Filed under: Interviews | Tags: Cartesian Binary Recordings, Indra's Web, interview, Rena Jones
Photo: Glenn Ross copyright www.glennross.ws
We recently caught up with the talented Rena Jones on the eve of her eagerly anticipated new album….
Can you tell us about the new album Rena?
The name of the album is Indra’s Web. It’s a Buddhist and Hindu philosophy. Indra’s Web (also called Indra’s jewels or Indra’s pearls) and is a metaphor used to illustrate the concepts that all phenomena are intimately connected, similar to the Holographic Universe or the Butterfly Effect.
Indra’s Web symbolizes a universe where infinitely repeated mutual relations exist between all members of the universe. Indra’s Web has a multifaceted jewel at each vertex, and each jewel is reflected in all of the other jewels. I used this concept into the composition of the album having repeating themes that are interconnected and the entire album flows as whole piece. The album took about 18 months to make and I worked with a string section based out of Chicago called the New Millennium Orchestra. This album actually has a few guest appearances including Jason Hahn on drum kit and Tina Malia on vocals.
What can we expect the style of the release to be?
The album is a lot heavier emotionally than Driftwood or any previous album and covers a wide range of emotion. The beats and bass are much stronger and bolder and glitchier than my previous work while still retaining a deep sense of melody and emotion.
As for style, I think I will have to let other people describe it….
Are you happy with the album or do you wish you had done anything differently?
I am actually very happy with the album and feel it’s my best work. It’s a very intense album though and not as simple of a listen as Driftwood so the album may go over a few people’s heads. I am fine with that as the album is a concept album that is explaining a very abstract concept.
Is there a favourite track that you are drawn to on the album?
It’s really hard to say. I honestly think I love the first six songs equally. I spent a lot of time and energy on this album, paying careful attention to detail and each song is different and captures a different emotion.
Can you tell us a little more about your record label?
I actually launched my own record label Cartesian Binary Recordings. I feel it’s important these days to go the DIY route as the music business is constantly changing, and now more than ever it’s incredibly easy to get your music out to the world without the hassle of a label.
Are there any other upcoming releases or projects you are involved in that you would like to talk about?
The new album and a few video games have been my entire focus for the last year. I have two songs coming out on Dance Dance Revolution – that is a completely other style from my work, under the moniker Jena Rose, and music for an iPhone game app called Genesis.
Do you have a favorite piece of equipment in your studio that you used in the new album?
Moog Little Phatty with a CP-251 voltage controller… 🙂
I also mixed the album down at Hawthorne Bridge studios, which is an all-analog studio. I used a lot of Manley, Empirical Labs, UA, Neve etc. so those toys would have to be my favorite.
What is the main program used for production and why?
I use ProTools and have since 1995. I used to work for Digidesign as an engineer so having that background has kept me using ProTools as I have a lot of the plug-ins and am close with the people at the company.
Do you have a key studio tip for producers out there?
Give your ears a rest. Taking breaks is far more effective than obsessing over a sound for 5 hours. They say that if you listen to something over and over for more than 15 minutes your ears are fooled into thinking it sounds good, so take breaks and come back to your work with fresh ears.
What other artists are currently inspiring you and why?
To be honest, I haven’t had time in the last few months to hear new music sadly. Between launching a new label, album, website and the video games, my entire focus has been on completing the tasks at hand.
Aside from creating music, what else inspires you in this life?
These days, I am trying to pick up a lot of new hobbies. My hobby became my life and now it is all consuming so I am trying to diversify. Lately I have been hiking a lot, learning to weld, fly fishing, gardening and just general travel.
Why have you dedicated your life to making and playing music?
I think music chose me. I have tried many other things and careers in life but doors continue to open for me to be able to sustain myself on music. I feel very lucky and fortunate that I have had the opportunities that I have had.
What does it mean to you?
I often say to people I am one of those stupid musicians who thinks they can change the world through music…haha… I feel it’s extremely important to be as true to my music as possible and to create a space in music that is truly pure.
People have transformative experiences with music. Music is one of the most powerful things in our world so I try to write music that helps people on a spiritual level.
Make sure to check out more about Rena and also your chance to purchase the new album from her website next week
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