Why have you kept silence for so long (almost 10 years)?
Have anything really important happen to you during these years? Music has changed during the last 10 years. How did you yourself change?
Well, I will try to make it short
let's see what happened since 2000 :
During year 2000 to 2001, I stopped working with the producer I was working with on the first album, and I began to work on the composition of the album ETTERNA, I reorganized myself, started working with a new manager. In 2001, I met with the Hollywood movie composer - Graeme Revell - and I sang on 3 of his compositions for the Movie - Red Planet - staring Val Kilmer, Carrie Ann Moss, for the BO with Peter Gabriel, Sting, William Orbit . Straight after, I invite Graeme Revell to compose 4 of the music of ETTERNA album and I finished writting all the album's lyrics (quite a long and (kind of) difficult work, as I was writting a soft like poetry straight away in old italian) I finished the composition of the music of the other 6 songs of the album. Then, I created my little Production Company - Nimue Music. I signed with the American Label Ark 21 a license contract, then UNIVERSAL RECORD LONDON signed us worldwide, while we were completed the artwork, photos, EPK, VideoClip for ETTERNA.
The album ETTERNA has been released worldwide, in 2002 and I started a promotion tour (Canada, Mexico, Chili, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Nederland, Grece, Russia , Turkey, Thailand, Taiwan, Israel, Spain, Portugal, Germany, France, Ukrain etc...). During 2003, I went to Miami to perform to close the Winter festival - a remix of one of the first album's song went N° 1 for months in USA. In the meantime, as I was starting to give performances for ETTERNA, some of ARK21 offices collapsed unfortunatelly,and I resigned my contract with the Label. I decided to settle a concert tour under my company Nimue Music. The same year,we started a world tour with the ETTERNA Show, until 2007. I performed the ETTERNA Show in Russia in 2004 then came back in 2007. At the meantime, I began to work on the composition for the new album.
All these years, I gave performances in amasing places (the AcropoIis in Athens, the Esplanade Opera House in Singapoor, in Bali in front a immense Temple, in Israël by the sea under the full moon in a roman arena, in a newly excavated Roman Mausoleum surrounded by a big audience, I sang for the 300 anniversary of the Palace of the Tsarin in St Petersburg for the G8, I performed just at the end of the first FORMULA 1 Racing at night in Singapoor (unforgettable) etc... I can't mention all of them... but I truely had wonderfull experiences...
I completed all the compositions of MACADAM FLOWER (2009) and it took a bit of time for me to sign this new album - at first I present it in France and none of the french record companies seemed to want it - they said the style was too different - I waited and we, my collaborator and I, then decided to sign MACADAM FLOWER country by country. We completed the Art Work, photos, EPK and Video Clip and signed under license in 15 countries most of then in SONY Music to start.
Et voilà !!!
I must say, I didn't have much time for a personal life ... but this is My life ! I have experienced to do many different things in matter of production, creation, as an artist, and as a human being, being present and actor at every step of the creation and conception of an album (as Author and composer, but also as producer for the musical aspect, the visual aspect, such as the photos, and videos) even each step of the creation of shows (costumes, collaboration with choreographers, light shows, rehearsals with musicians, etc...), administrative questions aswell...
... well, it was a true challenge for me, with a lot of enjoyment, a few tears, and a real feeling of freedom.
Since 2000, I also re-began studying cello, and later, Japenese (writting kangi relaxes me...) of course I am still practising on Classical Arias... and I always keep time to take care of my 8 cats and my garden, to cook, and walk for hours in the woods... amongst other things...
How will your new album Macadam flower surprise us? I must say the cover of the CD already did surprise me - it’s rather revealingJ
The process of creation was similar to the other albums - I wanted to recreate a well balanced little world in itself, except that for the other 2 albums, I was telling moments of life from divers characters, mostly "fantastic" characters.
For MACADAM FLOWER, I created only one character - a young woman grown up and living in a big modern city - she "is" the flower of the macadam. This album tells us a story, and the melodies, the lyrics of course, the different languages and the arrangements are chosen to express her divers moods. As she is a "todays" girl, the influences, in
therms of musical styles are "todays" inflences : elctro-pop-soft rock, but also a remembrance of a past with classical evocations, such as Claude Debussy, Jean-Sebastian Bach and a delicate popular melody of Okinawa. The vocal approach may be, aswell, a real suprise for the listener, mostly soft, intimate, intimist pop voice, with some "crunchy" inflections. I kept the "poetic aspect" through the lyrics or in some of the melodies - poetry is an essential element for me and generally for my life. I wanted this album like a little bubble of soft, smooth and sometimes a bit dark emotions, and for me, a different approach of sensuality. Of course, it is not my story, but in a certain way...
Do you plan to visit Russia to present the new album?
I will be in Moscow on March
What do you think is the highest point of your career? Have you achieved it already?
I believe I still have a lot to share, to say, to write, to sing, to perform, to enjoy, to discover, well to live...
I’ve read on your website about “visual experience from Emma’s dreams” connected with your last album. What does it mean? We are thrilled! Did you begin to draw?
No, no ... It is funny that you thought of drawing, because I was thinking to introduce paint in the show, but I still didn't find the right way to do it... no It might refers to videos and light show, costumes and contemporary dancers
What’s the most eccentric (extravagant or bizarre) gesture in your life?
I don't know... maybe you could tell !
I don't feel I am doing eccentric or extravagant things, but I am sure of one thing, I always "try" to managed to do gently, the things I choose to do ...
I don't know...maybe I should be dancing all night long in clubs with friends... but no !
I prefer to live quietly, I never liked to invite more than 2 people at a time - otherwise, I cannot concentrate on a conversation, I would feel stressed, I have the impression that I am loosing the essence of my guests... and I quite like solitude ... fortunately, I don't feel that way on stage, and for press-conferences, I manage...
maybe if I am extravagant somewhere, it is in the contrast I choose (or I need) to express in music... in fact, I see no problem in singing neo-classical then pop-rock, then Arias from the Opera... it is just a big challenge for me in therms of technique... for the rest it is Music ...
Could you please explain us your stage-name. I’m sorry but I didn’t find any explanation. When and why did you decide to change you born name to pseudonym Emma Shapplin?
I don't know exactly ... "Emma" is a strong name (a "E" and a "A" supported by a double "M") and "Shapplin" why not ? but this is the only name I am called anywhere I go, and anything I do, and I quite like it ... for the moment ! who knows ?