Interview with Jyri Glynn, musician and creator of the musical experience, Anguisette – The Creation Chamber
By Lolita Deb
Deborah: Welcome to Steamed! We’re so glad you could come to visit. Tell us about yourself. Have you always wanted to be musician?
I first started taking classic violin lessons when I was about seven years old. I can’t tell you exactly why I picked that particular instrument but I continued to play it throughout most of my school years in various school and church orchestras.
Once I got about halfway through high school, I started losing interest in playing sheet music and resented my insistent parents because I really wanted to play electric guitar. I started getting into rock music and really wanted to play it — but because of my strict religious upbringing, it simply wasn’t allowed.
Around seventeen I quit playing and ended up dropping out of orchestra. This was mostly as a revolt against my folks, but I also felt like it was “uncool” (when it came to my peers) to play a violin. I wanted to be a rockstar, not a nerd with a violin case on his back.
About ten years later a musician friend of mine and I were talking and I mentioned that I had once played violin and still owned an acoustic violin with an electric pickup. He encouraged me to bring it over to his house and play around. So I ended up doing just that.
I was absolutely intrigued with all the interesting sounds one could create running the violin through different effects. I had tried this nearly a decade earlier but the technology back then just wasn’t the same.
After playing around with the newer, modern equipment, within no time, I found myself newly inspired. I immediately started relearning the instrument while constantly experimenting with various combinations of sound modules and pedals. Within a few months my buddy and I ended up starting a band together in which I played the electric violin.
D: Tell us a little about your band? How long have you been together? How did you come together as a group?
JG: I play electric violin in a rock band called The Sins and Anguisette is a solo project that I’ve been working on for roughly eight years off and on. It is an EBM/Electronic project that I have composed most of the music for, with the help of some of my closest friends. I’ve also had various female vocalists write and record vocals to the music based on a title or theme.
D: How did you decide on this particular sound? What is about your music that makes it Steampunk?
JG: Because my primary instrument is violin, I tend to initially write string parts when first composing a song. The additional instruments are typically added afterwards.
I’ve always loved the sound of a beautiful, yet sorrowful string instrument — particularly cello and violin — and I write the majority of my music in a minor key. I guess that’s what gives Anguisette the signature sound that it now has.
I’ve always viewed Steampunk as the combination of modern technology with the antiquities of another age. A violin is very much an antique instrument, as its origins date back hundreds of years, yet an electric violin enhances this classic foundation with elements of modern technology.
I don’t know if that necessarily makes my music “steampunk,” but I’ve certainly heard people categorize Anguisette’s music as such. Not unlike the Goth moment of the nineties when everyone started dressing like vampires, I see much of the steampunk music genre based more on fashion than on a specific style of music.
Personally, I’ve always loved steampunk fashion, so when I filmed my first music video for “29 Years,” I incorporated these types of styles into the dream/nightmare scenes of the video using costumes and props.
D: Is there a story behind your band’s name? Does Anguisette translate to something?
JG: I first heard the term from a friend who suggested it after reading a book by Jacqueline Carey called Kushiel’s Dart.
In short, an Anguisette is a person who takes pleasure in pain. For me, though, it doesn’t necessarily mean in some S&M or physical sense. It is more about learning from painful situations and then taking pleasure in the knowledge one gains in the end. So basically, it’s the whole “beauty in sorrow” thing.
D: Can you tell us more about your most recent album, The Creation Chamber? Does it have a back story? The songs seem to take the listener on an emotional journey.
JG: Most everyone has experienced the loss of a love one or the death of a relationship. The concept behind this album is to express the different emotions that one feels while going through that sequence of events.
From the death of one, another is born.
D: This album has an amazing variety of singers on it, how did this collaboration come about?
JG: As I’ve mentioned already, my goal was to create an album that would capture each individual emotion one experiences after a major loss. All the vocalists and guest musicians involved played an integral part in the conveyance of these emotions and themes.
Whenever I would hear a vocalist whose work I enjoyed, I would contact them, usually through email, and explain the concept of what I was trying to accomplish.
Once a vocalist “clicked,” I would email her the music with a working title and an emotional theme, and then I just let her take the track in whatever direction she wanted. The singer would then breathe life into the piece of music.
I have actually never had the pleasure of meeting many of the singers on the CD in person, so the project was definitely a bit of an online experiment.
D: Where can we buy your music?
My website is: http://www.anguisette.com
Friend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anguisette
Fans can hear my music, watch my video and obtain more info on the band at: http://www.reverbnation.com/anguisette