During Mirabai Ceiba’s Agua de Luna tour in Europe this summer, Phil Cartwright had the opportunity to interview Angelika during their stop in London.
Here is the transcript of the interview:
Phil: So, welcome back Angelika.
Angelika: Yes, thank you Phil.
Phil: And you are here in London again, in Union Chapel.
Angelika: Yes, one more time.
Phil: And are you going to be performing the new album tonight? Agua de Luna.
Angelika: Yes, we are. it’s been… we’ve been already on tour singing some of these new songs and it’s been really fun because it’s a new musical adventure, we are exploring other areas, other ways, a little bit another style so that’s really fun and also Agua de Luna has a lot of songs in Spanish but also in English. So yeah, it’s been lots of fun so…it will be fun too, I hope.
Phil: And it is a real departure for Mirabai Ceiba in that you made your own studio.
Angelika: Yeah, it is a new cycle for us. We recorded in this beautiful little cabin and yeah, we dared to do our own production, Markus spent a lot of hours there and that was… that feels really good.
Phil: From these tracks to choose from, where would you like to begin?
Angelika: You mean to talk about? This one here.
Phil: So that was one of the singles? “You are a song”.
Angelika: Yes, it’s one of the singles. It’s a song with lyrics, I wrote the lyrics and I don’t know… it speaks about… it tries to describe like the essence of our being in relationship to different elements, different things in life, tries to describe the soul being the wind, or being the night or a flower and then it has a part when it talks: open your hands if you want to be held, and just that phrase says so much already, we all live such lives where it’s all about ourselves and what we can achieve and our careers and our savings and our money and our goals and often forget that we need to reach out to each other and really be more of a family than in our own little world but for that we need to open our hands to be held.
SONG PLAYS “YOU ARE A SONG”
Phil: Now I haven’t seen you in four years, your daughters look a lot grown up but you and Markus look a lot younger.
Angelika: Well, that is nice. That is a good compliment.
Phil: Would you put that down to a daily practice?
Angelika: I don’t really know, we…as you can imagine we have such an unstable life in a way, we travel a lot and we change places a lot…that we do have daily things that we do to inspire ourselves but it’s not such a like a discipline thing that we get to do every day for a certain amount of time… it’s more like we always seek to be in connection with nature and to have little windows where we get to feel ourselves but also I guess the kids keep us young being playful and needing to be fresh for them a lot of the time, maybe…
Phil: Now, last time we spoke I think your daughters were in stage with you and they were keen to do it again, and I believe one of your daughters may join you this evening.
Angelika: Yeah, Alina has been liking to sing with us and that’s really sweet because it’s not that we force her on stage or anything. We just give them the possibility of they want and if they want to know more songs by heart so we just put up a mic for them and they can just sing with us in some of the songs, and Pema has been joining us with dancing, she’s been doing a little dance performance, but tonight I guess the stage has not really a lot of space for that, so she may not do it tonight.
Phil: Now, the other single that was released was El Rio, from this album Agua de Luna.
Angelika: Yes, ‘El Rio’ is a song in Spanish. It is a song written after an experience down a river, we did a river trip for 5 days down the canyon and Colorado there you can really make long trips in nature and it was this experience of just giving yourself up to nature, to the nature forces and so we went down the canyon and some days the wind blew like crazy so we had to row like crazy and other days the Sun was shining and another day it was raining and if you go down the canyon you can’t get out until you’re finished until you’re at the end of the canyon so that’s… you have to just trust and really connect with nature which has an effect of just really cleansing the mind and the spirit and you come out there like a newborn and so this song describes that journey and how the more we are clean from our daily worries and thoughts, the more we are more like the river and we recognize that the journey inside of us is the same like the river journey.
SONG PLAYS “EL RIO”
Phil: Now, I No I understand Markus has described the album as both personal and universal.
Angelika: Yes, well, always with our music we feel, well with music in general, we feel it’s a language that connects us all. It’s been there since time immemorial and it has brought so much to people so much in different ways and I think, especially in this time of globalization of where cultures and religions are kind of a bit opening, just it’s all becoming a bigger family of people and music certainly addresses that and allows us to speak one language, and then also by telling our personal connections with or experiences with nature, with each other, if we really connect deeply and then sing about them, then that’s what we will reach another people to connect in that way because we are ultimately we all are sharing a path and are sharing the same, we just do it in different ways, but it is the same.
Phil: Now, the third track on the album Agua de Luna, you based it in a Mexican poet but I don’t think I can pronounce it.
Angelika: Agua de Luna is a song we wrote…Oh, this one!
That is from a Mexican poet, Aztec, he lived many many years ago, like 500 years ago, he was a poet, his name is Nezahualcóyotl, he used to write these poems that were very inspirational, mostly questioning why we are here, why we are here and what are we leaving behind us when we go and many of his poems addresses that and he is related to flower and song.
There’s a God in the Mexican culture that is the god of flowers and song, so he mentions that a lot in his poetry, lets leave at least songs, lets leave at least flowers behind us when we go. Which brings us to the question of the choices we make in our everyday life, what are the choices we’re leaving behind us with those choices?, and it comes down to the simplest choices, even now that we are having all this big manifestations of Friday’s for future and all that regarding global warming and stuff, it really comes down to every choice we make, what are we leaving behind?, every choice in buying stuff and consuming stuff, but also every choice in what we think and how we speak to others and everything we do is like a seed we put deep in the Earth and this is what we will leave behind us so it’s really really important to remember that and this song wants to remind us of that. Lets leave at least songs and flowers.
SONG PLAYS “DEJEMOS AL MENOS CANTOS”
Phil: And what resonates with me is that you use the recording from the audience in Costa Rica.
Angelika: Yeah, that was really fun, we practiced with them and then Markus had the beat in an earplug and then we’ve kind of directed the whole audience and recorded them and really for the one part was because of the sound we wanted to have this big choir but then the other thing is just to generate this family kind of feeling, that we are here in this together and we and we are going to leave flowers and songs together and yeah this togetherness is the force that really is inspiring and sustaining to all of us.
Phil: I also read that Markus said “When language stops music begins”.
Angelika: Yes, that is true. When we stop communicating from the head and just surrender to the songs of life, basically, of the songs of nature, of the songs of birds, of the songs of our hearts… then, yeah…the movie changes.
Phil: Now I see Bogdan, the violinist, is with you tonight. But also Jamshied, I think he produced your live album, he did keyboards on this album.
Angelika: Yeah he did some things, but he did piano mostly, some beautiful beautiful piano.
Phil: And you’re in the UK this evening and you go to Sweden next.
Angelika: Yes, we’re going to the Yoga Mela, which is going to be the fourth time I believe, yes, that is usually lots of fun because we get to meet other artists like us. The tribe there is a sweet tribe of people.
Phil: We need to feature the title track “Agua de Luna”, now when I google this it comes up like “Moon Water”.
Angelika: Yeah, if you google “Agua de Luna” it will come up as videos, we are uploading some videos about it and yeah moon water it’s a song about it’s a song that I was asked to write from the dancers of the Moon, which are a group of women who get together every year in October and dance to the full moon for 4 nights and they do a lot of chanting with it, so a good friend of mine said: Can you write a song for our dancing? And that’s what came out, it is a little song dedicated to the water, but to the water at night, the water at night often has this magic. If you hear the water and don’t see it it has a certain effect and if you see the sparkles in the water of the Moon, it has a deep effect so and it says: Moon water wash my heart, Moon water fill my eyes with stars.
SONG PLAYS: AGUA DE LUNA
Phil: Now, there are a few tracks in the album that refer to water. Is there a reason for this?
Angelika: Yeah, we really had a vision of… we, as many people feel this need to address consciousness of how we treat our precious elements, especially water and so it kind of came together by chance but also we were excited to address it directly, and we really feel as artists rather than addressing it radically like the end of the world is coming because of global warming. We want to sing to the water and praise its beauty and praise what it gives us so that we may be seen from the outside and maybe from there can rise the consciousness to really take care of it and taking care of it is it can be a simple as never ever buying a plastic bottle again or products with little wrappers that end up in the water and fishes mouths and so on and so forth. We all know that but we don’t seem to really grasp it and so… but yeah it’s more intent to come to awaken that but in an inspiring way rather than a political way or something.
Phil: You have been part of the Spirit Voyage family for so long now and I see that they are helping promote the album, but will you appear in a any Sat Nam Fest this year or next?
Angelika: Not this year, we already were there in April. Next year maybe yes, of course we’re connected to them there are family there are dear friends and they own most of our music so we have a deep deep relationship with them and it will continue, and we shall see how more of in a creative interactive way, yeah… it will continue.
Phil: And which track would you like to leave the listeners with today?
Angelika: We could do Luz de la Mañana. I like that track.
Phil: What does it mean in English?
Angelika: That means the morning light, the light at dawn. It’s a little song that sings about how the day begins, especially like right before sunrise. How everything slowly starts to awaken, also the senses start to awaken after the night. The night is always have a place where consciously or unconsciously we touch the darkness of our minds and our souls, we kind of have a little touch with our fears and our dark corners, death maybe, and then morning and the sunrise brings rebirth and inspiration and freshness again so that’s what that song is about.
Phil: Thank you for being so generous with your time again
Angelika: Thank you Phil, that was lovely.
Phil: We look forward for the concert.
Angelika: Wonderful. We are happy you are here.
SONG PLAYS: LUZ DE LA MAÑANA