HILARY WOODS: Catalyst for Inner Change

Interview with Hilary Woods

Being in the works for two years, Hilary Woods‘ new album Birthmarks, out via Sacred Bones Records, was penned during its creator’s pregnancy in the winter 2019. Exploreing the oscillating and volatile processes of selfhood and becoming, hidden gestational growth, and the birthing of the self, amidst continuous social and personal change, Woods has created a release that will certainly leave a mark on the musician’s career and future releases.

“On Birthmarks, I was keen to explore a more sonic and textural palette than I had done previously,” says Woods and continues, “some of the tracks were built on top of field recordings I’d made over the course of time. A lot of bass analogue synth was used throughout and Lasse [Marhaug, producer] brought the noise.

“The album explores ideas of becoming and self-hood through art and expression.”

Hilary Woods - Birthmarks

A lot of what Woods wrote was discarded whilst other ideas were brought in from the cold. According to her, the process was intuitive, there are influences from obviously song music; folk, and also early music, polyphony, drone and noise interwoven throughout.

About the challenges and lessons learned during the creative process for Birthmarks, Hilary comments: “I think to have a positive experience in the process of making a record is very important – as that is what sticks with you long after the record has been released and really shapes how one feels about the outcome itself. The process is the reward, and this time round really cemented that for me.

“I do believe art is a catalyst for inner change, otherwise why would anyone pursue or engage with it if they wanted to stay put. Records bring you from one place to another, that is one of the reasons why I love working within the LP form.”

Woods doesn’t follow any predefined patterns when composing but goes on saying, “I do like looping ideas and falling into a trance with phrases, living with lyrics, writing and re writing.”

About what non-musical entities and ideas have an impact on her music, she opens up by saying: “I like sitting with ideas, to read when I have the chance and am into visual art. I bounce off a lot of mediums and I’d say every aspect of my living impacts what I want to make in music.”

At this point the destiny of Roadburn Festival 2020 is not known, and asked about her expectations from performing this event and what visitors can expect from her Hilary says, “I don’t really know what to expect other than looking at the line-up here, I anticipate it to be brimming full of quality; I admire a lot of the artists on the bill and hope to get to a few shows. Visitors can expect from me a solo show, with volume, and impactful silences.”

Birthmarks is out now; order it from Bandcamp here. Follow Hilary Woods on Instagram.

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