I N T E R V I E W
Text Robin Boer
In October last year, we were lucky to find out about the output of Israeli vocalist/composer/arranger Sivan Arbel, and therefore we reached out to her to get to know more about her background and activities. Revisit the article here
In 2021, we see her abilities touch upon even more disciplines, like further exploring the choreographic elements that relate to her composing and making musical collaborations through her social media account. Also, she is releasing a very inspiring, joyful video accompanying the song ‘Change’ which is also featured on her second album ‘Change of Light’ and mid-April she released the track ‘More Addictive:’ a collaboration with musician Nular. We felt it was time to catch up and give us some more background on her recent and current activities.
Describe the concept and implementation of the Sonic Dance series.
Like all other performers, my life was upended in COVID-19. All live shows came to a standstill with the advent of New York City’s shutdown. No gigs and very limiting opportunities to play and collaborate with others. But there was also an opportunity in having quiet time. It gave me more time to practice and create at home. To dig deeper into my personal craft.
But during this period, my soul was yearning for something new, and I was longing to create WITH people. Something that can be expressed visually and musically in an honest and meaningful way. And that’s when the “Sonic Dance Series” came to life -- a super creative four-part video series presenting collaborations between myself and five different dancers (three solos and one duet). The genesis of each video was an in-depth conversation between myself and each dancer, exploring how we feel as performers, why we chose our artistry and pathway, and of course, life in general. It was fascinating to see how every conversation took a different turn and planted a unique seed for our co-creation. The resulting four videos feature original choreography and dance that speaks to my original music.
How did you experience the performances of the series and (how) do they influence your upcoming art?
Dance, just like music, is another medium that delivers a story and emotions without words -- which for me is extremely powerful. I am also a dancer, and over the past few years, I have been exploring how the worlds of music and dance can co-exist and blend into a singular piece of art (in contrast to a dancer performing to a piece of music). That is why I chose to incorporate movement in both of my recent releases: “Sonic Dance Series” and a new video entitled “Change”.
As an observer, it was beautiful and humbling to experience these two projects and I will explain why. Previously, I was always the creator and performer, which means that I appeared in every video. Both the “Sonic Dance Series” and “Change” only feature my music. So it was a unique opportunity for me to just listen to the music and observe how the dancers and actors expressed themselves through a different art form to my music. Not being focused on myself as the singer enabled me to focus more on the message and story of “Sonic Dance Series” and “Change”.
Please tell us about the Q&A sessions related to the project.
I wanted to provide the opportunity for viewers to do a dive deep into the creative process between myself and the collaborators. For me, each performance in the “Sonic Dance Series” has a healing gift which is especially needed these days. Sharing that experience is another way to spread the healing energy, which will make us stronger and more connected as a community.
How did the idea for the video for 'Change' come about?
The song “Change” was inspired by the day-to-day twists and turns that mark everyone’s lives. Every change carries a feeling of uncertainty and “shakiness”, even though we usually know deep down in our soul that eventually everything will be okay. If you think about it, we can also observe this continuum of change in nature - the leaves transform their colors with every season and the wind blows them off their branches before they settle back down to earth.
Therefore, it was very clear to me that I would like to incorporate autumn leaves and the story of moving to a different place in the video (perhaps inspired by the fact that I haved moved into so many different apartments in NYC...). When I connected to the amazing director and actress Mor Cohen, and writer and cinematographer Polaris Banks, we played around with a few ideas until we finally decided on the story that unfolds in the video.
Can we get a glimpse of your further plans for this year?
After this past year, I don’t think anyone can say what exactly is going to happen in the near future. I can keep on touring and recording new music. I am also exploring the possibility of transforming the “Sonic Dance Series” into a live performance setting. I will definitely keep everyone posted via my website and social media platforms!