Interview: Orenda Fink
Tue, 07 Oct 2014 09:30:24
Orenda Fink Videos
Orenda Fink will drop you into a dream, literally, with her new album. Blue Dream (Saddle Creek) evokes ethereal imagery that's as soothing and satiating as a good night's sleep. You're going to love it that much we promise…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Orenda Fink talks Blue Dream and so much more.
Did you approach Blue Dream with one vision or vibe in mind?
Sonically, I approached it so the whole record would sound like a dream. There are different kinds of dreams. Sometimes, you'll dream all night, and the dreams will take on different qualities. The songs can have some variance, but you're still in the same dream essentially. I didn't want them to stray that far sonically from each other. I didn't thematically set out to tell a story, but after I wrote the songs, I realized they did so I placed them in the order that made the most sense.
There's a dreamy quality to both the music and the lyrics.
Yeah! When I wrote the record, it was after a long period of doing this dream analysis I did for a year. I was dreaming heavily every night. I would collect those dreams, and at the end of the week I would go see an analyst, and we would work through the dreams. My life was basically half-real world and half-dream world at that time.
Did you find any commonalities in the dreams?
My dog passed away. I had him for sixteen years. I was really affected by it. It was one of those things that hit me in a time of my life where I was trying to hold on to some sort of stability or that constant in my life. I just loved him, and I had a really strong bond with him. I went into this intense grieving period and this questioning period because I didn't have any idea of where he went when he died. I had no religious platform or spiritual framework for it. I was deeply depressed and lost for a while just reeling from that experience. I decided to go see this therapist who specialized in grief counseling and also dream analysis. That's when the dreams started happening. The dreams were essentially about my dog and also about death, life, and the nature of all of it.
Yeah, it was a heavy year [Laughs].
What's the story behind "All Hearts Will Beat Again"?
That song was for a friend of mine. When I was going through this period of time, she lost her twins in utero. That was some intense grieving that she was going through. I wrote the song for her. I was coming out of my grief at the time. This was a gift to her from someone who was seeing the other side of grief and loss. I felt like I was ready to give a more redemptive message at that point. I thought it would be a good ending to the record.
Where did "Blue Dream" come from?
That was this overarching philosophical theme of the time period. You know how I said I felt like I was living half in a dream and half in real life? It was colored by this grief experience. I was sort of moving through life with a filter. That's what the song is about.
In general, is it important for you to paint pictures and tell stories with the songs?
I think that has a lot to do with the dreams because they're very visual. They're essentially symbolic of your inner-workings. I was bombarded with this imagery every night that I was left to write down and decipher. They held a lot of information within them. I was working within in a very visual mindset at the time.
Do you draw from other art forms?
I draw from movies, books, and other arts a little here and there. I was reading Alejandro Jodorowsky a lot when I was writing this. It was an inspiration for the philosophy behind the dreams and life and death. I think he's got it right. In the middle of the process, I started reading him, and I was like, "Oh, this makes sense for my experience".
What artists shaped you?
I really loved Nina Simone and Dr. John growing up, but you don't hear that in my work so much. They captivated me though.
If Blue Dream were a movie, what would it be?
Maybe Tree of Life? That's a cool parallel to it. I remember the movie to be very dreamlike and deal with these existential issues, but it doesn't really give an answer and neither does my record. It's about asking the questions and getting closer to something than you were before.
Have you heard Blue Dream?