Since November 2014, Shona Brown has released a single a month as part of her 10 in 10 project. Using electronics, loops and effects to manipulate her vocals and flute, Shona creates quite wonderful soundscapes and songs that have made a real impression on anyone who has heard them. The singles themselves have been consistently excellent and the whole project has been a real success and a testament to her ambition and talent. Her live shows are well worth catching too as she brings new life to the tracks and never fails to grab your attention. To round the 10 in 10 series off, her new single, , You Are My Music came out on 10 August ahead of her run of shows at the Fringe in Edinburgh from 12 to 15 August inclusive. I caught up with Shona to find out how the last ten months have gone for her.
APA: Tell us a bit about You Are My Music, the new and final single in the 10 in 10 project
SB: You Are My Music is a song with lots harmonised vocals, sweeping reversed piano sounds and more flute and ambient electronics. It's a very personal song - more so than the others
APA: What inspired you to embark upon the 10 in 10 series?
SB: My background is as a classical musician - I'm very new to the electronics and production side of things. I really took the plunge and bought all the equipment without knowing much about it so I thought 10 in 10 would be a great challenge for me! I wanted to try and hone my productions skills and find my "sound." There's nothing like 10 months of deadlines to get you over any procrastination! I also hoped people would be interested to hear my progress over the 10 months.
APA: Did you have the songs written already or have some been written as the project has gone on?
SB: A mixture. I had this crazy idea that I would have finished them all by Christmas, This didn't happen - what did happen was a panic every month and a lot of late nights! Some of the songs were half written but I find the process of finishing a track much harder than beginning it so even the half-baked songs were a challenge.
APA: How have you found the reception to 10 in 10?
SB: I really didn't know what to expect as I've never done anything quite like this before. A few highlights from the project include playing live on STV Glasgow and BBC Radio Scotland. It's also put me on the radar of people like yourself!
APA: It's been quite a few months for you what with the singles, live shows and playing at the Barrowlands with Mogwai. A tough one maybe, but what's been your highlight or highlights?
SB: Playing the Barras with Mogwai has to be up there as it was an amazing experience. Finishing the last track was a highlight too - I joke! Really, for me, the best thing about it has been building up my confidence throughout the process. In the past I had found presenting my music to the world such a daunting experience and a struggle. Making myself do this every month has boosted my confidence no end. I've learned so much about the technical stuff and the creative process too.
APA: If you HAD to choose which would you pick as your favourite from the ten releases?
SB: Eek - that is so difficult. I often find the ones I like best aren't necessarily the ones other people pick up on. I was really proud of Air as I think I found some really interesting sounds and it's opened up many technical possibilities for me. I'm also pretty keen on this last song, You Are My Music, as it's very personal to me
APA: Other than a well deserved rest, what does the future hold for you?
SB: Well this week, I'm doing a run of shows at the Fringe in Edinburgh. After that, a rest before I begin working on an album - I'd like to release on next year.
Thanks very much to Shona for taking the time to speak to me. Have a listen to the superb You Are My Music above and, if you're in Edinburgh between 12 and 15 August, go and catch her show at the Lauriston Hall.