Since more than 40 years, Anne Clark takes a unique place in contemporary music. During those years, she created countless extraordinary works, with which the British artist was greatly lauded and successful. With the new album „Synaesthesia – Classics Re-Worked“, which is about to release on May 28th via FDA/Anne Clark, Anne Clark managed to once again provide the audience with something very special. The idea for „Synaesthesia – Classics Re-Worked“ formed in the last year, which was overshadowed not only by the pandemic, but also by Anne Clark being diagnosed with cancer. The hiatus meant to look for new ways to reach the audience. Playing live or recording in a studio weren’t an option. That’s where work on an album with re-interpretations of her material began. The results are remixes and remasters, which were created by some of the most interesting and creative musicians, DJs and producers of our time, which work in the modern-day electronic music scene. (Quelle: FDA)
With the new album approaching, Dark Music World was able to sit down with Anne Clark for an interview – read for yourselves:
01. First off, and considering you had to cancel a tour last year due to illness, how are you feeling?
Right now I am feeling fine. Thank you. There is a possibility that my cancer can return but I can’t, or try not to, think about that. I only want to focus on the positive. Regardless of my health, the tour would have been cancelled anyway due to Covid 19. It was a bizarre, surreal and life-changing time but then it has been for everyone.
02. With “Synaesthesia“, you’re now releasing a retrospective album, “Classics Re-Worked”. The title partly refers to a phenomenon where, for example, people see colour whilst listening to music. What does that mean to you, considering this album?
Exactly that. My thinking behind it is how music touches and affects us in so many ways, not just through sound. It evokes so many memories and sensations. It is truly linked to our life experiences and the senses we experience life by.
03. How much have you been involved with the reworking of the tunes and how did you react to the remixes that were contributed to the project?
Well, in consultation with FDA I chose the artists, tracks and which versions were ultimately included. Also, I wrote Take Control with Solomon in 2019 and both versions of Entire World with Thomas Rückoldt were results from our Stop Brexit! single.
Wallies I worked on with herrB for our live tour set. I was also very involved in the mastering. Having so many disparate tracks, it was very important to create an overall sound for the whole album. Working with Paul Keeler on this I think we managed to do that.
I was very impressed by the diversity of the Ideas from everyone involved.
04. I understand you as a person who has a great ability to read the room when it comes to capturing a situation and an atmosphere. So, why is it time for a project like “Synaes- thesia”?
I think I explained earlier the idea behind the theme and title. That‘s the “meaning” behind it. The time is right for a number of reasons. Covid 19 and cancer have made travelling and working impossible for me, (as for most people during the past year). Over the years, so many people have asked to remix my material and this seemed the perfect time and opportunity to bring that idea together. When you look at classical or jazz music for example, they are constantly being re-worked and re-interpreted. As my material spans 40 or so years it feels justified.
05. On your Wikipedia page, you’re categorized as a poet rather than a musician. Is that what you would describe yourself as?
A writer, yes. My musical imagination far exceeds my technical ability! That’s why I love working with such a vast range of musicians. It makes for a wonderful spectrum of musical possibilities!
06. For the last forty years, you have used music as the outlet for your writing, in experimental and ambitioned ways, putting an emphasis not only on the words, but also the way they are performed. What inspired this combination?
I have always been in awe of great orators. Not for their politics or doctrines but those people who make words „come alive”. It excites me in the same way music does and it is an extraordinary gift in a world overloaded with language and chatter. I especially think of African American preachers or the great Dr. Martin Luther King and the poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Patti Smith was also an enormous influence. The passion in their voices is spine-tingling!
07. You have found great appreciation within the alternative/gothic scene, and in your early career, working as a booker, you also had early connections to this subculture. While your albums vary greatly in musical genre, they always breathe darkness. What drew you to this scene?
There is a quote from someone, I don’t know who, saying: “Happiness writes white on white paper” …. and I think I have to agree with that to some degree. It’s not that I chose the alternative/gothic scene. In fact I know my audience reaches far further than that. A darkness is present in most art. Music, books, cinema, they are places of shelter. A refuge. Art helps us live our pain and pain is something we all experience.
08. With a career this long and the amount of energy and will to change things up you showed, a lot of people consider you a legend and, partly, a voice of a generation that was fascinated by your introspective work, exposing struggles and vulnerability. How do you feel about those terminologies?
There are quite a few terminologies in there! I can’t really judge what words people use to describe me, I am only greatly honoured that people have got something from my work. I have and have always had an unstoppable need to express myself and my emotions in the way I do, through music and poetry. Otherwise my feelings would tear me apart. So many people feel vulnerable and frustrated in this world. „The way of the brute“ is becoming more and more acceptable and my “job” if I have one, is only to facilitate some kind of resistance or non-acceptance of that.
09. Nowadays, with Poetry Slam being very successful amongst younger audiences, do you feel verified in your idea of enunciating the performative aspect of your writing?
I think there are so many exciting spoken word artists and platforms around right now. It’s wonderful. The younger generations seem so motivated, in activism for the environment for example. Communication is vital, otherwise we spiral into violence and stagnation. If performing spoken word/poetry can provide something creative and constructive for people, then it is doing something wonderful!
10. While we have never lived in an ideal world, it seems like the current pandemic puts us all to test. How are you coping with life being somewhat on hold right now?
Well, I have been in a double ‘Lockdown’ for the past year or so. Not only the pandemic but my illness meant that I had to be very isolated. It has been a bizarre situation, with both things happening simultaneously. In the bigger picture I think something like Coronavirus has been due for a long time. The loss of life and suffering of people is heartbreaking and horrendous. However, the suffering of the planet, its biodiversity and the majority of the world’s population has been even greater and has become increasingly so in our morally bankrupt systems. Human beings will never change by themselves. Numerous catastrophes and conflicts prove this. Ultimately nature will force us to change or get rid of us altogether. I feel privileged to have lived in the briefest moment in time when humanity was forced to step back and nature was allowed to step forward. It terrifies me to see the revenge our economy-obsessed systems will unleash on the world „once things get back to normal”.
11. As we touched on earlier, the last year was a very traumatic one for you. You said in an interview that you saw humanity in the nurses and doctors and found new appreciation for everything in life. How did this affect your creative work?
It makes me want to share the beauty and the urgency of life, the fragility and essential empathy of people.
12. What can people learn from you?
From me? I don’t think I can teach people anything. That’s not my job. I can only offer them my experiences and give them material and a place where they can recognise they are not alone.
Anne Clark im Web: