From classical to electronic
Rewire has begun, and to mark the occasion we spoke with interdisciplinary artist Laura Nygren, aka Show Pony. Discussing everything from the actualisation of her piece for the digital festival to the art of collaboration – her insights into her own artistry as well as those around her are unbounded. Premiering her debut EP in an online environment created alongside The Rodina at Rewire ’21, we can’t wait to tune and drift off into the unknown.
Hey Laura! How are you today? So exciting to see you on the line up for Rewire ‘21.
Thank you! And I’m good, yes totally the line-up is SO inspiring. I’ve been geeking out checking everyone’s names. So many cool people.
Could you tell me about the performance you will be sharing alongside The Rodina?
I am doing a bit of hybrid performance. My show is my EP release, normally this would happen in a venue – but I created this digital environment for people to gather and watch the release (as well as five separate video releases). The viewers will also be able to interact with this incredible 3D environment built by The Rodina.
Wow! You really are bringing it all…
Yes! So to kick it off, I will be doing a guided tour at 19:00 on Thursday. We will fly through the spaces, see the videos and show people who are more open to a video than an environment.
Essentially it’s an all-access event then! Built for those comfortable within a digital environment as well as those who are keen to explore.
Absolutely. Having a digital space, and your own online community – instead of a Facebook, or Instagram community is so intimate. Showpony. world encapsulates this – it’s made for this world.
At least for a music release, having something made with that in mind is super important. It creates a vision of how the music will be, you have the opportunity to make your own stage, which can be much more of a ‘fine arts’ approach.
Even though fine arts might not be within your skill set, something about this past year has heightened the power of collaboration. I think many creatives are coming to appreciate right now how much better we are alongside one another. How did you come to work with The Rodina?
It also creates this absolute necessity to work with other people. We are all alone in our apartments, so we need to look into our networks. I got in touch with The Rodina by sending my former professor an email that I was looking for someone to create an online video game for my music release. He came back with a list of names, and The Rodina were on that!
It also requires a lot of trust in our peers, who may not be used to working or creating in the same spheres we are!
Yes so the video makers were very broad assignments – I told them, I just wanted them to do what they do best. I wanted to see what they are able to create and how they respond artistically to my music.
It’s handing over the baton of talent. Your music, however, despite external collaboration has an internal duality: a technical combination of the double bass alongside electronic music.
I think making anything there’s no one ‘right’ path. I initially wanted this to be a folk project actually – but having a background in electronic music the plan just changes – electronic is who I am. I also wanted So in many ways, for me, it’s a natural fruition between traditional and digital. This record, however, is almost a different person – a different voice for each song. I also realized I couldn’t do this project alone. The wildly talented No Compliments came on board to go on this journey with me and produced and co-wrote the album, her background is also in classical music and we understand the desire to create music while having the unexpected background of coming from the classical world.
Was this a conscious choice? Developing something entirely unique for each piece?
Conscious. The topics of this set of songs are deeply personal, therefor each song has to have a different narrative. But also in a way, not a conscious choice… because it’s about my own growth as a musician, as it is the voices of my past. It was also a natural progression with the partnership with No Compliments.
A timestamp of the artists you were?
Are Laura and Show Pony one and the same, or is Show Pony an alter-ego?
I’m still working that out. Show Pony has a career separate from Laura, it is the place I can go absolutely nuts, do whatever I want, and have full artistic control. Show Pony is also now a collaborative project with No Compliments. Without her partnership this EP would have never been made. I see myself as a learned extrovert. I’m actually a very introverted person… but I’ve learnt to be outgoing, and Show Pony is that. No Compliments musical partnership gives me the freedom to go nuts.
There’s something so historical, or permanent about using your own name. But by using a ‘stage name’ you are almost free. Is this a feeling you connect to?
For sire, say I make a super outlandish song about sex or whatever… I don’t really want to be googled and my father to be connected to that!
Mixing the spheres of separate artistic worlds, however, is something that seems to be rising in popularity at the moment. Audiences are wanting more and more to see different genres, people, talents and discipline within the same universe. Is this something you have come to celebrate about your own interdisciplinary roots?
Coming from the classical side of things, it’s interesting to see the delineation of genres lessen. I think a festival like Rewire is the perfect example of this. Hardcore electronic, new music, crazy DIY… it’s all mixed.
Images courtesy of Laura Nygren
Photography by Benny van der Plank
Words by Grace Powell