Composer / singer Aeone
interview by Douglas Eby
"Creativity is in the feminine part of ourselves."
In the liner notes of her album "The Woman's Touch" composer and singer Aeone (pronounced "ay-own") dedicates her work to "all the women who have walked this feminine path with me... to all the women who may have lost their way, may the voice in your soul rise up from the murky deep... come on and shout your name out clear and loud, don't let the wild girl sleep."
On her website she writes that the album "is the music that has become my own private odyssey, but the journey of a woman is universal to all. I'm absolutely not a women's lib person, I'm just an advocate for creativity, which is in the feminine part of ourselves, whether we're male or female."
Asked what she feels encourages one's own voice as an artist, Aeone says, "Just absolute truth to yourself, and not to anybody else's. What is true for you is not necessarily true for everybody else, but it will always guide you. And never stop your creativity coming out; just let it come out and own it.
"I've gone through a period in my life when I didn't do that so much, and blocked it," she adds, "but over the past four years, I've really learned to be open and let it come. Inspiration is just a blessing when it comes in, and then the craft sets in.
"But I think truth is the greatest thing, being true to my own creativity. Not that you don't want people to like what you're doing, but not to care about it. If you're doing something for the benefit of other people, to please them, you lose your personal creativity, your uniqueness."
Aeone thinks "you come into this life with some obvious gifts, and some not so obvious, and you unfold those as you go. I was quite gifted with music as a child, and my mother in particular encouraged me, and I had a lot of female support. I've been very lucky with the people that have come into my life, and have always had tremendous supporters of my music, who will go to any length to make sure I can do it."
She also feels "music is a business, as well as a creative thing, and you have to have a lot of courage. What gives me courage is not only myself, but also all these people that come along, and get my music, and support it. Both men and women. Any man who comes along who isn't afraid to watch the wild woman come out," she laughs.
With Celtic roots, Aeone lists as musical influences: "Scottish Pipe Music, Kate Bush, madrigals, Peter Gabriel, Beethoven, Carol King, Faure, Bjork, a drunken Irishman singing his heart out (or a drunken Welshman for that matter), Mouth Music, Annie Lennox, the sound of the wind across the moors of Devon."
Her compositions often include Ailian pipes, hammer dulcimer, Bohren drums, koto, guitars, viola and other instruments.
One of her compositions, "The Deliverance," was used in the trailer for the Joan of Arc movie "The Messenger." Aeone calls it a very "tribal, warrior woman" piece.
Aeone does a lot of research about topics that inspire her creatively. One of those inspirations is "ancient stuff," she says. "In past times, it was a very feminine way of being, and that part of ourselves has somehow been lost. I've been very interested in how that happened, how that changed. Was it quickly? Actually the change from the matriarchal to the patriarchal society is very Christian.
"And I've wondered, can we not bring some of that ancient wisdom into modern culture? Which is just as barbaric, but we just tidily name it differently: 'cleansing' and things like that. But we haven't really gotten that far ahead."
Music, she feels, "transcends words, even if you have lyrics. When someone sings, you go to a different level, and you take a person who's listening to a different level. Sometimes you can say something and it doesn't mean much, but you can play something musically and the emotion is clear.
"I think in all arts, it is your duty to lift up the spirit of somebody else. And I'm not saying I'm the altruist of the century, but if you are able to do that for one person in your lifetime, that you perhaps never meet, there's the gift right there."
Aeone advises women to "Be a girl. Don't be afraid to be a girl and your feminine self. You can be a warrior girl, warrior woman, and you don't have to be masculine."
She notes a lot of corporate women are called names "because they're just trying to be a man. I don't think you need to do that. Be as feminine as you like, but be the warrior part of yourself. Bring out the male side and don't be afraid to be true to yourself."
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