Just like the mythical being she took the name of, Adam’s wife who, in Jewish mythology, left her husband as she felt too constrained and subservient to him, refusing to consider herself anything besides equal to Adam, Lilith has the same desire to be individual and different. She succeeds this through her music, a harmonious blend of heavy bass lines and subtle touches, at times warm, at times dark, and, of course, bringing her own gangsta grooves to the audiences worldwide. Lilith was recently in Romania and played at Local Gathering, and now she’ll be visiting us again, this time in Cluj, and with these occasions we got to know more about Dutch-born Caroline Arends and her quest to discover the new and the extraordinary, both in music and in life.
Keywords: numbers, gangsta groove, frequencies, nature, awareness, syncretism
Guerilla Agency’s first lady ‘LILITH’ is back with a vengeance in her first solo offering of original music since the turn of 2014, with this stunning instalment as part of Baile Musik’s debut vinyl release.
‘Mani Padme’ features a synergy between intricate percussion and rolling bass that Lilith has convincingly mastered, with a melismatic chant erupting midway in a stunning testament to the artist’s inspiring experimentalism.
This is what feeder would like to know about you:
Before I go to sleep, I… think about the endless possibilities to explore.
It’s in my nature to... do things differently.
One of my first musical crushes was…Jump – Kriss Kross.
I’ve always wanted to be perceived as…I don’t want to be perceived as anything else than myself, and I’m still trying to find out what that is.
Numbers never… disappoint me.
Everything is interconnected, and I am…a part of it.
One of the things I love most about travelling is… it’s great to be alone for a while to sort myself out. A journey of self discovery.
When thinking about what I do, the first words that come to mind are…Connecting frequencies; I try to share messages through sounds.
In my spare time, I love…to meditate, and listening to the frequencies of nature, exercise, work in the garden and getting enough sleep, and spending time with my family.
3 fresh tracks I’ve just discovered and fell in love with… Oh, the dreaded “one track” question… Nope, I’m such an addict when it comes to new tracks… I’m always on a look out for something new. And from the “old but gold” category there’s just too many to just pick one. I plead the Fifth!
Ana Moca-Grama: Lilith, I’m genuinely excited having this interview with you, if you were right here, I’m sure we would have many philosophical conversations:) I say that because I noticed you’re very in touch with yourself, life itself and nature. How much does your life philosophy interfere with your music, how does it influence it, can you pinpoint a manifestation of this relationship between the creator and their creations?
Lilith: Hey Ana, I’m also very excited about this interview and I hope I will meet you in real life soon. At the moment I’m driving to the Netherlands. During the next 2 days, I will go on a journey of self – exploration through energy activations, light , and sound to establish a deeper connection with myself. I’ve always been sensitive to things around me and I discovered that music is the right way to express myself.
I don’t believe in coincidences, in my opinion everything is planned here on the planet. Since I moved to the country side 1.5 years ago I developed it even more just because there are less distractions. Nature inspires because nature influences us every single moment, it’s the nature that let me get in touch with myself. I know I have a story to tell, we all have a story – this is what connects us.
I want to share my story that’s my passion, my motivation to wake up every morning.
My life is music, everything is connected, so my life philosophy influences every aspect of my music. One of the manifestations of this relationship is that I get so inspired by the sounds of nature and I use aspects of nature as basis for my music.
We are all animals – products of nature (and the universe). The ultimate goal that I want with my music and which is inspired by my life philosophy is that through connecting with my music you will come more and more in connection with your own personal and natural frequency, your own rhythm.
This helps you to remember who (or even what) you really are ;-)!
AMG: Speaking of this, you said something very interesting about your music. “There is an underlying order in this universe, which express itself in the form of numerical relations. This universal order is the basis of my music.”! Have you always been passionate about mathematics and numbers? How do they guide your daily life, how about your music?
L: Pythagoras, the ancient Greek philosopher, said that music was the highest art form, because it was the only art which used the pure numerical proportions which govern nature and the universe as building blocks.
I regard myself as quite philosophical, or so I think I am. Music & Math both share aspects of structure and form, patterns and rhythm. So when I create music, I apply this philosophy, and do so in a certain frequency instead of keys. But my obsession with numbers goes a little deeper, and maybe more crazy than that. For several years now I have seen the number ’44’ at a specific moment in time, when something memorable or special has occurred.
When I see ’44’ I know that I’m following the right path, my thoughts on that moment are the right ones. I use it as guidance so I know what my next step is. ’44’ shows me my path.
AMG: You’ve began your musical career in 2004, when you started DJ’ing, but before that you used to have a clothing boutique and were really into fashion. How and when did you discover that you can express yourself much better through music, as opposed to fashion? Was there a decisive moment when you said “this is it, I’m taking another road”, or did it come gradually?
L: This period in my life was necessary in order to grow, to become who I am now. As I grew older I realized that there was more to life than waiting for my customers every single day.
Now I know that this was also a very important part of the plan. I learned a lot in this period. Standing on my own 2 feet, making my own decisions. I had to go through this, in order to grow and discover my true self. I felt I was kinda lost, but as we say in Holland “waar een deur dichtgaat, gaat een raam open”.
My boutique store was next to a record store, and when I had some time left I felt the need to listen to the records. And I started collecting them. I didn’t see myself in a picture standing in that shop for the rest of my life. So I decided to break the pattern. I wanted to discover the world and I followed my path.
I think that in that period I started listening more & more to myself. I had to escape the prison that I had constructed for myself. So I had to look for a job and practice playing records. That’s where it all started. I knew in some way that this was a preparation for the next step in my life.
AMG: Your musical roots, apart from the classical ones from your early youth, which can still be felt, subtly, in some of your tracks, also include lots of hip-hop and resulted in creating your own signature style, gangsta groove, the lovechild of techno and hip-hop. Could you tell me more about this, how was it born and what are its essentials?
L: Without Hip Hop there would be no techno and without jazz there wouldn’t be hip hop. “Hip hop” is the combination of two separate slang terms: hip, used in African American English as early as 1898, meaning “aware” or “in the know”, and hop, for the hopping movement. The importance of sampling for the art form means a lot to me. I use my personal computer in order to make an expression of technological spirituality in the form of frequencies.
I believe that on this planet everything is a remix. LOL
AMG: You travel a lot, having been from Ibiza to Russia, always playing gigs alongside some of the great names of the industry. We’ll get to that in the next question, but what I wanted to know, as you mentioned that you “love to sample & record sounds & conversations on the road”, is: what were the most memorable experiences on the road and what were the most interesting samples you got to record on the road?
L: Yeah I think I might have one that I would like to share.
I’m in love with the process of creating and co-creating. The process in which I connect to receive new inspirations and experiences means opening myself up for everything around me.
At that certain moment I noticed the frogs were giving a concert and it sounded so beautiful. They were communicating with other frogs in our area. I decided to record this and I used it as an element for a new project. I hear and feel without knowing that this is something that I can use. It’s the frequencies that connect a story. I’m an observer and I record what I hear.
AMG: You’ve been collaborating and playing b2b with so many great artists. It’s a full list of names and venues, quite impressive, I might add. Tell us a bit about this community that you’re part of. What’s it like, being a dj and producer who gets in touch with so many talented people, and gets to touch such diverse crowds? Do you have anyone in particular you’ve always wanted to collaborate with, but didn’t get the chance to (yet)?
L: I never felt that I was a part of a community. I just did my thing and because of this I received possibilities to collaborate and learn from other creative minds. But this was always for a short period of time. You meet a lot of friends along the way, some will go and some will stay. I feel very blessed that I had the chance to work with so many amazing artists.
I had the chance to play in many places of the world, for different crowds. Every country has its own specific frequencies and grooves, I’ve experienced lots of them. This is how I developed my own sound.
The synchronicity of every moment – others help us see through our own light, to make it shine in a new vision! I’m very thankful for that.
AMG: You’ve recently been to Romania, playing at the Local Gathering and, as I know you love nature, I have to ask: did you catch any part of the wonderful natural world Romania has to offer? Aside from that, how was it, what was the vibe you picked up on from the crowd? Any local dj’s and/or producers you really enjoy?
L: My first time in Romania was an amazing experience, it felt like coming home.
There was not so much time to visit the wonderful natural world of Romania. But I think this was not the plan, cause I first had to experience the wonderful nature of the people of Romania. In order to share my sound & frequencies I first had to get in touch with people. I had many conversations about interesting stuff. The party was outside on a pontoon and next to us there were turtles swimming in the lake. So I had to know what the reason was that the turtles surrounded us. Turtles don’t have ears, but can perceive low-pitched sounds. And they were there, chilling on a piece of wood, enjoying the low frequencies. This was a beautiful sign from nature that music connects us all. I received every dj & producer with an open heart. They really taught me about the grooves & frequencies of Romania. I’m really thankful for that.
You can enjoy Lilith’s music this Saturday, at Villa Takeover in Snagov.
AMG: What are your plans for the rest of 2014?
L: My plan on the planet – I planted a lot of seeds in the last couple of years. One of these seeds is called Syncretic, a platform that I and my good friend and co- creator Daniel Schotborg will launch soon. And we are very excited about telling you more.
“Syncretic is a movement which uses electronic music and culture to awaken the young people of this time, to put them in contact with their true being. When we are in touch with our true being and know that we are all in essence one, we realize it would be absurd to continue fighting wars and being slaves of the big ‘economy’. If everybody realizes that we are one, we won’t have this absurd inequality. We would strive for a world of abundance and self-realization.
Wikipedia – “Syncretism involves the merger and analogizing of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths.”
Our platform is called Syncretic because we believe that there is an underlying order in this universe. This order expresses itself in the form of numerical relations and these numerical relations are the unifying principle of our music. In nature and the universe these mathematics and geometry are the unifying principles of life. We are so separate from that reality now – in life and in music, that we from Syncretic believe that it would be right to connect back to this.
Just as with people, everybody is different and expresses her or his self differently, but underneath this individuality lays a unity. We mirror that in our music to communicate our ideology that everyone is one and that within this essence, this oneness, lays your full potential. Through our music we strive to reach this level in our listeners and put them more in contact with it.
Syncretic is a platform for electronic musicians who are different in expression but unified in consciousness and ideology. We believe that with this new music we can change the people who listen to it. It is time that we come into contact with our true self again.
We do this amongst other things by retuning our instruments to natural harmonic frequencies and tonal scales, or by using natural sounds and the natural voice. We also do this by researching the effects of sound and music on consciousness and the brain to harness music’s full potential. That is what you saw in the short film.
Lilith has a brain scanner (EEG) device on her head, and in this example her Alpha brainwaves were controlling the sound coming out of my laptop. This is what we mean by harnessing the full potential of music and sound. This is all preparation for what we are going to be presenting to the world in the near future.”
AMG: As I know you like to talk about life and nature, I’m going to ask you something about both of them. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Tell us one of your all-time favorite places in nature from this beautiful Earth of ours.
L: Time makes me stronger. Lots of things change every single day. I flirt with new possibilities. I’m picking up my signs and follow that direction. Send a msg from my heart throughout the universe “ what do I need to do, what is my highest potential”. That’s my question for tomorrow and within 5 years. Life is a series of natural changes.
My all- time favorite place? Gaia!
AMG: Thank you so much, peace out!
L: Thanks, and next time throw me some more questions there is a lot to talk about! X
Enjoy the never ending cycle of transformation. Make tons of new sounds. Live life, enjoy every moment. Follow your path.
All photos © De Vriendelijke IK
Words by: Ana Moca-Grama