MAPLE GLIDER – mitten ins Herz

Foto-© Bridgette Winten

Tori Zietsch ist als Maple Glider eine dieser musikalischen Persönlichkeiten, die förmlich zustechen. Und zwar mitten ins Herz. Die Musik ist so wunderbar roh und ehrlich, dabei trotzdem leicht zu verdauen und einfach irgendwie hypnotisch. To Enjoy is the Only Thing ist ein Album, das uns sofort komplett gebannt hat und wir waren überaus gespannt was Tori uns, aus ihrer Heimat Melbourne zugeschaltet, über den Entstehungsprozess erzählen würde:

You’ve described the songs on the album as a set of vignettes from your life. How are you feeling about sharing them with the world soon?
It’s been a weird rollercoaster of emotions. I feel like these last couple of weeks I was almost so distracted, that I hadn’t really processed that the whole album will be coming out this week. But the last few days I’ve just felt really excited all of a sudden. I had this big list of things that I was working on and it kept me quite occupied leading up to the release. And now I get to enjoy sharing this with people and playing shows and it’s a great feeling.

It seems like the album is welcomed and appreciated so beautifully too, that must be quite a special journey to be on for you?
Yeah definitely. It’s been really encouraging and I felt very connected to a lot of people, which is really nice. I was already part of such a warm community and now it’s been growing and I’ve had the loveliest messages. I feel like the people who have been listening to the music have been the sweetest people.

When you listen to the album and your reflections now, how does that make you feel?
It’s funny. I haven’t listened to it in full for a while. Obviously there was the time when I recorded it and I was listening to it heaps. It’s probably been four months or something and it felt really fresh to me again. Like oh wow this is the actual album, which was really nice. I played a band show recently, which was my first show performing these songs with a full band. That was so much fun and I was so connected to all of the songs. There are a lot of experiences in there that have passed or I moved through. But I think it’s almost like you can sync back into the place I was when I wrote those songs, which is really interesting. I’m just looking forward to getting to perform them all. Especially after a long period of not performing, it can make me feel quite vulnerable. When you kind of forget what this feels like. But the gigs I’ve been playing have all felt super warm and great spaces to be in.

Who is Maple Glider and who is Tori Zietsch and who would one be without the other?
Maple Glider is in many ways a part of me that feels very brave to really connect with Tori Zietsch’s experiences. Maple Glider is able to go and and perform and share those experiences with heaps of people and also just have a heap of fun. I think Maple Glider is so great for me, because I can just totally be out there and feel fabulous in that place. Tori Zietsch is.. I will wear the same baggy clothes for like two weeks in a row and spend heaps of time in the garden or going on bush walks and playing board games and that’s my happy space with my friends. And Maple Glider is a far more extroverted version of myself. But again, the music comes from my personal desire to make it and I haven’t been able to detach from it on a personal level. And it seems in the public level eye though I keep wanting to perform. They’re incredibly interconnected and I have found it difficult sometimes to create boundaries for the two things. That’s something I’m still learning and working on. But I love how they integrate with one another and how the music is a part of my personal life and what I can bring from my personal life into the music as well.

Let’s please speak further about your clothing choices. You are wearing some fabulous outfits in your videos, social media etc. I’ve been feeling rather jealous! Is this how we’d meet you in the street?
It’s funny. I’ll get into moods where I need to wear this ridiculous thing and then the next day I just wear the same thing I’ve basically lived in for the whole past year. I got this jumper from an Australian label and just do everything in it, live life in it. And then have an outburst sometimes and throw on some glitter boots..

A glider provokes the idea of freedom, a calm flowing freedom. Does that resonate with you?
Definitely. And that’s something I’ve thought about a lot. Sugar Gliders, they are like tiny flying possums, have been the main inspiration behind my name. I think they are adorable and I love the way they glide through the air. I think that’s what I wanted the project to be, for it to be whatever it wanted to be and have that freedom in creating.

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To Enjoy is the Only Thing sounds like lot of peace too..
I think it’s nice to accept life’s experiences and I really enjoyed the process of recording the album and have been really lucky with the people I’ve been working with on the release. That all definitely contributes to how I feel about the album, which is really positive.

Had you never left home to live abroad in Brighton in 2018, would we still chat about a Maple Glider album today?
I have no idea. I think probably yes, although it wouldn’t be the album that it is at all. And also there’s part of me that wonders, because I really needed to move oversees at that point. And I was really feeling super restless in Melbourne. I just had this really strong desire that I needed to go and travel and be in other places and do other things before I could really be settled a bit longer with music. And I wanted to make sure that it was something that I really wanted to do. I don’t actually know, maybe there wouldn’t be an album, maybe I’d still be wanting that other thing and looking for it in different ways. If it wasn’t going overseas maybe I’d be wanting to explore a heap of different careers or live in different cities, who knows, it’s interesting.

You mentioned a filled Soundcloud that you brought back to Melbourne. How do you approach the writing process? Is this a conscious effort or do you naturally find yourself writing?
It is something that I naturally do, but it is still conscious. It’s something that I need to do I feel. It’s something that really benefits me in my mind and to have mental clarity, to release things and to process things. But I still have to make time for it. I still have to recognise when I need to be writing, because it’s getting to noisy up here and put that energy and effort into it. And it can be really frustrating if you haven’t been putting that energy into writing for a while. You have to be so patient with it and patient with yourself and pouring things out. It takes a bit of time to get yourself to a space, at least for me personally, where I’m really getting all of the truth out in a way. Or getting those really intimate experiences out. I start by playing and by floating around things and then come through and realise okay sh** that’s it. That’s the thing I need to keep writing through and working on. It’s a weird balance of both. That’s an interesting question especially now. I wrote the album a while ago and recorded it a year ago and now I’m in this place where I’m so ready to write a heap of new music. So I have that feeling but I need to set this time for myself properly, so that I can get all of those things out again.

When you think back at the two years abroad. Is there anything left undone or anything that might have been better left undone?
I think a lot of things I could have done differently or better or I could have been more self aware, but at the same time it’s just learning. There’s a strong part of me knowing that those experiences are gonna be and have already been so significant and beneficial to me. Also the fact that now I’m sitting here talking to you about an album that I made during that time, and back then I didn’t realise I was making an album.. that’s pretty wild. I do wonder what the album would’ve sounded like had I lived differently during that time.

How do we get from from returning home with a filled Soundcloud account to producing an album with Tom Iansek?
I came back and I had a heap of songs and I wanted to record them. I knew I wanted to record with Tom Iansek, because I recorded one song with him a few years before that, through a competition that my Australian label Pieater ran. I really loved that experience and loved his music and just sent an email. I was like ‘hey, I have all of these songs, I’d love to record some music and I don’t mind how many songs. It can be one song. These are my demos, let me know, I’m flexible. I’ve got a full album, but whatever.’ We originally met up and he was like ‘hey, but why only three songs?’ We started doing pre production on six songs or something and just went with it. I added more songs to the playlist and a week in or so he casually asked if I wanted to record an album. It was really cool and was really just flowing and his manager, who happens to be my manager too now, called me up and said that Tom was really enjoying recording the album and essentially offered us to take as much time as we wanted to create the album that I wanted. I was literally like ‘fuuuuuu**’, I was just so shocked. I sat with it at least for an hour, before I called. Even now looking back, I can’t quite believe that happened and so much has come out of this. That’s a large part as to why the album came out as it did. I didn’t feel any bit of stress and Tom so willingly put energy and time into it and personally connected to the songs as much as I did.

How important was it you think, for you to be back home in Melbourne to edit your material and turn it into an album?
Really important! I had been away for two years and I had a lot of my closest friends here and I came back here and instantly remembered who I was. I had this moment of connecting to this place, where my closest, dear friends are. It took a while to adjust back into everything, but I was so happy.

What is music to you? Was there a key moment that made you realise you found your world?
Music is such an important way of connecting. Listening to other people’s music is how I learn so many things and relate to things. And feel like a part of something and can build a community and express all of your feelings, good and bad, and almost a space where you don’t have to change to do that. Yelling or singing really loudly, Diana Ross or whoever and crying to another song, or you’re angry and need to get it out. It’s just a place I feel like is comfortable to get out heaps of emotions and move in your body. It’s very important to me for sure. I was so young, maybe ten, when I realised that I wanted to play music and I wanted to sing. Dad had a guitar and my mom one day sat down and played the guitar and I remember seeing her do that and wanting it too. Then every gig I’d go to made me want to play too. I was really obsessed with music from such a young age.

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Sophia Kahlenberg

Sophia, 29. Fotografin. Dann kam das Schreiben. Verspürt starkes Herzklopfen beim Wort ‚Australien‘. Aber Berlin ist auch ok.

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