Words By Joey Rochert.
Hello, Saskia, Let’s talk about your new album, ‘Together In Love And Separation’, what was the inspiration for creating the album?
Chandra Chakraborty reached out to me having heard of me as a folk singer and invited me over to play music together, tempting me with the offer of dinner too – how could I say no? Once we started playing we knew we had something beautiful and unusual here and set about creating an album project right away to show the world!
What was it like working with Chandra Chakraborty?
Chandra Chakraborty is a truly extraordinary human being. She moved in with her musical guru’s in her teenage years and they even helped arranged her marriage. In her culture it is extremely rare to find women who are empowered to perform and sing throughout their lives and music is not just a fun hobby for someone like her, it is something she dedicated decades of her life to, gave up living with her family for and it exists within a spiritual tradition. Without making a fuss about it, all of that tradition, that sacrifice, that intense dedication and spirituality is fused into who she is and how she performs and it has been an honour and privilege to work with her.
Which composers in the current industry inspire you the most?
I am inspired by strong female vocalists of the western folk traditions, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Eva Cassidy, Gillian Welch to name but a few.
Is there a certain place you often go to write? E.g a certain room, or environment?
I like to write on my boat. I find the peace and quiet of nature to be my best inspiration and while my boat is nothing fancy, floating on the water surrounded by trees and birds and knowing that no-one can hear me makes me feel safe to experiment. I will accept the living rooms of friends as a close second and of course, recording studios as a third favourite.
What is your first memory of music?
Titanic! Remember the song ‘Near, far, wherever you are…’ – my earnest little 5 year old brain absorbed that song and I used to hum it to myself hoping someone would hear me and think it was nice and ask me to sing it properly. They almost never did but I grew a somewhat secret obsession with singing that only came out in my teenage years.
Photo Credit: Saskia Griffiths-Moore.