Sometimes music just finds an echo on all levels necessary for the listener to relentlessly fall for it, strikes a chord in such an engagingly effortless manner that you can't help but be completely captivated by its charmingly genuine, emotionally gripping essence - and what a marvellous experience that is!
In its early stage already, 'Bread Alone' had this hauntingly yearning, sincerely stirring sentiment about it, hard to shake, one you all too willingly indulge in as it radiates soothing warmth and wistful gravity so beautifully intertwined that you feel the pensive longing, the heartfelt desire for something meaningful to aspire, immediately. (this is at least how Lorne's poignant debut single has been perceived here)
And though the song speaks for itself, carpe carmina was still curious to learn a bit more about its stunning piano-string-combo, its lyrical references and, of course, the singer/songwriter's outlook on what is next.
Some of your listeners are familiar with an early version of debut single 'Bread Alone'. Did this make you choose it to stand alone as a pretaste, so to speak, of your forthcoming EP or were there other reasons that influenced your decision?
Yes, I released a home demo version of 'Bread Alone' a couple of years ago, so it felt good to finally finish off the song properly. I worked with record producer Greg Freeman on the EP and we decided to choose 'Bread Alone' as the single.
When comparing the title of your EP 'Maze' (due to be released in May 2017) and the lyrical content of 'Bread Alone', one can't help but notice that both share a feel of being lost and wistful, the first embodying hopelessness after going astray, the latter calling to take risks to find how fulfilling life can be after shaking off one's complacency. Is it a theme you were going for in terms of all songs featured on your extended release?
I chose 'Maze' for the title of the EP as the songs are linked by a theme of loss and searching. I like the analogy of a maze, where you reach a dead end and there are no signs to show you the way. 'BreadAlone' is about loss, but also about looking forward, taking chances and seizing the day. I wrote the EP during a time in my life when everything felt like a bit of a maze and this is probably reflected in all of the songs on the EP.
Your artist name 'Lorne', read as a derivation of 'forlorn', indicates prevailing despair and abandoning hope, which is temporarily palpable in 'Bread Alone' when looking at the lyrics. How is this feeling though picked up on the instrumental level of the composition?
In terms of the arrangement, I played with a few different ideas before settling on voice, piano, cello and violin. In the home demo version, it was just voice and piano and I felt this left plenty of space for the emotion and message of the song. I was lucky to work with string player Yoed Nir in New York, who recorded cello and violin for 'Bread Alone'. I think the string parts compliment the song nicely and help to create the atmosphere that I was trying to capture for the song.
And to what extent is the song's rather dark, dismal mood consistent with the still vibrant sense of hope for new, promising (yet hazardous) beginnings if only days are seized and lived to their full potential; a message that is conveyed in the lyrics of 'Bread Alone' too?
I like songs that contain both darkness and light. In particular, I like songs that start out in a dark place and move on to a lighter place. I think in this way you can change a listener's mood and offer some hope.
If carpe carmina remembers correctly the preview of the music video for 'Bread Alone' combined darkness and light in terms of cinematic effects and atmosphere well, while keeping it rather low-key on the storytelling side, focusing on the vocal and instrumental performance instead. Something similar can be said about the arrangement of the single itself, which highlights your voice and therefore the song's narration, but showcases a minimalist however haunting soundscape. Does this mean you want your music and its characteristics to be mirrored in their visual adaption or is this just a coincidence? And what do you aim at when coming up with music videos for your singles in general?
Gonçalo Almeida was the mastermind behind the music video for 'Bread Alone'. We decided to shoot at night and use streetlights to capture the right atmosphere for the video. The video is essentially a dream bookended by a shot of me sleeping and the shots of Elsa Petit dancing are a part of that dream. The idea was to choose visuals that both reflected and developed the original concept to make the song as powerful as possible.
Can 'Bread Alone' be seen as a personal reflection on or observation of society‘s current complacency, idleness even, of people who settle for how things are and don’t try to make their lives more meaningful? Or is it more of a critical approach, trying to open people’s eyes about their lives and to encourage them to reach for something more? '
'Bread Alone' is about a number of hopes and fears. It is both a personal reflection and perhaps speaks a message that other people can relate to in their own lives. In a nutshell, I wanted to convey that time is precious.
Let’s move on from the meaning and ideas behind 'Bread Alone', and talk about the recording of it. Why did you record vocals and piano segments in London and the string arrangement in New York? What difference does it make to involve other musicians, such as Yoed Nir on cello, in your creative process compared to making music on your own?
The piano and vocal were recorded by Daniel Moyler at The Pool Recording Studio in London. The string parts were arranged by Samuel Rowe in London and recorded by Yoed Nir in New York. For me, working with other musicians is an experimental process. It is normally a question of trying different ideas before finding one that works best for the song. In the case of 'Bread Alone' the challenge was to use enough string parts to add warmth, but not too many that they occupied too much space in the arrangement.
What can you tell us about the other songs on 'Maze' and what is planned to promote the EP?
The other songs on the EP are 'Cocoon', 'Oil and Water' and 'Navigate'. I previously released a home demo version of 'Cocoon', so I am looking forward to releasing the full version. In contrast to 'Bread Alone', the arrangements for the other songs are fuller and include backing vocals, electronic samples, synthesizers, bass and a mix of acoustic and electronic drums. Greg is a creative drummer, so it really helped me to work with someone who could help with the rhythmic elements. As a singer/songwriter, my focus has always been on the lyrics, melodies and chords.
To wrap things up, this is a question all artists giving an interview on carpe carmina are asked: What is it that you like most about carpe carmina?
Good question... It is obvious that carpe carmina always take the time to listen to music and tailor questions to new artists and bands. Many blogs are about volume, so it is good to find a blog that invests time into each review.
Reach out & listen to Lorne on ...
.. twitter ...
.. facebook ...
.. soundcloud ...
And watch his live session videos as well as his music video on here.
Thanks a lot for the interview, Nick, this has been indeed a long time in the making.