Mystic Moods by Michele Ippolito
AV: Tell me about what drew you into making music in the first place and why it was that you settled on ambient music as a way of expressing yourself?
MI: I was drawn to music at age seven when I found I had a gift for playing music by ear. I would hear a melody and begin playing it. My parents bought me a piano which led to me being classically trained in music. At this time I began composing music. As my appreciation of music grew, I found my niche in Ambient / New Age music because it better expressed my emotional feelings of spirituality and I liked the ethereal sounds and textures of this type of music.
AV: Were there any artists that you listened to that helped you decide that creating ambient music was the way you wanted to express your musical talent?
MI: I listened to global music because I like their sounds and mixes. The artists that inspire me are the classical composers like Chopin and Mozart and also Gregorian Chants.
AV: Mystic Moods is your first CD so let me ask you, how long has this CD been in the making from beginning to end and what were some of the themes that you wanted to cover during the writing process?
MI: "Mystic Moods" was a work in progress for a few years due to my involvement in other studio projects. I began with the song "Cerebral" as a theme for the others. Basically I created each melody to awaken the emotions we feel inside.
AV: Did you compose more material than was going to end up on this first CD and how was it that you sorted through the music to determine what made it onto this first release. In other words what were you looking for in your compositions that would form the core of Mystic Moods?
MI: Any excess material was sorted out mainly because it did not fit the synergy of "Mystic Moods." What I was looking for in the core of my compositions were melodies meant for meditation and relaxation.
AV: Where did your inspiration come from when you began work on new compositions for Mystic Moods? Do you have space or time set aside to work on a project like this?
MI: When working on "Mystic Moods" my inspiration came from a variety of diverse interests I have. I am an avid reader of poetry, history and travel books, which instills the inspiration in me. As far as setting a specific time for a project, I do set time aside for rehearsal, recording and a time for mixing.
AV: What will listeners find in regards to the feel of the music when they load up your CD Mystic Moods and give it a good listen?
MI: What the listeners will find in regard to the feel of the music after listening is that this compilation of melodic melodies were soothing, tranquil and that they would want to hear it over and over again when they want to relax with some quiet time.
AV: What is your favorite instrument for communicating your style of music? I know you are classically trained on the piano but with so many electronic means of creating music these days are there any other methods that you have found work for you?
MI: I would say that piano is my main instrument for communication. At the same time with today's technology there are many sounds available for the keyboard.
AV: How has working with your husband in the studio that the two of you run influence how you approached the music on Mystic Moods? If you didn't work in a studio do you think that you would have approached composing and producing your music in a different way?
MI: We approached "Mystic Moods" the same way we would approach any other project. The only exception is the genre. Our concentration was on selection and placement of songs and what we wanted on the final mixes. When "Mystic Moods" was mastered we chose not to have it over compressed as not to lose any of the emotional feeling. If I didn't work with my husband in the studio and had his knowledge, experience and guidance it would have taken longer to finish. As far as composing the material I would have done it the same.
AV: Was it easier for you to start work on the studio aspects of Mystic Moods seeing that you were very familiar with the process and what had to be done?
MI: Being familiar with the recording process I felt comfortable working on the "Mystic Moods" project. Being a producer and artist are different, each has it's own perspective.
AV: Was Mystic Moods an entirely solo project for you as far as instrumentation or did your husband Vince who is also a musician offer any backing support for the project?
MI: All of the instrumentation was played by myself. Vince's support was in the production and mixing process.
AV: Since this was your first CD was this a pleasant experience for you? Was there anything in particular you learned about going through the process as an artist instead of being behind the mixing board for someone else?
MI: Creating my first CD was a pleasant experience for me. I learned that being an artist, you must be able to take constructive criticism on your own compositions and be open minded.
AV: I saw the positive comments by Bill Binkleman (Wind and Wire publisher) about your CD on one of the music lists recently but what other kinds of feedback have you been getting about your debut CD Mystic Moods from reviewers or listeners? How important is feedback to you as an artist and how motivating is it when you start work on your next project?
MI: Bill Binkelman's review and comments were very uplifting to me. I have been receiving positive reviews from Serge Kozovsky and Ron Warnick. In radio for the short time it has been released it is being charted in the top 10 and 20 on various stations, as well as listeners response. As an artist, feedback is very important. It tells me that I created music that people can relate to. This is very motivational knowing my music is being accepted. It has me in the studio compiling new ideas for my next CD.
AV: Any finally comments or remarks you'd like to make to our readers about Mystic Moods and what this first CD means to you?
MI: I want to thank you, your readers, reviewers and of course radio for all of the support I am receiving. Music has its own energy and I believe it to be connected to a source much greater than myself. When I compose music it's my thought process, it's a part of me that I give to others as a gift to share and enjoy.
AV: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me about your music Michele. Best of luck to you.