INTERPLAY INTRODUCES… Angela Chan
When Angela is not brooding over new compositions in her studio, she is probably busy rehearsing or working on new material with one of her three bands. Mainly performing on viola and keys, Angela is part of Mercury Prize shortlisted Lanterns on the Lake, Manchester-based Hello Cosmos as well as cinematic folk sextet Tomorrow We Sail. For Interplay she produced the soundtrack for our digital sensory experience The Conductor and created the sound design for the interactive show PAINT. The multi-instrumentalist, performer and composer has been a huge inspiration for us. Time to sit down and have a virtual chat.
What are you currently working on?
The pandemic has meant adapting to new ways of doing things. Normally I’d be travelling all over but since being grounded I’ve spent more time in the studio, working on new exciting projects like music for BT Sport’s Champions League coverage, a Lanterns on the Lake EP and a Hello Cosmos album to work on. We, Lanterns on the Lake, even managed to play a live-streamed show at Sage, Gateshead before the latest lockdown. Since the new year, I have been working on some online workshops for young people with More Music, a great music and education charity based in Morecambe, the town I grew up in. It’s been a surprisingly varied year.
You play in three different bands, you compose for film, television and theatre and you collaborate with artists like Placebo and Kyle Falconer. How challenging is it to work across such a broad range of artists/approaches?
It’s certainly enlightening and educational to work with many artists from different backgrounds. I feel pretty lucky to have little insights into parts of the creative world; to work with different artists, to experience different spaces, processes, sounds, and be inspired by them. I love the buzz of travelling, performing and working with people. I also enjoy solitary time in the studio and being at home but before long I’m ready for the road again, and so the cycle goes. Sometimes, one of the hardest challenges is getting on the right train at the right time with the right gear and enough clean clothes. Aside from that, being able to write music that is affecting and effective is something I strive for, whether it is children’s musicals or experimental noise rock. The more I immerse myself in different parts of the music world, the more tools I have to do that. And of course, it’s all loads of fun.
“Sometimes, one of the hardest challenges is getting on the right train at the right time with the right gear and enough clean clothes.”
Music is an integral part of most shows at Interplay. What does the correlation between theatre and music mean to you?
That’s something I love about Interplay. It’s a more immersive experience when theatre and music are used together. Music can be as simple as background music or changing scenes. It sets the tone, reinforces narratives and evokes emotional responses to characters or storylines. Having music and live musicians integral to Interplay shows, in intimate crafted spaces with actors and audience in close proximity, makes them deeply engaging.
“Music can be as simple as background music or changing scenes. It sets the tone, reinforces narratives and evokes emotional responses to characters or storylines.”
What are your plans/goals for next year?
I can’t even! I’ll be taking each day as it comes. It feels a bit dangerous to plan! I have given up deep fried food for Lent though. Wish me luck.