fictionalize you life

We can go wherever we please and everything depends upon how near you stand to me

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interviews, conversations

Elle a enregistré son album avec deux amis (dont un membre de Tunng) mais c’est seule sur scène que Serafina chante des moments de la vie à moitié pleins ou à moitié vides, selon le point de vue.

Accompagnée d’un clavier et d’une mini-harpe joliment retenue par un foulard noué à l’épaule, entre une reprise de Brian Eno (By This River) et une autre de Morrissey (Suedehead), la jeune anglaise bohème trouve la distance juste entre gravité et fantaisie. En quelques mots habilement choisis elle esquisse des croquis dont les personnages sont souvent des animaux, pour mieux parler des hommes, les plus étranges des créatures. Ne pas trop en dire, laisser libre l’interprétation de ses chansons. Partager un instant une même émotion.

static caravan recordings

Your album’s called « Cheap Demo Bad Science » but it’s certainly not a cheap demo…

Well, it kind of was… I was living in a squat when I made it. I didn’t spend any money on the recording. A friend of mine, Capitol K had set up a studio. He worked with Mike (from Tunng) when he had free studio time.

But also it ’s a pun on « a demo » as in a political march, a cheap rally, a badly organized political movement.

Your Wikipedia article says you’ve worked with Ravi Shankar.

Actually apart from that Ravi Shankar fact the wikipedia is amazingly innacurate. I don’t know who wrote it.

It was a collaborative project between six English musicians and his band of musicians. He wasn’t playing. He would sing musical lines… It was not really group improvisation. He composed the music and there was this small ensemble under his guidance making a piece.

The song Peach Heart seems to have different layers in it. Were you inspired somewhat by Indian philosophy?

It’s always a collection of different things that inspire me. I wasn’t thinking of Indian philosophy. It was… I don’t know… an accident.

I think some of the song lyrics sound a bit like Ivor Cutler.

I really respect him. That quality of leaving things open enough to be evocative. It’s something that I try to do.

Let’s talk about the Tiger song. William Blake and Rudyard Kipling wrote about tigers.

I suppose it’s an archetypal thing. Such a strong, powerful animal being in captivity. It’s a kind of cartoon character, like when you keep making animals like humans. It’s also about that quality of domesticating animals and then they couldn’t go back into the wild.

That song was a breakup song. It’s about that quality of being in a safe relationship. You’re like quite married, you go to dinner together and suddenly you’re single. You feel really wild and out of control but it’s better than being in the wrong place.

How come your brother directed the video for Tiger?

My brother is an animator. He’s quite special ! He makes these crazy models… I made an ep to go to Japan with Capitol K, with Seb Rochford who’s a drummer and Sarah who plays clarinet and my brother made another animation for that which is really amazing.

When did you see a harp for the first time?

I was about nine, maybe younger when I first saw it. I was a little girl and I just liked the way it looked. My father wrote a piece for a choir and it had a harp in so I saw it there. And my Mum designed costumes for theatre and an opera and I saw it in the pit in rehearsals. I liked it. I don’t know why.

Do you have a large record collection?

I’m a bit of a victim of iTunes. I’ve got loads and loads and loads of songs and sometimes I don’t even who it’s by. I’m embarrassed at that.

Also a lot of music I listen to, I didn’t know it when it was famous or contemporary so I’m not very good at the chronology of albums. I don’t know where David Bowie was living when he made Low or things like that so… I do, but it’s not records.

What’s the noisiest group in your collection?

Turangalîla-Symphonie, by Olivier Messiaen.

What’s the quiestest record?

I do like Unanswered Question (Charles Ives). And I really like a track called Arizona by The Chap.

Why do you cover Suedehead and not another Morrissey song?

It ’s a really lovely song. My brother plays the banjo. He was going to cover it and then I did it! But it sounds really good on the banjo too.

That song connects with people. It’s everyone’s favourite Morrissey song. I think it’s really nicely universal.

Who’s your favourite monster?

The rock walls that start to talk in Return to Oz.

Imagine that you can take five people with you in a spaceship just before the destruction of the Earth. Who would you go away with?

My brother and sister.

Saul Bellow or Peter Cook.

Ted Hughes or Ivor Cutler.

Brigitte Fontaine.

When you have something really difficult or unpleasant to do, do you have a motto that helps you feel stronger?

Yes, I sometimes say « Change is good. Change is good. »

What have you learnt today?

That Chagall made stained glass windows in the cathedral in Metz.

And I’m always learning not to panic about things. I’m constantly surprised how much better things are when I don’t worry about them. You can let go off things even if you think you really care about them. It’s not so bad if they don’t happen or… Change is good!

What’s this strange picture on your myspace page?

Liria Pristine is a special knitwear designer. She’s a really good friend of mine who I lived with in the same place where I made the album. Her boyfriend who’s called Felipe Pagani took the photos. We decided to do a photo shoot in a space downstairs in my house that’s a gallery for exhibitions. This amazing guy called CharlieLeMindu did the hair thing and Liria did her costumes. They’re so theatrical. The costume is a bit like a seagirl or an octopus girl.

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