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Interview: Diane Arkenstone

4 min read

New Age singer-songwriter Diane Arkenstone has released dozens of records throughout a career that has spanned over 20 years. Fluent in a range of instruments including dulcimer, wood flute and percussion, Diane is also a talented singer whose career has been crafted by her love of World music.

Union Road is Diane Arkenstone’s latest studio record and was released last month. Basking in the acclaim of her latest catalogue addition, Diane spoke with about her career, recording process and the inspiration behind Union Road. Here is what she had to tell us:

Brendon Veevers: How are you Diane?

Diane Arkenstone: I am well, Brendon, may all be well there!

BV: Where in the world does our Q&A find you today?

DA: Right now I am in my studio, which is on top of big mountain, in the middle of nature, in a thickly wooded oak forest.

BV: You recently released your brand new album, Union Road. How are you feeling now that the record is out there?

DA: I am very happy!!

BV: For those who may not be familiar with your music, how would you describe your style and sound?

DA: Oh my goodness, with about 40 albums I’ve released, I have covered a lot of different styles from ambient, electronica, celtic, cinematic, world, rock and folk.

BV: How have the fans responded to the new music? Have you had any feedback from those who have followed you throughout your career?

DA: Everyone has responded with resounding cheers, they tell me they love it! And I am most grateful!

BV: Can you tell us a little bit about Union Road and the inspiration behind the record?

DA: I am a story teller and writer and love to tell/sing stories through music. The songs throughout this album are full of different experiences and observations in life, written in a beautiful folk style, which is how I first started writing songs.

BV: You have released a number of collections over the years. Where would you say you are as an artist with Union Road.

DA: My soul is naked in this album. Very acoustic, pure and intimate.

BV: Talk us through your songwriting process. As a composer and songwriter, where do you draw your inspiration from?

DA: Nature is the greatest inspiration for me for the pure melody, and just picking up an instrument, a song truly, immediately, reveals itself.

BV: Were there any songs that you wrote but that missed the final cut of Union Road?

DA: Oh yes, quite a few! I wrote 77 songs for the album and literally grabbed a handful and out came Union Road.

BV: You are fluent in a whole range of instruments including acoustic guitar, dulcimer, kalimba and percussion as well as so many others which you put to use on the new album. What is your favorite instrument to play and why?

DA: I love them all, each has an amazing energy and musical palette. Right now, I am playing, writing and recording on 12- string guitars in open tunings, a baritone dulcimer, a tambora,  concertinas, minor pentatonic kalimbas and the most beautiful metal drums that you hold in your lap. They are each my favorite.

BV: What would you say you are like in the studio? Are you a perfectionist when it comes to recording a new record?

DA: When it comes to recording, we are just a bunch of kids having fun! And more often then not, I go with the first take because it usually has the most creative energy. I am a perfectionist though, when it comes to mixing and mastering, especially toning down the loud songs from the birds outside the studio windows.

BV: Do you like to be involved in your records’ entire creative process or are there elements of creating a new album that you are happy to hand over to others?

DA: I am the captain of the ship and deeply involved every step of the way.

BV: The majority of your releases have been released through your own label, Neo Pacifica Recordings, which you founded in 1990. What are your thoughts on creating music as an independent artist rather than signing to a major label.

DA: I released a number of albums on another label and they kept all the royalties and fan letters. One of the albums sold over 600,000 copies. I truly find no advantage to being signed to a major label.

BV: Will fans be able to see you on tour this year?

DA: I will be performing at select venues this year and next, which I will post on my website and Facebook

BV: What else is on your calendar for 2013?

DA: I am building a giant birdbath, far from the studio, so I won’t have so much clean up in the music tracks next time!

BV: Thanks Diane

DA: Thank you so much Brendon for this wonderful opportunity, you are very sweet and I am most grateful! Love to everyone!

Diane Arkenstone’s brand new album, Union Road, is out now.

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