Posted On 22 Apr 2016
Tag: A Winter In Summer, All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, allaccessmusicnicole, Ambient, ambient music, At Lands, Breton, David Bowie, David Sylvian, Dead can Dance, Deepak Chopra, ee cummings, Eyes Of A Blue Dog, Gangsta, In a Landscape, iTunes, John Cage, john grant, LIVING GODS OF HAITI, Majorie Cameron, Maya Deren, New Wave, new wave music, Nouvelle Vague, Paul Sharits, Run Back to Never, Sakamoto, Siouxie, Snack Family, Soundcloud, Stephen Drury, Sylvian and Fennesz., Ted Hughes, The Black and The White, The Hunt The Harvest The Sea, The Slits, The Specials, Tori Amos, Transit, Two Tone, Under The Pink, world music, Yes Anastasia
Howling vibrations, an enchanting metamorphosis. A womanly, ethereal voice tells tales of past and present lives. An endless path – a craving. A devotion to the overwhelming human desire to find passion and belonging. A proud offer recounting rituals and mysteries over tribal beats which pound mercilessly underneath waves of synth.
This is THE LIVING GODS OF HAITI.
Rebekah is half English, half Syrian and the voice of the Living Gods of Haiti. Inspired by the architecture of words she approaches music in a macabre, somber manner whilst retaining soft, delicate elements, often referencing the link between human mind and spirit to nature and the heavens – the invisible thread which binds the cosmos. Nature’s voodoo.
Marc’s blood is French and he spends most of his time in Paris working on a variety of projects. He met Rebekah in London and previously they worked together on his project, Nouvelle Vague and Hollywood Mon Amour where he invited her to be one of the chanteuses. They share a mutual love of New Wave/Ambient/World music and a keen interest in the works of Maya Deren, which led them to discussing the possibilities of working in a new realm together.
The Living Gods Of Haiti were born from an idea of poetry, film and sound and later led into chants and songs. A beguiling mix which took time to germinate. Inspired by the works of Dead Can Dance, Sussan Deyhim, Maya Deren, David Sylvian, ethnic melodies and mystical beats.
Marc is a synth addict and manipulates sounds using rare beauties such as the Prophet VS, PPG Wave 2 and OB Xpander. Rebekah is devoted to words and uses the voice and the breath to delve into the mind, creating beautiful objects from anguished clay.
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa got to catch up with leading lady, Rebekah. Learn more about TLGOH and enjoy their chat below!
Hi there Rebekah! How are you today? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
Hello Nicole! Today is so far pretty wonderful. We just released our EP: Run Back To Never today (Sept. 4th) on iTunes which you can purchase HERE , so we’re celebrating that and also in the midst of sculpting the sound for the live show! Percussion heavy , tribal, mystical. It’s going to be a magical affair!
For those that are not familiar with you and THE LIVING GODS OF HAITI, how did you guys get your start? Who or what was the catalyst for you to want to live the life of a musical gypsy?
I went to LA to visit my brother, I was in a transitory state and focusing mostly on the architecture of words and trying to push my art into a more structured, devoted place. I asked Marc to send me some cinematic ideas to go with the words I was writing and we developed it from there. I went back to London and then backwards and forward to Paris. The whole process took a few years but eventually we had something solid that we felt people could relate to.
What did you learn between previous projects, collaborations and playing live that you felt you wanted to infuse into your EP entitled, Run Back to Never?
Marc has worked in music for a long time and has honed the art of production and releasing songs. He’s very talented and his experience is second to none. I’ve worked on many different projects, including Nouvelle Vague (that’s how we met) but I suppose this one feels more like the core of all my desires put together. The words, the music, the vision.
The main thing for me is the understanding of time, that these things take time. The room that we’ve given ourselves and the songs to breathe and grow, that was something I’ve learned throughout my musical career. It’s really important and allows for a more real and full bodied experience.
Who have been your inspirations growing up that also inspire you today?
Dead can Dance, David Bowie, David Sylvian, Sakamoto, Siouxie, The Slits, ee cummings, Ted Hughes, Maya Deren, Majorie Cameron, Paul Sharits.
You both share a mutual love of New Wave / Ambient / World music. What is your songwriting process like? Do you need solitude when you write or can you be just about anywhere?
Solitude is important at times, yes. I tend to write words and melodies separately to music so I always have a bank of words to choose from. Marc generally does the same and then we meet and fuse the two, make a start and grow from there. Sometimes we start fresh in the studio, sometimes we start via the internet and then meet. We’re very open about the methods we use, there is no right or wrong way.
What was the inspiration for the video for your latest single, “Killing Lotus”?
With the video I wanted it to fully embrace the song’s themes; explosive lust, primal desire, exposure, tenderness and awakening. Through it we follow the mesmeric attraction of two masked human forms representing the male and female parts of the self-pollinating Lotus flower. At the heart of this story is a potent desire, one expressed in movements that are deliberate, alluring, rhythmic and primal.
The video actually features two separate dance formations. The first, celebratory, fast paced and rhythmic, is based on the traditional Indonesian ‘saman’ hand clap routine. Whilst the second is inspired by Zhang Jigang’s famous ‘Dance Of A Thousand Hands’; There are a thousand eyes on these hands which give great powers to observe the world.
What was the first album you purchased for yourself?
Marc’s was the The Specials; Gangsta. It was the first Two Tone release.
Mine was Tori Amos, Under The Pink. I was 13. Classic emotional young girl music. She really stuck a pin in me at the time though. My favourite was, Yes Anastasia.
The first song I truly madly deeply fell in love with was, “In a Landscape” by John Cage the version played by Stephen Drury. It’s about 10 minutes long and I get completely lost every time I listen to it.
I love when a song takes you out of reality and you can zoom around on the paper plane of your mind. That’s what this song does for me. Also, “ Transit” by Sylvian and Fennesz. That song is more recent love but wow, it really does own a piece of my heart.
Who is in your current playlist? What artists or bands are in current rotation for you?
Right now, I’m loving John Grant, Breton, Eyes Of A Blue Dog, The Black and The White and Snack Family.
What’s on tap next for you? What are you most excited about for this year?
The most exciting thing for this year is the live show – we’re currently working with Jez Wiles on the percussion. It’s such a huge part of our sound so really important to have incredible players, we’re so happy to be working with him. We’re planning a debut show in London so there are a lot of things to be considered but it’s very satisfying and I’m super grateful to be experiencing it.
To keep up to date with LIVING GODS OF HAITI , visit their TWITTER via @tlgohmusic and their Soundcloud: HERE