Musiqa Mustaqilla’s ongoing series „In Conversation With“ continues with a talk between Musiqa Mustaqilla’s editor and Maya Aghniadis, the person behind the music project called Flugen a new project from Lebanon.
MM: When did you come up with your project “Flugen“ what is the story behind the name?
Maya Aghniadis: Flugen started in 2014 while I was studying film scoring in France (Nancy), I was introduced to new artists and genres from classical to electronic as well as new approaches to compose music and got inspired to start a project that gathers all my favourite musical moods. The name means everything and nothing; it‘s a word I used to say all the time.
MM: You are currently working on an album called “Ondes“, how long have you been working on it and how different is it in exchange to “Lost Banjo“?
MA: If I were to describe “Lost Banjo” I would say it reflects the year I spent in Europe, meeting new souls, discovering new cultures and traveling solo to share my music. I started working on “Ondes” in September 2017 when I settled in a small traditional house in the mountains of the Metn Area in Lebanon. “Ondes” is focused on loops of sounds and vocals that progress through waves of emotions.
MM: Is the guitar your main instrument, or which instrument do you feel the most at home?
MA: Drums are my main instrument and guitar as well because I grew up around a lot of guitarists but the instrument I enjoy playing the most is the piano because it combines rhythm, harmony and melody.
MM: Are you the first one in your family who is working professionally as a musician?
MA: I am the only one to have chosen music as a profession in the family although my sister is a classically trained pianist and my brother is a guitarist (We were both part of a Led Zeppelin tribute band called “Hot air Balloon” back in 2008!)
MM: When you are working on a new song, how does the first spark of an idea for a song usually emerge?
MA: I think this is a very difficult question to answer (maybe to most musicians) because I never know how I start composing a song; it is always a different approach. Sometimes it’s a feeling deep inside that has to get out of your system, sometimes it’s a boost of energy and instead of dancing with your body you dance with the notes.
MM: How closely do you work with your fellow musicians in Lebanon, do you collaborate a lot with them?
MA: I am currently collaborating with a group of musicians for the fundraiser concert and the album launch of “Ondes” such as Johny Girges (Classical guitarist) who performs with me most of the time and Karim Khneisser (Multi-instrumentalist and producer). A group of close friends (Including my mother!) are going to be part of a choral for the upcoming concerts.
MM: What kind of music do you listen to personally and how does the music you listen to inspire your own sound?
MA: I listen to different styles of music from 60s (psychedelic pop) to techno and electronica. Nowadays, I am focused on sounds from Latin America, traditional and contemporary. I feel there is a magical vibe in their rhythms and melodies.
MM: What kind of equipment are you using while you are recording, is it very different than performing live?
MA: I usually record in my home studio, so the equipment is basic (laptop, soundcard, microphones, instruments). I also have a portable microphone I like to carry around wherever I go. I used to perform with my laptop as well, but I am currently using the MPC live for live electronics, which is a standalone sequencer that allows you to enjoy the performance outside the laptop screen.
MM: You work a lot with visuals combining it with your music, how important is the visual aspect for you?
MA: Since I am a graphic designer and like to paint a lot at home, I always try to include visuals in performances because it adds a special dimension to the show and complements the music as well.
MM: After releasing your new album “Ondes“, what upcoming projects do you have planned?
MA: From Lost Banjo to Ondes, I learned a lot of new techniques and ways to experiment with my music. But I also realized that to experiment with music, it means also to experiment with life and emotions so that the future remains a surprise. I don’t know what to expect after Ondes but I know that the story is not over yet! So stay tuned.