Laneway Festival 2012: Glasser

By Lydia Jenkin

Glasser. Photo / Supplied
Glasser. Photo / Supplied

A sweet, artistic, free spirit, with a voice that rivals Enya and Bjork, New York-based Cameron Mesirow, who works under the artist name Glasser, is the kind of musician who dreams up the idea of a two-person organ, and then actually gets one made.

"My friend Talba Auerbach and I had the idea to make an instrument that can't be played without two people being present. So basically we decided to make an organ with two sides where you each operate pedals that control the other person's pipes, and you play your own keyboard."

Unfortunately she's not bringing her hefty organ to New Zealand, but her live show will be an energetic recreation of the dramatic nine tracks off her debut album Ring, with producer Van Rivers creating the sound beds "and a whole lot of singing and dancing from me, moving and shaking".

Having grown up with musical parents (her father works professionally in Berlin), Mesirow always found music to be integral to her life, but it wasn't until recent years that she "rediscovered" her voice.

"I had a sort of renaissance, if you will. I didn't really know what I was gonna do when I was younger. I guess maybe I still feel like I don't know what I'm going to do, but luckily I'm doing this right now.

"I was given, as a gift, an auto-harp, I think that was the first thing, and then I wrote a lot of stuff with it, all at once, as musicians do when they get something new. The auto-harp is a limited instrument, but it was great for opening up my mind to songwriting. And then pretty much right after that someone showed me GarageBand, and I just went for it."

She released Ring in 2010, a song cycle full of broad, orchestral, maximalist arrangements, rhythmically propulsive and inspired by everything from sleep deprivation to literature - everything except for Mesirow's love life.

"One thing that I sort of tested myself with was whether or not I could write songs without relying on the subject of my love life. Because so many writers are quick to go there, and there's no shame in that, but I felt more like I didn't have anything to say about that, that anyone else hadn't already said. You know, when you're young and listening to the Beatles and stuff, and you go, wow, that's it, he said it, right there. I was like 'okay so I don't have to say it anymore'."

LOWDOWN

What: Dramatic, rhythm driven, colourful pop
Where and when: Park Lane, 2.55pm
Listen to: Ring (2010)

-TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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