Johanna Glaza recently released her debut album ‘Wind Sculptures’ ,with evocative instrumentals and dramatic vocals it’s a striking introduction to the work of this Lithuanian artist. To celebrate this release, Johanna has written a track by track for unravelling of her album below:
“These are the songs of loss and and reconciliation. My grief odyssey through space and time. I wanted to create a feeling of complete solitude as if you are all by yourself on some claustrophobic space station, far away from the Earth and possibly even from life- a bit like Tarkovsky’s Solaris. For that reason I wanted the album to be sparse and not overcrowded, with instruments that come and go, like migrating birds.”
:: Space Mermaid ::
The image of a space mermaid caressing the broken sky and breathing under the water came to me when I was dealing with the loss of my Mom. The water symbolising the flood of emotions.
Some of the most ethereal sounds were created by tape manipulations and by using household appliances like a barbecue oil drum on this song. We didn’t use any synths throughout the album, so all the sounds had to be created anew.
:: Coming Home ::
This song came to me on the New Year’s eve at my friend’s house when I was left alone in the room with the piano. I love staying in empty spaces with instruments, I always happen to write something then.
I wrote it to my Dad, at the time when I was flying back home to Lithuania quite frequently. When I was a kid he told me a lot about wolves where he grew up, so in this song he is the wolf.
:: Wind Sculptures ::
When I wrote this song I knew it had to be the whole album this time and Wind Sculptures would be the name. It’s one of a few songs on the album with live instruments which echo the 70s vibes. I wanted the instruments to come and go never returning, calling it migrating instruments. This song is the the heart of the album for me.
:: In the Shadow ::
I think in a way it’s the most brutal track, the breaking point. It has quite dark arrangement which grew around the song quite naturally. Songs happen to find their own way, no matter where you try to take them, eventually they grow into very independent creatures with their own features, a bit like kids.
:: Desires ::
The cuckoo in the song is counting our mistakes and our years. It tries to warn against the desire-time-anxiety pattern, when endless desires drive us into anxious states especially when we put ourselves in the claustrophobic time frames.
I’ve written this song a while ago but never played it live. It had to find its own moment when to enter the set.
::Million Years ::
Million Years was written for someone with memory loss and a changing sense of time that came with it. ‘Time refuses to obey, time refuses to be your slave’.
With this song I tried to follow a very intuitive approach and adjust my poem to improvised melodies on the go. I was really excited when the bridges came, they felt like steps of dinosaurs which symbolise things that happened so long time ago- or the time itself walking.
:: R.M. ::
It is the shortest song I’ve ever written but it felt like a totally independent creature to me so I gave it it’s own space on the album.
:: All Those Dreams ::
The repetitive piano riff was recorded in the studio in one go and drums where added later by Ed Deegan who produced the album. I really enjoyed recording Philip Glass inspired backing vocals when the voice is treated like an instrument itself.
:: Arctic ::
Originally it was written on a piano. I was discovering Laura Nyro’s New York Tendaberry then and it just made me sing anytime anywhere. But somehow ukulele seamed as a better choice of an instrument since it is much quieter than the piano. Piano has its own strong voice. It’s almost impossible to make it sit in the background.
It’s a very visual song where someone is walking upon a frozen sea dragging behind a heart like a wounded beast in search of a lost person.
:: Don’t Fall Don’t Break ::
Musically the melody was inspired by the Russian traditional folk singer Olga Sergeeva who I heard in Tarkovsky’s film -Nostalghia. Later came the instrumental bit which was a sonic child to my endless plays of Lubomyr Melnyk’s music at the time.