DPRP’s John O’Boyle catches up with
Soloist and LoreWeaveR lead Singer Barbara Rubin
Barbara Rubin recently gave me some of her precious time to answer some questions for DPRP. As ever with Barbara her answers are thought provoking and somewhat humbling in their tone. As a vocalist and solo artist she has managed to keep her feet firmly on the ground offering the whole world the best of her creative forces. Sit back, read and enjoy her comments, as she truly is one of life’s genuine people.
John: Having a solo career and also being the vocalist with LoreWeaveR means you are a very busy person. For the uninitiated who is Barbara Rubin?
Barbara: Barbara is a simple person that lives life moved by feelings and music…. Since I was a child I was fascinated by everything around music, instruments, musicians and songs… classical composers. So at fourteen I started to study music at the Conservatory making music the most serious and important as it is today.
John: Your solo album “Under The Ice” is filled with passionate and beautiful music. You seem to build your song structures around stunning phrasings both musically and lyrically. Is this something that you find easy?
Barbara: Firstly, thank you for the beautiful words… To write music, sitting at the piano, is a comfortable way to give the chance for my thoughts get out of me…. You know, music is immaterial just like the soul. Sometimes it seems to be easy that feelings make a single blend with the music. Anyway I try to write what I would love to listen too, that I cannot find in another place… I write the first draft of the song then I work a lot to refine the definitive track as well as the arrangements. About the lyrics, they arise from the melodies….word after word… For me it’s always the last thing but so important to give a form to the song.
John: On the Under the Ice you are quoted as saying that this is an album that was “made with the collaboration of friends, musicians of uncommon worth”, a phrase that intrigued me. My understanding of that statement, if I am correct in my interpretation is, “with people who have a love for true poetry, and both lyrically and musically full of thought”, which in all honesty is profound and humble, which was also something that struck me when I met you recently. Do you believe that this is a true representation of your music and approach?
Barbara: I have sincerely been lucky to have a good number of precious friends that also are inspired artists. They are with me in my life and music from years ago….. Simone Morandotti, the co-producer, and the others, accept to work with me and follow my music so naturally, demonstrating a really strong connection of hearts and minds. They were able to leave their signs of their great musical personalities without imposing them. Humility, if you saw it in me, I just can be proud of it. For me, music needs respect dedication and joy. I try to make music being myself.
John: Something else that really struck me and a lot of other people at the Fused Festival was your passion of just wanting to play your music to as many people as possible. Very appreciative that people wanted to hear it. Are these sort of avenues open for you back in Italy?
Barbara: When you find yourself in front of people with so much interest for the music, like the Fused Festival’s audience had, you just can to open your heart, take a breath and sing the best you can… because you having a meeting with the joy for the music and you have to give an answer to it. The whole band felt this. To come back in Italy with this experience, for us, it’s been something that gave us a new energy and positivity. The album “Imperviae Auditiones” will be released; we will have a radio interview with Radio Metal Wave in 1st May, as well as local press about the festival. But about live shows, I have to say that Italy is asleep. Since 5 or 10 years ago there was a lot of places to play music, today it’s a time of crisis, for every genre, also pop music. I think that the first reason why, is that this is a time for some individuals taking the opportunity to make easy money… and this does not works for music. Music needs time and care, to become something good.
John: For the initiated you are quite an accomplished musician, being classically trained, graduating in the violin. You are also quite conversant on the viola, piano as well as being a vocalist. What is your favourite medium to work with?
Barbara: Oh..That’s a difficult question! I can say that viola is the last instrument that I approached. I need it to play the arrangement of Under The Ice and my boyfriend, (Simone Morandotti the co-producer of the album as well), bought one for me as a gift for my birthday… good choice! I don’t know what to say; the piano is a fantastic means to write music… it’s a sort of powerful locomotive for the musical journey! Violin is a big and troubled love, and singing is an instinct. Singing is the body and the mind that immediately become music. I would love to play also other instruments, I’ve always been fascinated by them…. Maybe it’s normal for a composer.
John: Listening to your album, it is obvious that you have a passion for classical music as well as rock. Tell us a little about the influences in your life that have allowed you to be so creative?
Barbara: I listen a lot of Baroque music, I am totally in love of these musical architectures, and I still have to study a lot about them. Furthermore, in the past, I sang in several hard-rock and heavy metal cover bands…music by Whitesnake, Mr. Big, Iron Maiden, Y. Malmsteen. That genre is quite comfortable for my singing. The personality that more influenced my musical life is Fabio Biondi. He was my first teacher at the conservatory, the conductor and first violinist of the famous ensemble “Europa Galante”. The most important thing that I learnt from him is to let the music pass across us, taking something of us to become something different, something new. We play what we are.
John: Songs that spring to mind are Under the Ice, A Place that Nobody Knows, a fantastic version of Jon Anderson’s “Change We Must” with Simone Morandotti and LoreWeaveR’s “That Night”, although I don’t believe that song was written by you; it is for me the perfect platform for you vocally, a song that really sums up your vocal gymnastics, the perfect outlet to allow the world to hear you, which I believe could have the potential to be a massive commercial hit. One would imagine that writing songs of this caliber isn’t easy, as you seem to delve deep into your soul reflecting the emotion of the pieces, taking your listener on a journey, both as a solo artist and with LoreWeaveR?
Barbara: When I joined LoreWeaveR the band had already wrote all the instrumental layers and lyrics. I arrived and immediately added the vocal layers over those strong riffs and harmonies. You’re right, about the song “That Night”. You can’t hear my style ’cause the harmonies were written by Lorenzo Marcenaro, (LoreWeaveR’s keyboard player), as well as the lyrics, but the vocals are mine, with such a ballad I had a lot of space for the melody. My solo and LoreWeaveR are two projects that are quite different from each other, but I’m totally myself in both these situations…. My solo career gives me the occasion to put in everything I am as a musician. LoreWeaveR is a wide playground where I can give all myself as a singer…. finding the interesting job to compose vocals on these musical buildings. Furthermore the band and I are a fantastic team. We are friends and everybody thinks about what is good for the band.
John: Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Barbara: In this period I listen a lot by Elizabeth Fraser… I would really love to meet her. To collaborate with her would be amazing, now I’m dreaming but, sincerely, I really hope so!
John: What is your all time favourite song? One that you wished you’d written and would maybe like to record one day?
Barbara: Another difficult question … I haven’t a true favourite artist but I have a lot of favourite songs. I would love to sing, and to sing well “Here Comes The Flood” by Peter Gabriel. The piano-vocals version is amazing!
John: I recently saw you fronting LoreWeaveR at the Fused Festival. What stunned me the most was your ability to out-perform your studio vocal gymnastics, which quite frankly left me speechless, as did the rest of the band too, which is not an easy feat. A lot of people commented on the aspect of how powerful your vocal range is. Is this something you have to work on or does it come naturally?
Barbara: Well, as a singer, I haven’t a true education… I’ve never had a teacher but of course the studies of the sound with violin help me a lot to work with the musical verse. When I started to sing, at nineteen, my voice was quite difficult… I am not a natural born singer. I strongly needed to sing, especially to sing my songs and furthermore I dreamed to sing in a rock band, despite it being quite uncommon here in Italy to see a female singer in that kind of bands.
John: Are there any plans for another solo album?
Barbara: Of course! We have already started to record some piano backgrounds… I have songs for a whole album. Simone Morandotti is my co-producer also this time. I think that in the summer the work will take a big step forward. I hope to finish it in the next 12 to 18 months.
Interview & Photographs
for DPRP by John O’Boyle