SPOTLIGHT ON WILD ANIMA
4SEE presents Berlin-based French musician Wild Anima’s artistic research, an emotional ecological soundscape four years in the making.
A poly-rhythm of sonic streams floating adjacent to each other with occasional currents running in between make up the ambient soundscape of Wild Anima. These sounds are influenced by the Nordic region, Asia Minor and Northern Africa with a mix of intercultural instruments brought together by an electronic underpinning. The voice of Wild Anima is dreamy, introspective and at times a melodic inventive language reminiscent of Cocteau Twins, Lisa Gerrard, Enya and Enigma.
Their latest album, “Alkhemy,” has just been released and expands on Wild Anima’s ambient-electronic universe.
Describe your band / music / style in three words.
Magnetic Ambient Electronic
What did you listen to when growing up?
When I was little my parents listened to a lot of traditional Greek music, which had a big influence on me. I was mesmerised by the Anatolian style of female vocals. I remember also being really influenced by the Cranberries that my mother would listen to and Irish traditional singing in general. It has always felt very familiar to me. We would also listen to some African music from Senegal and that really touched me as well. The Kora is probably my favourite instrument.
There was something like a deep softness in that music, maybe that is the first ambient sound that really inspired me. I think I also found some deep imprints in the voice of Maria Callas that my father was listening to when I was little. Other influences that I loved as a kid include a lot of the ’90s dance music and French hip hop; I feel that this was a major influence on the way I use beats and spoken word today. Music definitely played an important role as I grew up. I was spending a lot of time on my own because my parents were working late hours and that allowed me to create an intimate bond with music in general.
Music icon(s) and the reason why.
Most people probably don’t know who this is but I’m fascinated with Ed Handley, half of the British electronica duo Plaid. I actually briefly met him once in a small town in England. His sense of melody and sound design is very special to me. Plaid’s music has been a huge influence on my drive to produce my own sounds. I find that their music is like language, full of emotions and subtle energies.
Who are you listening to right now?
I have just discovered this beautiful African-American ambient musician and harpist called Nailah Hunter. Her music is very haunting. I love exploring the alternative independent scene. I listen to a lot of music from artists that I meet on the road or musicians who are related to them through independent labels.
What is the craziest or funniest thing that’s happened on tour?
That’s a funny question. I think there are lots of stories to tell about that, especially in the underground European touring scene. There are so many little venues hosting all sorts of different kinds of events. I hope that the current situation won’t affect those kind of small independent spaces too much, they are so important for independent artists to meet with each other and connect directly with different audiences.
I think one of the craziest things that happened is when I decided to travel to Montreal for a little holiday and ended up touring with amazing artists in Florida that became some of my best friends today.
Favourite performance venues or music festivals? And why?
I loved playing at Circus Schatzinsel in Berlin, this was part of an art experience / installation that my friend Amaury Bouquet had organised with his collective BIMBIM. There was a whole circuit for participants to go through involving tarot, performance art and live music that I was performing. It was lovely seeing the participants diving into this personal experience and sharing that feeling with them through music.
I also have really fond memories of playing a house concert in Prague that was truly special, this kind of environment really allows me to connect with the audience in such a special way. I am able to set a sacred space that almost feels like a ritual and connect through the heart in this way. There is also this tiny queer bar in Lille where I play with my dear friends KosmoSuna quite often, it is called the Liquium. We put on parties there and invite various international and local artists to perform with us and showcase trans, non-binary and female artists.
Three words to describe your fans.
Sensitive – Dreamers – Spiritual
Favourite eyewear brand?
I don’t know much about eyewear brands, although I do wear glasses both for vision and sun protection. They are indispensable to me—I am very sensitive to light and can’t work without my glasses. I often focus more on the model rather than the brand. In general, I like anything that is made with care and ethically produced as much as possible. I’m very fond of vintage style glasses or anything that is creative with fun lens colours. For me, it very much depends on my mood.
What is next for you, an immediately upcoming tour or EP/Album?
I am co-creating an experimental short film at the moment. My musician-friend Lush Agave who is based out of Los Angeles has been my collaborator. I am developing called “the ecology of emotions” for the last two years. It started on an artist residency I was doing in Iceland. This project has been really nourishing and inspiring. It merges our visions and philosophy together and shooting the material in Iceland was a very unique experience. It was just the two of us exploring and interacting with the Icelandic nature.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time, where would you like to see your band / music and at what scale?
Sometimes I feel it is hard to say where I’ll be in 10 years time, life is so unpredictable. Especially at the moment with the global pandemic. But if I let myself envision that, I would say that in 10 years I’ll have built an amazing eco-art community project with my friend Julia Kukkonen who is a wonderful artist and multi-talented entrepreneur-ess. I see my project evolving into something more than music, merging spirituality and the world of art. I can see myself putting on something like cross-media exhibitions merging philosophy, live performance and conceptual art.
My main credo is to enjoy what I am given as much as I can and interact with life courageously. I have always felt that it is better to try something even if I’m scared rather than stopping myself from doing things and regretting it later.