music Box will publish some of these materials online soon, also the English
After I finish with all that, I'm planning to do more recordings.We are discussing recording the album of Don
Schiff's unreleased songs together. Virna Splendore and I are also thinking of recording some tunes. I've also started putting
a band together for playing gigs. There are going to be a drummer/percussionist, back vocalists and a dancer in it, and myself
with the Stick and vocals, of course.
Certainly, I would like to come to the United States, especially since I have so
many friends there, both Stick and "Teflon". I'll try to come as soon as possible.
It was a great pleasure to answer
your interview questions, Juan. I really love your Strada Sphere Radio podcasts! Thanks for the great work you do! I'd also
like to use the opportunity to thank all those who listen to my music and buy my CD! And also thanks to all those who sent
me mails with all those kind words about my CD! I really appreciate your support and encouragement!
SSR:Thanx Irene! I appreciate this!
Irene's "Toy Bin"
Polycarbonate Chapman Stick
PowerBook Apple computer
Programs: Ableton Live, Guitar Rig, Korg Legacy Collection
Behringer FCB 1010 MIDI foot controller
SWR Workingman's Combo