Chandeen are Harald Loewy, Julia Beyer and Mike Brown. Kalinkaland records is owned and founded by Harald as well as being the home for Chandeen. We are all together inside the Germany based eponymous Kalinkaland (which reminds me of a video game title) discussing their latest work, Teenage Poetry. Outside my window there are wonderful green pastures with a few roaming goats...
MFM: Dreaming A Thousand Dreams is quite amazing. The first two minutes are unbelievably placid, those tiny nuances are so profound. The first note sounds so very much like Song to the Siren, was that a deliberate attempt to test your listeners ears?
Harald: Thanks. Well, This Mortal Coil was and is always an influence for my musical output. I have enjoyed all releases since many years and probably, this is something which you can hear in Chandeen’s music.
MFM: The album's title Teenage Poetry is quite illustrative of the lyrics, however the emotion is very mature. I don't suppose this is meant to convey to the world that one must never let go of that magical feeling of youth and childhood?
Julia: The main subject of the album was the idea of Harald, and I tried to transfer and treat this subject as good as possible in my lyrics. It's a very complex subject with a lot of facets. Try to imagine a teenager - full of life, hopes and strength. Usually, you don't think too much about your future or even about being old when you are in your teens. But what if? This is the questions that we posed to ourselves. And the lyrics on Teenage Poetry followed from this.
MFM: I would like to specifically address some of the tracks in detail. But first, do you appreciate the comparison to This Mortal Coil? There is more than one track that reminds me of the groundbreaking musical project.
Harald: Of course, I do appreciate this. We are living in a very complex world and everyone is always influenced in all life-situations. I think the difference between a musician and the “normal” people is just, that the musician can show his influences within his music. It’s not that kind of secret.
MFM: From The Inside is stunningly gorgeous. Florian Walther's guitar meshed with heavy synth leaves the listener wanting more. However melancholic the lyrics may be, the music is hopeful and 'peace-approaching.' Was this your intention when creating those wonderful instrumental moments?
Harald: It was and it is the style of Chandeen to create beautiful landscapes. We are romantics, we love the epic and the silent moments of life. Regarding From The Inside: In a very early progress I had this soundscape and contrast of Florian’s guitar and Mike's synthesizers in mind which we created a month later in the studio. So yes, I think it’s beautiful.
MFM: New Colouring Horizon again has many nuances, you do not really notice them at first though. The crescendos carry a few delicate and pretty piano notes, however you have to be intently listening to hear the beauty of them. When you create these subtleties in your pieces, are you aware that some will not really 'hear' them?
Harald: Thanks, that’s another nice compliment. You know what, even after 15 years I still discover new things at the music of This Mortal Coil. Yes, I am aware that those little pieces are not to be noticed when you just listen to that album one time. We wanna create epic and detailed music, we have a vision of the whole mood and the whole art and this contains also some very little specials, piano notes or very quite parts like the end of Looking Forward, Looking Back. That’s the soundworlds of Chandeen.
MFM: The segway into Welcome the Still reminds one of a foghorn, a kind of spiritual interlude. Is this an accurate interpretation?
Harald: It’s an interpretation, I like or it’s Julia, singing between the tress of Lothlórien…..
MFM: At the End of All Days and The Sentiments of An Old Love Story contain various samples. Were these all taken from films?
Harald: This is something which we created in a very silent and concentrated situation. They support the feel of Teenage Poetry, the feel and the meaning.
MFM: Tomorrow features the voice of Anji Bee. It is a song that sounds almost gospel. Was this planned?
Harald: It was a cool thing to work on this song, to create a wide, spacey world behind the whole song. All these effects were created with Mikes own and self built synthesizer and again it’s the contrasts which is the charming moment of the song and always a challenge to create. Anji’s voice is so beautiful and it fits perfectly to the whole album.
MFM: Hearing your album sort of reignites the notion that music can still be something that is revered. What musicians inspire you, past or present?
Julia: As for my part, I think that music mostly inspires you only in a subconscious way. But if I have to name some artists, I guess these would be Tori Amos and Martin Gore. Tori teached me to bring more emotionality to my voice, and Martin how to write vocal melodies.
Harald: As I said, I am influenced by quite a lot of music. Pink Floyd, Dead Can Dance, or The Lord Of The Rings soundtracks, or Arvo Pärt, or Steve Roach, This Mortal Coil, probably also Nirvana and the Cocteau Twins.
MFM: Do you follow any certain faith?
Julia: To be honest - no. I was raised with the Christian belief, but I don't think that we need to go to church or decide for ourselves on one certain faith to be better humans. I believe that there's a major force out there and many things we can't understand, but in the end this is not what defines us as a human. Faith helps many people in difficult times, but it's also responsible for some of the most cruel wars in history. I think it's love we should believe in.
Harald: I have not finally decided about my faith, but I believe in Yoda and Gandalf.
MFM: The song Welcome the Still, seems to be the commercially
accessible track. Would you agree?
Julia: Yes, I think you could say so. It's the most accessible track because it's harmonies are more or less quite simple and easy to remember. It's melody is very open and the structure quite traditional, you could say.
MFM: In 1998 Chandeen experienced some commercial success with the video for Skywalking which was played on MTV among others. Did this give the band more financial freedom?
Harald: Completely no! It just gave us an imagination about the pressure in that kind of music business. We enjoyed that time, because it was an exciting moment. But when I regard just the musical thing, the art as itself I think, beside Jutland, the best Chandeen albums were created long after that time.
MFM: Will the next Chandeen album continue on the same path and have you ever contemplated recording a strictly instrumental album that would mirror Chandeen's current sound?
Harald: This is something I have in mind since many years and probably I will do that sooner or later. I also have ideas for a new Chandeen album, we will see when we have the chance to work on a Teenage Poetry follow up.
Thank you to Julia and Harald. xoxo