<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> piasilvi.com - notes
Moon Pia Silvi Puppet
The official Pia Silvi web site
Home Latest Discography Music Notes Reviews Listen Buy About Pia Collaborate Links Contact


Latest Discography Notes


Listen Now Buy About Pia Collaborate Links Contact



Virtually Handsewn

When I began the album I already ideas about many of the tracks but some of them evolved, as they often do, when I was working on other stuff... I chose the title Virtually Handsewn so that I could play on the word virtual and handsewn because of what it suggests... I really like the two words together and how they conjure up what I am trying to express...

On this album I have introduced my voice as a much more audible instrument than I had done before. On previous releases, my vocals had been in the background, but this time it isn't like that; I had a different focus and so songs and other pieces that involved my voice just happened very naturally over a period of time.

I also wanted to do things I hadn't done before. I guess a few of the tracks on the album are quite ambitious, and I wasn't sure when I started working in the studio, how I would get the sounds I was looking for, but I really enjoyed that challenge because I think it makes you grow as a 'creative' I love the virtual world I inhabit musically, the idea that anything is possible and the 'tricks' you can play, so that the listener thinks they are hearing this or that when in fact they might not be.

I had to dig very deep at many levels for this album, emotionally, musically and technically. Also, my life outside the studio had been very disrupted and challenging to say the least, so for me the album also represents creative triumph over adversity!

In terms of the tracks themselves:

A Night In Crakow is really my gesture of love to Poland as I am Anglo-Polish. On one of my visits there I stayed in Crakow which is a very beautiful and romantic looking place. My room looked over the city. The night was very cold and dark with bright stars and a magical feel to everything... During the day I had visited the Wieliczka salt mine and had a heard a choir singing whilst I was in the Chapel of Saint Kinga which is 101 metres underground.

I can remember how the choir sounded, it was something unreachably beautiful and it stayed with me... so when I looked out at the city at night from my room I could still hear those voices. A Night In Crakow is also tinged with sadness, because Poland has a complex history of tragedy and triumph, and what I felt that
night was also partly to do with knowing about that history.

The track itself is built around a sample loop which seemed to have the quality I was looking for, I added strings, which I have sort of 'bent' to get that swooping sound. The percussion is also other worldly, and my vocals are distant as they weave in and out of the instruments. I wanted the sound to be dark and light at the same time.

Surf People was inspired by my surroundings in the south west and at the time of composing this track, I actually lived by the sea and watched surfers a lot.. .I can't swim, never mind surf, and I think my longing to be able to do both is in the track which has a kind of wistful feel to it.

A Boy And A River I was suprised by this track, I mean that I would write anything like this. I don't really want to say a lot about it, except that some things that happen are very shocking and difficult to get your head around... I want people to find (or not) as the case may be, their own connection to this track.

Cipher I am fascinated by beats and how they are instruments too and you can get them to sound like a melody. I use a lot of indian or arab beats because of the depth of feeling they provide. On this track I also used female arabic speaking voices, as well as my own voice which is joined by 'Vita Virtual' again. S/he is my virtual voice and on this track sounds male as s/he did on my track 'Spare Cat' on the album 'Atmosferiks' I like using single tones and other atmospheric sounds to sing against rather like the hurdy gurdy which you hear in some early music and in
some world music.

They Are Only Avatars I became very interested in the 'Second Life' phenomenon and that whole virtual identity thing which I think is very profound. The idea that we can have an avatar who can be whatever we want is really interesting to me, I have one myself actually. I will leave it to the listener to decide what they think they are listening to ie is it forwards, or backwards, or both, or is it another  language... who knows...

I Scared I actually wrote this 5 years ago but didn't record it until now. My music tends not to make overtly obvious references to anything political etc. I Scared was written at a time when I and many other people were seriously concerned about what our government seemed to have got us into. I didn't have the words then, and I don't now. It was almost written from a child like perspective. I was
interested in putting those growly beats with my voice which is a lot softer, and in general using instrument sounds and vocal shapes to express what words cannot.

Imaginary Cossacks Another reference I guess to my eastern european heritage. It is quite an old track, I composed it on a rainy saturday afternoon when for some reason I was thinking about old village halls where people go to do dancing or whatever. It seemed to then evolve into something about Russia. The percussion, much of which is me using my hands or sticks or something, reminded me of cossacks dancing, the title was then obvious.

Only The Rain Sometimes you just find chords that you like and you know you have to make them into something. This track was one of those, quite jazzy, ambient, just let it flow over you sort of sound... I guess it suggests something a bit sad, or disappointing. I'm sure we've all been there, you meet someone, it's totally not going to work but you go ahead and pursue it anyway.

Laguna Lunar I have a big thing about the moon, I am deeply in love with it and wait for the full moon every month so that I can gaze at it and get lost in it. This track is quite playful and is really to do with imagining what it would be like if we could visit the moon, maybe visit a lunar lido. I especially like the keyboard on this one and have used it a lot on different tracks on previous releases.

Ted's Green Roof Until I moved to the South West two years ago I had always lived in or near a city. When I lived in London I heard sirens all the time and it was hard to escape from them. This track starts with noisy beats and sirens and then gives way to softer sounds. I think people should be encouraged and supported to create green roofs if that's the only way to get green space in our inner cities. I really appreciate dance music too so this track references that.

Warm Hearths And Sleeping Cats This one is really about me at last finding a place to settle down in and feeling very contented and in touch with that. My partner and I have 4 cats between us, two of which are in one of the photos on the album artwork. We have two fires which I light in the evening. Anybody who has cats knows they have a natural ability to seek out warmth and comfort!

I had in the past used a digital choir when I wanted choral sounds but on this album I wanted me to be the choir myself, so I just had to record a lot of audio
tracks to make that happen. I liked the organ sound which I had used on other tracks too, it can have a very warm texture which was right for this track.

Unsleep This is for anyone who has trouble sleeping, and is dedicated to unsleepers everywhere.

Click to listen to excerpts from Virtually Handsewn

Behind the Music index | Listen to excerpts | Buy the CDs

Home Latest Discography Notes Reviews Listen Now Buy About Pia Collaborate Links Contact

Design by Pia Silvi and Mike Brown
Hosted by Astrohosts

Photos & images by Peter Mays & Martin Thompson
© Pia Silvi, 2002-2010