Talks with Abra Moore

 

Abra Moore

Visit Abra Moore's website

 

On the Way

 

Everything Changed

 

 

 

CEV:  How important was it for you to be surrounded by the arts and music from an early age in regards to you choosing to pursue music professionally?

AM:  It was a vital impression influencing my creativity. I think doing music professionally was a natural progression because songwriting and making music came so naturally, it chose me and I the career followed.

CEV:  When you moved toNew York at 15 to study what did that add to the mix in regards to influences that would eventually surface in your music?

AM:  I actually lived upstate, not in the city, I was introduced to the piano. I was staying with friends of the family for about a year going to school. I was interested in music and I had the opportunity to study piano privately. Learning to play piano at that time definitely influenced my writing.

CEV:  What did improvising with the songs you were learning teach you about how to approach music in general and your music in particular?

AM:  I was making up stuff but I wasnít writing it down. When I was learning to play I would venture off and make up stuff. My imagination would lead me places creatively. After a year I went back  toHawaii.

CEV:  What was it about modeling that made you realize that that wasnít the life for you and that music was the path you should be walking to find true soul satisfaction?

AM:  I was just not into pounding the pavement and going to model calls. I just wasnít interested in modeling Ė it
didnít keep my attention for very long.

CEV:  Tell me about Poi Dog Pondering and how you became involved with the group?

AM:  I was in college and met up with Frank Orrall and friends. We would go down to the strip inWaikiki and play music in the street for fun. And one night we had this idea of playing across theUS and the rest is history.

CEV:  Was being involved full time in music as satisfying as you thought it would be? What did being involved full time with music mean to you as far as allowing your creativity to blossom? 

AM:  My creativity with music blossoms whether Iím full time music or working a day job. It is and forever will be a source of connection, an outlet that I am grateful to have found.

CEV:  Sarah McLachlan also played a part in getting you some exposure when your CD Sing was released on Bohemia Beat records. Tell me about Sarahís invitation to you and how Sing also caught the attention of a major label. 

AM:  Sarah and her producer were big fans of Sing, my first solo album and she was starting this tour and she was inviting all these women to be a part of this festival and she invited me to do it. Along with Sarahís interest there was also major label interest because of the airplay I was getting inAustin.

CEV:  Being on a major label was both good and not so good for you. Tell me about the music that you recorded and released while on Arista.

AM:  I recorded Strangest Places for Arista Austin. My big hit (ha ha) ďFour Leaf CloverĒ I wrote at the last minute in the studio. They said Ďwe need a singleí. I was like Ďok, here you goí (ha ha).  There were label mergers, etc and I was brought to J Records which as a part of Arista. It was really an honor to be under Clive Davisí wing. I recorded many, many songs over a few years time trying to make a real Ďpopí album for them. At the end of the day it just wasnít me so I took a lot of those recordings (the ones I wrote) and released that collection through Koch.

CEV:  What did you like about being on Arista and what was it that eventually made you decide that it wasnít who you wanted to be as a musician?

AM:  I loved the opportunity that it gave me. I am amazed and humbled by the support team of people that come together and want to help and support my creative expression. I am grateful for that. I am always growing as a musician and want to honor that. I feel that I have done that with the decisions I have made.

CEV:  It took a few years after leaving Arista for you to release your next CD called Everything Changed on Koch Records. How did the intervening years help you find your voice as a singer and what would listeners hear on Everything Changed that would define this new perspective?

AM:  Most of those songs were actually recorded while I was still on Arista/J Records and a just a few after I left so itís just that chapter of my life. I tend to write about my life experience more than the music business Iíd say.

CEV:  Before we talk about your latest release I noticed that many of your songs have appeared in movies and television from Sliding Doors,Dawsonís Creek andMelrose Place. Was this always a part of the plan for your music and if not how did your music end up in all these interesting places?

AM:  No it wasnít a plan. I donít have a marketing plan in my back pocket (ha ha). I am just lucky that people connect musically and lyrically.  Again, I have been blessed to have record labels and publishers who do the work. There a lot of great artists that deserve the same exposure I have had, it is luck and circumstance but Iím grateful that it connects.

CEV:  Your latest release is called On the Way being released on Sarathan Records out ofSeattle. Artistically where are you coming from on this release and what is it that fans will notice as they pop this CD into the player compared to your past releases?

AM:  Iím coming where Iíve always come from Ė it is an attempt at connecting with the human condition and expressing it through song. With every year that passes and every experience that I go through I move toward my potential as all of us do - I just write songs about it. Compared to the other CDs itís a gentler listen. Some people say it sounds more mature, kind of jazzy, I think that is true. I feel like it is very cohesive and Iím proud of that as a Ďwork of artí.

CEV:  Is there any mood that you would say dominates the music youíve recorded for On the Way?

AM:  Relaxed 

CEV:  What does it mean to you to connect with your listeners and how well do you think you have done with the songs on On the Way?

AM:  It is great to meet up with fans on the road or through myspace and hear how I may have helped them get through something or how they just love a certain song. I think these songs have been captured honestly and I think thatís what my fans are attracted to.

CEV:  Is it difficult for you as a songwriter to put your emotions and feelings into your songs and then give them to the world through your CD releases?

AM:  I donít even think about it. It comes natural to me. Just as painter paints his canvas, I write songs.

CEV:  Are you happy with the way that On the Way turned out and was it what you set out to make when you started the process?

AM:  I am satisfied and at peace and feel Iíve captured my intention with these songs. Mitch Watkins produced this album and we had amazingAustin musicians playing on it. Itís tasteful and artful and true to the songs.

CEV:  Has it been difficult to get back to the point that you create and perform your music just for the joy of it? Why is it that singer/songwriters end up forgetting why it was that they were drawn to music in the first place? 

AM:  No, I have this instinct and always have to protect my muse so I follow, I continue to move towards that path that keeps my connection to the source open therefore Iíve keep my innocence so to speak.

CEV:  How has On the Way been received so far in regards to the reviews youíve received and the comments that have been coming back to you from your fans?

AM:   It is mostly positive that I know of . .. Itís not a rocking CD like I am capable of so I hope that doesnít turn people off. . . Of course we hope to keep getting the music out there.

CEV:  When youíve released a project like On the Way do you just take some time to revel in it and recharge your creative batteries or are you always in inspiration and creation mode?

AM:   Itís an ebb and flow. By the time I have writing, recorded and released and album I am already writing and visualizing the next one. So I guess I donít revel in that I donít keep moving.

CEV:  Will you be performing the music from On the Way live and where can your fans find listings of your upcoming performances?

AM:  Yes, Iím touring more and more now. For a lot of the years at J Records they didnít want me to tour so Iím rebuilding that. Iíll be inDenver soon and  Iím actually joining Poi Dog Pondering over Thanksgiving inChicago.
Weíll be adding more dates. Weíll keep the Myspace page, my website, etc. updated.

CEV:  Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Abra and I wish you much success in the coming years.