Latvian-born singer-songwriter and producer Waterflower has recently brought the bizarre world of Avant Garde to light in the UK. Influenced by the likes of FKA Twigs, Brian Eno and Bjork, Waterflower’s contemporary style makes its presence fiercely known.
Waterflower’s unique approach doesn’t come from sitting down with a guitar and writing a chord pattern. Instead, she shares that Brian Eno has been a big inspiration in her creative strategies.
“As a conceptual artist I use many symbols, but one of my favourite art techniques for performance is something like Brian Eno’s creative strategy – to create a mechanism, run it, and see what happens.”
Straying even further from the norm by composing on atypical instrumentation, Waterflower’s music stems mainly from the sounds of plants (yes, plants). She explains that she began working on extracting synthesised sounds from plants in 2015 when she discovered the Kickstarter page for the Ototo synthesiser (a synth and sampler that allows you to attach its sensors to almost anything, and in Waterflower’s case, plants).
“I decided that this is what it’s all about, playing with plants as synthesizer keys. The technology used in Ototo also works with other materials, but plants are my choice. The other plant synthesizer I use is a MIDI Sprout. It measures the electromagnetic changes (impulses) in a plant and turns them into notes.”
Discussing her performance process, Waterflower reveals that the sound in her live shows can differ with each performance as she has to rely on the electromagnetic changes of each specific plant she is using.
“I start my Waterflower shows by connecting nearby plants. I never know how they will behave before the show, or how they will react to my touch. Experiments with different plant species intrigue me greatly.”
With unpredictable live shows, synthesised sounds from plants, bright colours and spoken narratives, Waterflower’s arty performances sound like the trippy fever dream we’ve all been missing out on. Her latest release ‘Palm Vs Palm’ is out on streaming platforms now.
Released on 7th September, ‘Palm Vs Palm’ is an Avant Garde art piece delving deep into the realms of sci-fi. Following repetitive, mantra-like vocals, distinct electronic beats and dizzying synthesised adlibs make the artistry behind the music seem closer to that of a performance piece as opposed to radio-friendly melodies. The tune is however, fascinating to get lost in; the kaleidoscopic sounds are worthy of gaining a place in the Louvre for thousands to ponder on.