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Behind the music: Iamthemorning

Sonic wanderers Iamthemorning are set to release gorgeous EP Counting the Ghosts on December 4. We ask singer Marjana Semkina and pianist Gleb Kolyadin the BIG questions… Tell us three things about yourself? Marjana: Ah…okay then. One, I’m actually quite boring. The type of person who has their nose buried in a book all the…

Behind the music: Iamthemorning

Sonic wanderers Iamthemorning are set to release gorgeous EP Counting the Ghosts on December 4. We ask singer Marjana Semkina and pianist Gleb Kolyadin the BIG questions…

Tell us three things about yourself?

Marjana: Ah…okay then. One, I’m actually quite boring. The type of person who has their nose buried in a book all the time – and not even an exciting book, some history manuscript from the 15th century or something ridiculous like that. Obsessed with history and art and art history; never missing an old cathedral or an art museum anywhere I go in Europe, so there you have it.

Two, I was born in Baikonur Cosmodrome. My dad used to work in a spaceport – a rocket launch station. We watched rockets take off impressively through our window, really conveniently, ’cause we only had a black and white TV in the 90s.

Three, I’m currently moving countries from Russia to the UK – the process that took a good decade to organise. I received a special ‘Exceptional Talent’ visa with Arts Council endorsement in 2018 and due to timing issues and touring, was forced to move to the UK amidst pandemic and lockdowns. Worst timing ever, but also very on-brand for me. 

How would you describe your music?

Gleb: Someone called us “baroque rock”, and that’s partly true. I think it would be best to describe our audience. These are not only fans of prog, but also people who love classical and folk music. In general, somehow, we manage to unite two polar groups of listeners.

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Who are your musical inspirations?

Gleb: There are times when I don’t listen to music at all for weeks. First, I just get tired of music because I make and play it every day. And secondly, sometimes it is crucial not to lose the idea that came up in your mind and on which you are currently working.

But usually, between projects, I deliberately imbue myself with new music. It can be something completely different – from folk to electronics. My Spotify playlist frequently offers me jazz and contemporary music, and I would say that I really listen to and perceive it more and more. In general, in my playlist, tracks from Brian Eno, Steve Reich, Mammal Hands, Brad Mehldau, David Sylvian and Kate Rusby can go one after another. This is a really mixed list. Plus, of course, classical music always helps me a lot. Sometimes I just find a piano in a deserted place and play something from Bach or Debussy. After that, I usually cannot listen to anything else for several hours.

Music aside, I find a huge part of my inspiration in cinema. I am very interested in revisiting old classics like Fellini or Kubrick, or filling in the gaps in genres that I am not very familiar with. For example, over the past 10 days, I have watched several animé and still do not understand how I could have missed this earlier. 

How have you been occupying yourself during the coronavirus lockdown?

Gleb: To be honest, the first month I felt wonderful even sitting at home endlessly. I was composing music for some theatrical production, which ended up being shown only once this fall, and it was a very stressful time. Therefore, for the first month of isolation and lockdown, I just relaxed, watched a tonne of films, and most importantly, slept off. After a while, I started doing some remote work and composing new music. A bizarre feeling that it was like yesterday. It seems that due to the lack of mobility, this whole year has flown by with lightning speed. But I’m glad that we managed to do something with Marjana this year, and we look positively at the next year. Each of us has accumulated many ideas that now need to be turned into music.

What’s your favourite song right now? 

Marjana: Ah wow, that’s hard to say. You caught me as I was listening to Opeth’s Deliverance – its 18th birthday today! – and I want to say A Fair Judgement. But, of course, it’s a question that’s impossible to answer – I love a lot of different songs and albums. 

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Favourite lyric of all time? 


Marjana:
The first thing that comes into mind is from Parabola by Tool: “We are eternal, all this pain is an illusion.”

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?

Marjana: I’d rather die, thank you. Otherwise, it’s a good way to go completely mental!

Where can people find your music/more information?

These would be the best places to follow us: facebook.com/iamthemorningpage, instagram.com/iamthemorningband, twitter.com/themorningband.

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