Experimental Music by Swiss Singer/Songwriter Nadine Carina
I’m a singer/songwriter coming from Switzerland, currently studying music at uni, LIPA, in Liverpool (UK).
I’ve started writing songs and produce them when I was 20, as I was doing a music and technology school called ETM, in Geneva. I create my own sounds and trig them with MIDI, vintage toy keyboards and synths. I also really like the natural sound of guitar and piano, from which come my earlier acoustic works.
I hope to reach as many people as possible that will like my music, collaborate with many other artists and I also hope to meet David Bowie ☺
I hope to be able to live only from my art in the future.
Chocolate and Cigarettes
This is the first happy song I’ve ever written. It came from some random chords I was playing on my guitar and then decided to add some wooden percussions. The lyrics are just about freedom, about travelling for doing music and meeting people. Being young. Being a hobo, but being happy ☺
Are you playing all the instruments here?
Yes, I’ve always been playing and recording all the instruments by myself. I play guitar, piano, I sing and like to loop my voice on pedals.
This song is really minimal as there are not many instruments in it, and the composition process of adding elements was really spontaneous and flowing. I found it really fun to add percussions that are just samples, not real ones. Also, it was the first time I ever did a guitar solo in MIDI!
Are you harmonizing with yourself?
Yes, it’s many me(s)!
Can you talk about creating harmonies like this by yourself?
I don’t really know to be honest, I automatically do harmonies to add more layers to the song, I don’t think about the notes I have to sing really, they just come instinctively.
You mention being a hobo. Do you consider yourself a hobo? What’s the draw to that lifestyle?
No [I'm not a hobo], but I’d love to visit many places and travel without having a plan, being free… just me and my backpack! …it’s a free choice of life and C&C talks about being free and traveling.
This song was the first one entirely made by electronic MIDI sounds. I actually love MIDI! These ones come from samples recorded from 60’s instrument tapebank Mellotron. It’s really noisy and warm, as it comes from tape, and I found it very inspiring during the writing process.
How did you get started using MIDI?
I learned to use them at school and found it very inspiring, as there are hundreds of sounds available to use. You never get bored.
I found it fascinating as you’re much more versatile when you have a vast choice of instruments to choose from. Also, my way of composing can be really different than when I just write with piano or guitar.
It’s a really cool sounding keyboard that was used in the 60s by the Beatles, the Genesis and many others. It replays sounds from instuments (flutes, strings,brass,..) that were recorded on tape and looped. It inspires me so much ’cause it sounds so lovely and warm :)
This song is about my hometown. I live in the italian part of Switzerland, which is warmer and kind of exotic. Even with its few little imperfections, I think it’s really nice and I love it.
This song is about growing up in your hometown. Did you have a good childhood? Can you talk about the inspiration here?
Yes, I think so, I actually like to think about it and watch cartoons I used to watch when I was a child!
I realize even more that I like it when I’m missing it. When I first moved to England, I was really happy to leave that boring town that sometimes is Swizterland! But, I realized that, as every country, there are the positive and negative things about it. I just miss it now, and think it’s beautiful there, with the snowy mountains and lakes. It feels warm, as there are my family and my friends.
Are you often inspired by the past and places? What other things inspire you?
I write mostly about personal experiences… and love. I’m so stupidly romantic sometimes, but that is what makes me think the most of the time. I also like writing about places where I’d like to be and things I’d love to do.
How do you decide which instruments to use in compositions like this?
I don’t really decide before writing a song, the choice of the instruments mostly comes when I’m composing. Basically I just play some chords on my keyboard and try some sounds out, as soon as I think one is interesting, I start working with it. I then add a melody and sing lyrics.
Photos by GB Photography