Following the success of her acclaimed album Ellipse, Frou Frou’s front woman IMOGEN HEAP hits India with a big bang
In a long list of musical wunderkinds to hit our shores recently, two-time Grammy Award-winning free spirit, producer, composer, lyricist, and self-taught musical maverick, Imogen Heap sticks out like a big, beautiful thumb. Heap’s journey to India has been as effervescent as her personality. What began as hippie love, raving till the wee hours on the beaches of Goa, and travelling across Rajasthan, culminated into deep respect for Indian culture. As a result, a few chance meetings later, Heap found herself headlining at Bacardi’s much-talked about music festival this year, the NH7 Weekender.
But that was only a precursor to all that Heap has done in India this year. Beginning with her live concert in Pune and the Capital, where she swept everyone into a wonderland of sorts with her interactive performance, Heap is ready to show a different side to her music. Getting the audience to participate in her sound-making using quirky, everyday objects, Heap crafts symphonies that are surreal and lyrics that are hauntingly beautiful.the most fascinating of all are her super-futuristic sound gloves, that record and play back extraordinary soundscapes depending on how she moves them about. Sound futuristic? Well it does not end there.
Heap really has a vision of where she wants her music to go, and for her fourth solo album (which she is currently in the process of making) she refused to insulate herself in her sound studio. “I like to attach each song to a certain project so it has its own ecosystem, and I have an excuse to get as creative as possible,” says Heap. Embracing new media, mainly through Twitter and her interactive blog, she encouraged people across the world to contribute to the making of each track on the album by sharing their own sounds, videos, and thoughts. “I started hating being stuck in my studio box, without any new people. It just made me feel like I was treading old ground,”says Heap of her unconventional production choices. Add to this the fact that she has given herself three months to produce each track and video, in a different part of the world, making this one of her most ambitious projects to date.
So far, the three tracks on the album have stayed true to her experimentalist ideal. And while in India, she completed the fourth in an unexpected collaboration with Pentagram’s lead singer and Bollywood music bigwig Vishal Dadlani.titled Minds Without Fear, the track was originally produced for a new 10-part television series, The Dewarists.
Heap definitely seems to know something other musicians don’t. Ahead of her time, her love and use of technology in creating soulful symphonies is marvellous in more ways than one. She affirms this when she says, “technology has really given me back the reins to my musical career. It has let me express creativity in music, ideas, and, meeting a myriad people from all walks of life”.