Ariadne’s Labyrinth is a producer I came across last year through her Lost and Founded album on Detroit Underground. Inspired by IDM, techno, ambient and jazz you can hear these influences throughout her productions. A classically trained violinist, it’s an instrument featured throughout her compositions, creating an almost orchestral feel to her sound that’s soaked in melody.
Her latest album Twists and Turns came out last week on Touched Records, which sees her sound mature even further. It could definitely hold it’s own against more established acts in the IDM scene. Some beautiful melody throughout it. I caught up with her ahead of the release to find out more about her production process and how the release came together.
Q: What initially sparked your interest in making music?
Well, I have always made music. I started playing the violin and piano quite young and I would always compose pieces at the piano. I have been a jazz musician for years and I love to improvise. I discovered electronic music through going to parties…I remember it being a beautiful experience, actually. The music resonated with me on a deep level. It was a natural development that I would end up making it.
Q: You’ve mentioned you’re a classically trained violinist, how do you incorporate this into your tunes?
Incorporating the violin in to my tunes is most often about getting it to sound right, as in terms of the effects that I use. Once I get that bit right, the composition of the parts comes very quickly. With the violin, for me, it’s always about getting a certain vibe or feel with the music. Sometimes it can take a while for the violin to feel like it ‘sits’ in the piece because I never like things being arbitrary – everything in the music needs to have a reason. So, if I play for an hour and nothing I have played gels, I will leave it and come back to it.
Q: How do you generally write? Is it the violin or beats that come first?
Usually the beats come first, and some kind of synth lines. Often the strings come later but not always. It depends how they fit into the composition. I think with the Enigm tunes on my Detund release the violins were the first things I wrote, because I had just stumbled on that particular FX setting.
Q: What producers are you into at the moment?
Me. Haha! No, seriously, I like a lot of artists but to pick a few:
I recently discovered Daisuke Tanabe. His music and his approach to sound and composition fascinate me. I went to see him live and it was so good I ordered his album Floating Underwater when I got home. I remember thinking ‘Wow! I’ve never heard anything like this before!’
Karsten Pflum is another one whose work I have been listening to a lot recently. I discovered him relatively recently and love all of his work. I’m looking forward to hearing his new album that comes out on Touched after mine. He’s an excellent musician and accomplished composer.
I have also been listening to some really old and quite obscure artists/releases off the now defunct Merck label – Adam Johnson – Chigliak, Landau – Thepicompromise and both of MD’s albums have all been on my headphones a lot recently (when I haven’t been making music).
Aside from electronica I also listen to (and enjoying playing) jazz from time to time.
Q: What kind of set up do you have when playing live?
At present it is my laptop, Ableton, a bunch of midi controllers, a midi keyboard, my violin and a midi pedal board which I use to control Ableton’s looper.
Q: How long does it usually take you to compose a tune?
Not long once I have a really good idea that inspires me. The quickest has been two days and the most has been over a year. But then the whole writing process for me often involves coming back to a tune several times to work on it with lots of revision and editing.
Q: What do you find the most difficult part of producing?
Well, I am not technically a ‘producer’. I write all of my music; I programme all the beats, make all the sounds, record everything myself and arrange it all. The production of the music is a collaborative effort between me and my friend, Rory Lemon – who is a fantastic producer. Rory sound engineers the music.
In so far as what I do in the writing process – I don’t find anything difficult at all. I’d say that producing the work is a free-flowing and fairly easy process, as we tend to hear things the same way and have very similar tastes when it comes to how we like things to sound.
Q: Finally, you have a new album out, can you tell us a bit more about it?
Sure. The album is called Twists And Turns and it was released on October 27 on Touched. The tracks were all written roughly between 2014 and 2016. It was shortly after I sent my demo to label boss Martin Boulton, last year, that he asked me if I would like to do an album for him and I obviously jumped at the chance.
That label has been going from strength to strength and to have my album drop right after Autechre and just before Karsten Pflum is a real honour. A year ago I never imagined that would happen.
As a body of work I am really happy with it and I am delighted at the feedback and response that it has so far received. I was planning an album launch but for various reasons that hasn’t yet happened. However watch this space!
Big thanks to Sharon for the interview. Definitely keep an eye out for her playing gigs around London and the UK in the future.