Rozalind MacPhail came into this year’s ECMAs as last year’s Electronic Recording of the Year winner, and was nominated for another year in a row. The multi-talented musician has become one of the world’s most buzzed-about flutists, combining effected flute with recorded, manipulated sounds to create something truly unique. We had the chance to speak with Rozalind about developing her sound, ECMA nomination and her album, Sunset Sunrise. Check it out below!
INTERVIEW WITH ECMA ELECTRONIC RECORDING OF THE YEAR NOMINEE ROZALIND MACPHAIL
You won Electronic Recording of the Year last year. How did that feel?
At first I didn’t believe them, haha! As a classically trained flutist who’s doing looping with silent film, how bizarre is that? I couldn’t believe that all of a sudden they were calling my name, I was so puzzled by it. It took a bit to sink in.
Have you felt a lot of support from the electronic community?
It’s been really cool. Electronic artists are tapping into what I do more and more. They’ve been asking me for sound samples, which is great. AfroDJMac from Brooklyn just created a sample pack of my flute sounds for Ableton Live. I love what he’s done with that, and the community has really embraced it. There’s a place for any kind of electronic artist in our community.
Free Downoad of AfroDJMac’s Ableton “RMac Flute Pack”: http://www.afrodjmac.com/blog/2018/4/25/free-ableton-live-flute-pack
How did you arrive at your sound over the years?
I started with a simple looping pedal, and I was experimenting in combining guitar, voice, and flute. I reached out to one of my favourite flutists of all time – Robert Dick – he’s the Jimmy Hendrix of the flute and creates sounds on our instrument that I’ve never heard before. I told him I’d love to work with his students at New York University and show them what I’m doing with looping. After I did that workshop, I talked to him and he said that he wanted to work with me and asked if I wanted to do a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. So I went to Florida for three weeks, and I met with a bunch of brilliant artists who taught me about different ways to develop my sound.
I like to dabble with electronics in a very different way. For example, I’ll take field recordings and play around with them. I’ll take my flute recordings and drench them in reverb, drench them in delay and manipulate everything so it’s almost like I’m doing sound design. The element that I love about it is that I have a bed of electronics as my duet partner. I perform through Ableton Live and alter the sound of the flute with different kinds of effects. Silent film is projected too.
What’s it like coming into the ECMA Awards as last year’s winner?
It’s an honour to be back. I just feel completely thrilled to be here. It’s awesome to get to showcase. I’m really excited. It’s kind of bittersweet to be here though. Sunset Sunrise Is dedicated to our loved ones who passed away last year.
What’s the inspiration behind Sunset Sunrise?
That’s a heavy question – loss. I had recently lost an aging artist friend and roommate – stained-glass artist, Graham Howcroft. I was trying to come to terms with that. At the same time, I was collaborating with two other electronic artists on this project, Portland’s film composers – Kim Henninger and Shawn Parke, one of which had lost his brother. We were really in a place where we all needed to express our emotions through music. I was living in an apartment that has the most beautiful view of the sunrise over Signal Hill. It was a really messed up time – I was trying to create some kind of healing music for the world. I thought about what I could do in my life to help me keep chilled out, focused and balanced – it’s meditation.
I brought together many elements in this recording – the energizing sunrise, the soothing sunset. I created the flute parts during those moments of the day and used my friend’s apartment to record the flute in. I was recording every day before sunrise and used the sunrise as my soundtrack. Funny that both flute parts in the recording ended up being the first takes. I took inspiration from early Kraftwerk. I was listening to their recordings a lot, especially Ralf und Florian. I also took inspiration from Paul Horn, a flutist who went into all different parts of the world and recorded his flute in amazing places that had natural reverb and delay. There’s one album that he recorded in the Taj Mahal – it’s so mind blowing. With Sunset Sunrise, I wanted everything to be inspired by effected flute and feelings from the heart.
MORE FROM ROZALIND MACPHAIL
Website – www.rozalindmacphail.com
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/rozalindmacphail
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/mysteryflutegirl
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/flutegirl
BandCamp – http://rozalindmacphail.bandcamp.com
Facebook – https://facebook.com/rozalindmacphail
Twitter – https://twitter.com/flutegirl