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Soundchecker Interview

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Soundchecker.Koeln im Gespräch mit Cecilie Sadolin!

Cecilie Sadolin hat vor kurzem ihr mehr als spannendes Album Pseudo Random veröffentlicht, das uns besonders gut gefiel und uns zu folgender Rezension animierte. Darüber hinaus hat die Dänin, die es nach Berlin verschlagen hat, einiges zu erzählen, wie man hier nachlesen kann. Auf ausdrücklichen Wunsch der Künstlerin und um die Authentizität zu behalten, haben wir ausnahmsweise mal die Fragen und Antworten im Original belassen. Viel Spaß mit den Antworten der Sängerin.


1. How would you characterize the process that led to the recording of your new

I have always had an intense mind. From the highs to the lows – from despair, angst and frustration to inner peace, love, joy and gratitude. All of that can happen in a matter of ten minutes and music has been the only antidote – or to put it more accurately – it has been a transcendental tool to process all of that information. In addition, I have always questioned everything. Whenever I had an idea or learned something new I wanted to change, reframe and improvise it into something new. It took me a whole life to actually see this as valuable and Pseudo Random is a direct reflection of that. To accept the past but blow up the narrow frame of my own and other people’s limited beliefs of what is right or wrong. Pseudo Random is primarily a personal statement but evolving from that Pseudo Random is also a conceptual album having different styles of genres clashing with each other in alternative ways of composing. A tapestry of random ideas, all tied together as a labyrinth of different get aways and outcomes depending on which way you choose to go. In Kindergarten I made a drawing of a christmas night with my family and it was chosen as cover of the annual Christmas Edition for the National Educational Union. It was all over the place with like 1000 lightballs on the tree. I honestly think that I would draw the exact same thing today. So the point is that certain things never change. To learn how to love your quirks and figure out a way to channel them out instead of shaming them, is so crucial. It’s fundamental for me to be open and curious towards everything and everyone – to never construct an image of myself but to be a human – and an artist with all of who I am. And I still have a long way to go.

2. Your album is called Pseudo Random What’s the idea behind the name?

The title Pseudo Random refers to the algorithm ‚the pseudo random number generator‘ that is set to produce random numbers. The numbers seem random to the viewer but the point is, – they have been programmed to produce random numbers. That is the essence of my concept – it seems random but there is a hidden structure behind it. In addition, it has a lot to do with trusting the process of creation using different methods and still see your own DNA merging from the blank canvas. When you start from scratch, it’s often pretty much the feeling of shooting in the dark but to control the process with very clear tools is essential to actually creating results that could be interesting and unexpected, even to yourself as the composer.

3. What are your expectations for the album?

I hope to create a platform for myself and to tour the world with my band.

4. How would you describe the typical process that takes you from the
inspiration for a new song to the finished product?

The process can be very different. It starts with an idea either musically, conceptually or poetically. Sometimes I start with a concept and other times I start with lyrics, – or sound or compositional ideas. Sometimes I just want to express a situation. The process of the starting point to actually gathering material is where you need the tools. The tools are the painting brush and colors – but I always remember that there are not rules, only tools as my teacher Atli Ingolfsson from Iceland, says. But it’s a good thing to know a lot of tools.

5. Why should we definitely see you in concert?

You should come and see me in concert to experience my music come to life. It’s never the same thing to hear something on an album and then see it live, and I truly believe that music is a living phenomenon. It’s most powerful when we are in the present moment with it in our hearts, hands, voices, instruments and feet. With almost no safety net. When we respond to that uncertainty it can be magical.

6. Which three things are an absolute must in your luggage on tour?

My phone + charger, earplugs and warm sweater.

7. Which song do you wish you’d written, and why?

I’d wish I had written Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now as this is the most beautiful and philosophical piece ever written. Or Atmosphéres by György Ligeti. Both sides now sums up life´s biggest questions and the fundamental human conditions that we all share, that we are totally powerless and really know nothing about anything. The complexity bouncing up against the simple things is why Joni Mitchell is a legend, and why this is a masterpiece. Atmosphéres(1961) is a full orchestral score written by György Ligeti and it truly provoked people at that time for it’s eschewing conventional melody and metre in favor of dense sound texture. Also, it had the physics of speed as a tool for creating the pitches. A true masterpiece.

8. Who would you like to record a song with?

I would like to record a song with Beth Hart. I love her to the bone.

9. Where do you see yourself and your music in ten years?

I hope to have made a difference in the world with my music – and to have made a ton of work that I am super proud of and still work with.

10. Please complete the following sentence: Music means the world to me because…

Music means the world to me because, it transforms me. Just as a dear friend put it to me the other day, music tranforms me to the better or worse and I always feel a shift in my being after I have listened to any kind of music. Therefore I see it as a superpower and I truly wanna respect that. To quote one of my heroes, Marina Abramovic, I see music as being the highest form of art form there is, as it is immaterial – yet still cuts straight through any borders it might see on it’s way. Music goes straight to the heart, the mind and core of who we are as people, and that’s why I have a deep respect for the craft of musicianship. It matters what I do and what we do, as it has an impact on all of us.

Thank you for your answers.

Interview: Dennis Kresse


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