by Misha Falk
Misha: What made you interested in creating ambient/sound art music?
Sarah: I was a DJ for a long time and I started to not enjoy it that much. I really wanted to keep doing things but my relationship to music had changed quite a bit. I used to listen to music constantly and was always finding new songs, always involved, playing shows and doing so much but then I kind of went to hating songs. So I started listening to random melody-less, percussion-less stuff. It was a really big switch from club music to just weird sounds. I started really enjoying this and then began experimenting a little bit so that’s how that came to be. [DJing] is all BPMs and matching beats, tons of percussion and I just couldn’t… maybe it was all just too much and I couldn’t stand it anymore.
M: How did you make the switch to making ambient music yourself?
S: I guess the method that I use, or my practice is to very casually collect random stuff, not really seeking anything specific out. If I’m waiting for someone and something sounds interesting, I’ll just record it and then I’ll go and play with some computer synths and make some really small clips. I kind of felt like it was a similar process to DJing because I would just be going through life and picking stuff up and then whenever I was asked to perform or provide a piece, I would start to organize it and mix it together. It’s interesting how those two processes are actually quite similar. It’s just playing really.
M: What are some places you draw inspiration from?
S: My favourite album is by Unfinished Portraits. He’s from Argentina and his album How to hide dark circles under my eyes is really inspiring to me.
I also love the sound of water, dripping, and underground parking lots with weird dripping or pipes. In the back of my last one [how much longer now] there were some sounds from being in a bath. I really like water sounds.
M: I guess that ties into the name of your project.
S: When I record things it’s like this weird group of different times and spaces that I’ve been in. So I really like that it’s this weird creation of different moments and memories. And it [Water] is like this image I connect with that.
M: Tell me a bit about your latest release how much longer now on soundcloud. What were some of the ideas you were working through with this piece?
S: I made that for an online birthday party for a friend of mine. I guess it doesn’t have a story to it, it’s more of like pieces, putting pieces together. There’s this walkie talkie and the sound of a baby crying which was recorded in Cuba along with some of the ocean there. There’s also a xylophone that I borrowed from the library there.
M: Is there a community for sound artists in Winnipeg?
S: It’s been covid for so long and this [making music] is relatively new so I haven’t been doing this for too long. Before covid I played a show at Greg Hanec’s space)doxa and I loved all the performances I’ve seen that he’s put together through that. I really appreciate Yoyu as well – he invited me to play a show once too. There’s been some really great and supportive people. Cam Scott asking me to place Send + Receive in Fall was kind of a dream come true. I’m excited to meet more people once we really start to mingle again.
M: How has the pandemic shaped your work?
S: Music is such a casual thing in my life. I can’t even say that I have a real practice – I’ve been in university through this time which has been stressful… I don’t know if the pandemic has particularly affected things since this is such an introverted and personal thing already. But it’s nice that things are starting to open up. Even getting to wait outside for a friend gives me more opportunities to record sounds than just being in my home.
M: Any new projects you’ve got in the works?
S: BP [Bret Parenteau] asked me to do a tape for his label Makade Star. That’s probably going to happen over the winter…maybe in January. I’m excited for it, I think it will be fun!