Musical Discoveries: To open with, talk to us about how you were introduced to the beauty of music. Was it at a particular age, perhaps a particular artist or album? How did it make you feel?
Luna Sans: Music has always been a part of me. I cannot remember a time when music was not in some form or another, in my home. I must be honest and say I was not one who, at three, “Knew I was to become a singer.” Though, I am sure my family would argue that I have always had the performance gene. We lived in New York for a short while when I was a young child. I was fortunate enough to get to see many live stage productions, one of which was Yul Brenner’s final performance in “The King and I.” My mother often reminds me of the embarrassment she suffered, whilst spending the majority of the show attempting to get me to stop singing along so loudly.
To this day, I am totally inspired by the art of live musical production. Although too young to remember the exact details of the many creative moments we spent on and “off” Broadway, I believe those times to be the prime catalyst for what my musical journey has become today. Nothing compares to what a live show, concert, or performance, can do to the soul. It is the most difficult and the most exhilarating for the performer, while it can be the most moving and emotional for the viewer. Music in my opinion is the universal language; it is a part of us all.
When did you begin to realise that becoming involved in music was the path for you?
In all honesty, it wasn’t until entering College that I realized that I wanted to sing. I was studying Economics- and overwhelmed with all things math. I met a fellow student in one of my classes, who happened to bring his guitar to the lecture. It peaked my interest, and I inquired as to how long he had been playing. He told me he was taking Guitar level 1, (hence having to bring the guitar to our class) but really had played for over ten years. (Obviously he was going for the easy A- I wish I had thought of that trick)
In any case, we bonded over our love of music and the journey began from there. We started to write between study sessions. We eventually brought in other musicians and created a band that developed a small following. It was a really fun time. We experimented with a plethora of sounds. We had a bassist, a guitarist, a drummer, a keyboard, a male R&B vocalist, and myself. It was a mix of jazz, R&B, rock, and a hint of the classics. We performed in nightclubs, coffee houses, really anywhere that would have us. It offered a taste of what it felt like to perform live. Nothing compares to the feeling one gets when in front of a live audience. It is indescribable.
How did your involvement with the E. S. Posthumus brothers come about, were you already familiar with their music at the time?
I know this sounds a bit cliché but I believe things happen for a reason. It was at a time when my musical goals were changing. I knew deep down that my path was elsewhere, but I didn’t know where or how. I was introduced to a music producer who was interested in working with me. He was intrigued with my vocal sound and decided he would introduce me to some friends of his. You must understand that at that point, I was willing to meet with anyone who was interested; it was just another day in the life of a starving artist. As it turned out his “friends” were indeed the brothers Vonlichten. In all honesty, I had no idea who they were. They were very modest, understated and of course every bit quirky. They told me nothing about themselves. Instead they asked about me. Following our brief conversation they asked me to sing a bar from a song that they then played for me. I knew at that moment I was supposed to be there. It was, what would turn out to be, what Cartographer is today.
Was it a liberating experience to be able to use your voice against the sweeping orchestral instrumentation E. S. Posthumus composes?
I must answer honestly and say, NO! Although I knew instantly that I loved the sound, I found the compositions to be so beautiful and elaborate-that I was totally intimidated by them. I had no idea how my voice could offer anything more. I was just so honored that they found me worthy enough to sing, that I knew I had to overcome the fear and trust that I was supposed to be there. I tried to concentrate solely on what I could bring to the project, and not let the orchestra overwhelm me. I went in ready to sing with as much emotion as the orchestration provoked within. Today, what is most liberating, is that I am actually accepted as a part of all this. I know that not all people prefer a vocalist with the ES Posthumus sound, and I understand that. Yet I am so grateful to those who have accepted my vocals in the ways that they have.
In another sense, was it challenge to match such a grandiose sound?
I can bet from my previous answer-that this answer is pretty obvious. I tend to get ahead of myself don’t I? YES, obviously it was a challenge. I will say I am one, who attempts to conquer the fears that I face. I often take the path of most resistance. This was definitely one such time. Perhaps that is what drew me to this project. All I can say is, I really did give it my all, and I hope that much is evident when the music is heard. Obviously one cannot compete with an enormous orchestra and a bevy of instrumentalists. But I do believe I did my best to add to it and make it more unique.
Tell me a little about the concept of Cartographer. What kind of ideas exist within the album's tapestry?
Well credit must be given where credit is due. The concept was really a vision of the brother’s. Helmut studied Archaeology. He is deeply passionate about the world and its history, both culturally and musically. I think that is what instigated the initial concept for the project. Together though, Helmut and Franz have this uncanny ability to create a sound that, I believe, is unlike any other. This project is so deeply rooted-that I cannot begin to describe what exists within its many layers. I believe it will be a different listening experience for all who hear it. If you are asking what ideas I believe exist, well, I believe this album represents possibility. It exemplifies the fusion of both the past and present. This is a project for all to find a universal connection. I believe this music takes you to a spiritual place. A place where you do not have to understand, you simply have to feel.
Are there any particular songs that, for whatever reason, you are most proud of? Be it for a personal connection, maybe one that tested you, yet was the most rewarding?
I will first say, I am my own worst critic. It is very difficult for me to listen to my own vocals. With that said, this project took quite a while to complete. To me it represents a small piece of my life. While recording, many events occurred, and these songs represent those moments for me. This was my first album and it will forever be a part of me. I sometimes relive the moments when I do listen to the tracks. I would say that has been one of the greatest gifts, the way the music has bestowed my thoughts and memories.
Anyway, to answer your question, I would probably say- "Mosane", "Decifin", "Raptamei" and "Nivaos" touched me most while recording. However, my favorite track of all is one from the "Pi" versions. I believe "Nolitus Pi" to be one of the most beautiful creations I have ever heard. It is on a different level musically, it touches you so deeply, and I can honestly say I am in love with it.
What kinds of imagery do you hope your listener to form whilst taking in Cartographer?
That is something I have a hard time answering. I am a big believer in truth and individuality. I feel if I were to offer my opinion, it may alter what the listener may feel or imagine on his/her own. One thing I can say is that many people may be deterred by the ancient language and unique nature of the project. I hope people will just give it a listen, even if it is outside their musical genre of choice. I believe this project can touch anyone, if they just allow it the opportunity to do so. It is meant to be universal, and I hope it will be received in that way.
Similarly, what emotions and feelings exist within the album? Is it an uplifting listen?
I believe this album represents the entire spectrum of emotion. Though, at times I feel the tracks are “uplifting,” other times I feel a deep sense of sorrow and despair. This project not only represents the ancient past, but also the moments that were spent making it. The creative process is an emotionally rigorous one, and I think that can be felt when listening to the songs. I believe the album represents a variety of feelings, stretching from the heartbreaking to the inspirational.
What did you learn about yourself, as a vocalist and as an individual, during the Cartographer experience?
Well, first of all I know I am way too analytical. I tend to question everything. Was that track okay? Should we record again? Did I take too loud of a breath? I finally realized I needed to stop thinking so much. I needed to be confident with what I had to bring to the table. I am not sure what created that realization -but whatever did, it worked. As soon as I stopped thinking so much, it seemed to get a lot easier. It can be a very destructive path, to second guess everything you do. Once I let go, and just gave all I had to give, I felt as if it would all work out- in the way that it was supposed to. I feel now as if it did.
You have an active Myspace profile. What is your outlook on the internet as a medium for accessing and sharing music with others?
That is a great question. Let me just say I am a bit of a novice with regard to the Internet. I never understood the Myspace world prior to the record being released. It was actually a suggestion, by a music executive friend of mine, to create my page. I had no idea how to build it, or how to find the “so called” friends. So, I just signed up. I put up a few photos, added a few samples of the tracks, and off it went. At this point it has been up about six weeks and I continue to be surprised by the response. I have to admit it has become one of the best parts of this entire process. I love what Myspace has given to me. I am all about meeting people. As much I love singing, I really love the interaction process with those from all over the world, as much, if not more.
As I have said before my voice is really my instrument through which I have the ability to engage. I am able to talk to the fans that love the music, meet new people, and learn about cultures and worlds that are foreign to me. I am able to converse with those I would never know otherwise. What is most exhilarating is the diversity that I have found. This record has touched so many. Be it those from Europe or Asia, to the spiritual and religious. I have heard from so many all over the globe. I love what the Internet has given me, and I am proud to say that at this point I try really to respond and become acquainted with all who contact me. I am so grateful to, and honored by, all who do.
Who, and what, inspires you in life?
The quest for knowledge, and light. I know that is a strange answer, but I see it as a way to describe what gives me life. I love to travel and see new things and meet new people. I have known from an early age that I am supposed to see the world, and interrelate with as many as I can. Meeting someone I didn’t expect to meet feeds my soul. Whether it is a stranger on the subway, or a child in the grocery store. I live for those moments. My dream is to tour with this music, and share with all that I can. Then have a little time to discover the people and places that I am able to go to, would be a wonderful gift.
What music do you enjoy aside from E. S. Posthumus. Any favored artists or styles of music?
There are so many artists I would want to acknowledge. My musical taste is all over the map. I really do love singer/songwriters. I often listen to artists like Rufus Wainwright, India Arie, Sara Bareilles, Bonnie Rait, James Taylor and the list goes on. I also really like Michael Buble, and Andrea Bocelli. I prefer listening to Celine Dion in French, as well as Shakira in Spanish. I have a huge affinity for R&B artists like Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin. I also really love Latin music- David Bisbal, Alejandro Sanz, Bebel Gilberto, and Ceu’ are just a few! There are so many more, sorry to those that I did not name!
Have there ever been any discussions or plans to perform a selection of the E. S. Posthumus material featuring your voice in a live environment? Would it be something that would excite you if, somehow, the idea could be realised?
That is my ultimate dream and goal! I feel deep down that it will eventually happen. Although I am not sure of the when and the how, I believe this album and this music will see a tour. This is an independent album, and it does take a while for such music to get out and be heard. I know though, what the ES Posthumus sound, does for people. I am anticipating the day that I can help to share and perform it with the world! In all honesty, I would love to see the music combined with something visual, a very large production- I guess only time will tell…..
What are the future plans for Luna Sans?
I try to live in the moment. I have so many things that I want to accomplish, that I just have to concentrate on one thing at a time. This is my first record, and it has only just been released. I really want to make the best of this experience. I want the music to be heard, shared and with that we will see where it goes. As I said, I really would love to tour, and take this music where it wants to be heard and enjoyed. I am asked quite often when that will be and I just cannot say. All I can ask is for those of you who do enjoy our music, to please spread the word. The music business is changing, and the more we hear from the actual listener the better chance we have of creating something big! Thank you so much for all of the support, we really appreciate it!