Interview: 5 Minutes With Abraham Brody
Abraham Brody’s musical work is like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Compared to modern classical avant-garde composers such as ANOHNI’s Antony and the Johnsons project, Laurie Anderson and Anna von Hausswolff, Abraham Brody mixes crushing atmospheric classical sections, dazzling electronics and synthesizers on top of imaginative, passion-soaked vocal layering. A highly skilled vocalist, composer, writer and instrumentalist, this multifaceted musician creates poignant experimental music for modern times but draws on the mythology and spirituality of his Lithuanian roots, giving his music a traditional and mythic folk edge.
Abraham Brody has just released the first single, ‘Judith’, from his most compelling body of work yet, titled ‘Crossings’, scheduled for release on the 16th of November via Bedroom Community. In addition to the sharing of ‘Judith’, which is inspired by, according to Brody, “feminist figures from more traditional mythology”, the eclectic artist has also just released a stunning black and white live video of a performance of his track ‘Red Sun’, in conjunction with acclaimed string group Wooden Elephant (see end of article).
Listen to Abraham Brody’s latest single, ‘Judith’, below.
We chatted to Abraham and got to know the man behind the myths.
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
Can’t live without it.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
Sometimes both. It depends if I am working with a concept or just a melody or sound gets in my head.
Does your material feature any collaborations?
Yes. I have collaborated with Marina Abramovic and Iva Bittova among others, and currently with the group Wooden Elephant and Aslaug Magnusdottir from Samaris.
What’s on your current playlist?
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
I love to perform because I love the non-verbal dialogue there. You can transmit emotions and energy without speaking a common language, or sharing a culture, religion, or other ideals.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
I work a lot with looping, as well as string instruments and folk instruments.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
I usually start by recording all my various instruments and layering them. Then I add the vocals.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
Not specifically but since I started playing music at age 5, I always wanted to be a musician.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
Any emerging artists on your radar?
JFDR from Samaris.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Nature-walking in the forest or mountains. The sea. I love living in Reykjavik now where the sea is everywhere.
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
I have my loop station, violin, keyboard, synth, organ, lots of other stuff!
Any side projects you’re working on?
A duo project with Aslaug Magnusdottir.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
I think so. I trained classically so I have the discipline of that but like to experiment a lot with different sounds and styles.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
My new album ‘Crossings’ released Nov 16! That will be also presented at London Jazz Festival at Village Underground on Nov 18, as well as touring in Lithuania, Norway, Iceland, USA this autumn.
Watch Abraham Brody perform ‘Red Sun’ live with Wooden Elephant, below.
Upcoming Live Dates:
Sept 28 – Vilnius, Lithuania
October 5 – Mengi, Reykjavik, Iceland
October 8 – Bla, Oslo
October 21 – National Sawdust, NYC
Nov 18 – London Jazz Festival at Village Underground, UK
Dec 5 – Loftas, Vilnius, Lithuania
January 12 – Vega, Copenhagen