A Q&A with Ilan Eshkeri

Ilan Eshkeri interview

Astral soundscapes… from London. Here’s Ilan Eshkeri

What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
‘Aurora’. I got to see the aurora borealis in northern Sweden. It was an epic experience and I wanted to express the scale and majesty of it in music. When I saw them I waited in deep snow through the night and after several fruitless hours, me and the team were about to give up, when suddenly the clouds parted and we observed the most spectacular light show. It was magical, awe-inspiring and it touched my soul. I have synaesthesia, which means I associate specific colours with specific notes and sounds, so standing under the aurora, I knew immediately what the music had to be.

What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
The hardest part was the most enjoyable part. I did a lot of research about astronauts and spoke to them about their experiences as well as a lot of technical research about space travel and the International Space Station. The music is all about the emotional experience that all astronauts share, sometimes known as the overview effect. Leaving our planet and seeing it from space creates a shift in consciousness and I wanted to try and express this through music.

What do enjoy most about producing your own material?
I co-produced it with my long term producer Steve McLaughlin. Steve brings an extraordinary critical ear both to the music and the way things sound.

What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
‘Aurora’ is about awe and beauty, a sense of joy and humility, about how extraordinary our planet is.

How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
I like changing the way in which I work, putting yourself in an unfamiliar environment takes you down new creative paths. In this instance I went to a studio for a couple of days with my friend, synth guru Chad Hobson. I set the challenge of setting one idea every hour for two days. I then took all these ideas back to my home studio and started crafting the tracks and adding the other elements; guitar, strings and brass. Then I recorded vocals and the orchestral recording came last.

What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
Synth music from my childhood like Kraftwek, Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis. As well as the minimalists Philip Glass and Steve Reich. This album is a melting pot of the music I loved growing up.

What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
My current show works really well in the open air and in the round because it’s all about stars and humanity. Red Rocks in Colorado would be amazing, or an amphitheatre in Greece or Italy. The Royal Albert Hall has always been a dream venue for this. It’s a home for both the arts and sciences and so I could not think of a better place to be doing the first gig of ‘Space Station Earth’.

Ilan Eshkeri interview aurora

If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
‘Reliquary’ from the fashion show I did for Burberry. It was a favourite collaboration of mine and started a new style of creativity for me.

What ambitions do you have for your career?
I am doing exactly what I want to be doing, I am very lucky and hope I get to keep on doing it.

Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
Don’t be a passenger on planet earth, help look after it, be the crew!

For more info visit: spacestationearth.com


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