Featured on Kendrick Lamar’s hugely hyped debut album, Good Kid m.A.A.d City, Anna Wise is the vocalist from Sonnymoon who is landing heavy hook-ups.
Electronic double act Sonnymoon make enigmatic music inspired by otherworldly activity. Producing the kind of seductive sounds that, upon first listen, slow life down and mute the volume on everything else, the power of Dan Orr and Anna Wise’s music is gently intense. First meeting at Berklee College of Music whilst Anna studied singing and Dane played sax, the two kindred spirits began making their own whacked out sounds, playing around with warped production techniques and continually challenging themselves to create out of the ordinary soundscapes. Influenced by J Dilla, Dwele, Peaking Lights, Jneiro Jarel, Hudson Mohawke and D’Angelo’s Voodoo, the pair have toured with Teebs and played at Plug Research club nights alongside Shabazz Palaces and Gonjasufi. i-D online asked Anna and Dane to probe each other on their most intimate areas of personal interest and commissioned an exclusive mix, cooked up by them both.
Anna on Dane…
A: Why do you like coffee?
D: It’s partly a family thing. I have memories of all my family members cleaning up after a nice meal and visiting around a clean, post-dinner table drinking coffee. It’s also a wonderful reason to go to sleep at night, something to make me look forward to waking up.
A: If you were a tree, what tree would you be and where would you be located?
D: I would most likely be a maple tree in Central Park in Schenectady, NY. That location is very important to my childhood and shaping as a person. I’d love to have great big leaves that would change colours in the fall and have bare branches coated with snow in the winter. A wonderful cyclic life.
A: As a citizen of the Earth, what do you think/feel is your most important responsibility?
D: I feel like we need to listen to what the earth is trying to tell us and slowly but surely make small decisions that will turn our sinking ship around. Everybody is turning their heads to climate change and letting big business and oil run everything. Everyone feels powerless. We need to put on some Rage Against The Machine and Take The Power Back. We also need to stop having kids and seriously think about population control before there’s a big tipping point.
A: You almost attended film school, what do you feel are the similarities between music and film? How did the transition from one to the other begin? Do you think you will ever return?
D: Music and film are essentially different ways of telling a story. Fortunately for musicians we are generally allowed to be a lot more abstract with our methods. When I started making music and film it really happened side by side and having to go to college made me choose to put myself into a box. Music seemed like a much more personal form of art and I dreaded having to work on a set for some terrible project where the chain of command is 10 miles long. I would definitely like to return to film at some point whether it be through scoring a film or getting more involved with making visual accompaniments for Sonnymoon projects. Being out of school has allowed me to slowly make my way back to what I enjoyed doing so much in high-school with utilizing both mediums. I think a return to something like what Wagner was trying to do would be very cool. An ultimate combination of visual and performance arts. A Gesamtkunstwerk!
A: Do you believe in a spiritual energy?
D: Absolutely, I think it’s most easily seen in creative action, problem solving, brainstorming, those types of things where people open themselves to new ideas. If you look at quantum theory, it sort of more or less shows that there had to be some initial observer for the universe to come into being.
Dane on Anna…
D: Where is your favourite place to take a walk and why?
A: There are two places. First, anywhere around Boston, because it’s so small and dense, you can do so many different things and see all kinds of places and people, and the arboretum there with all the trees and plants is tripppppy. Second is an open space area in my hometown. You have to walk up this huge steep hill to get to the entrance, then it’s just you and the hills and the trees and the occasional horse/bird/dog/nature loving human, it’s awesome.
D: What is your favorite form of art outside music and why?
A: I really like painting. I think because there are no expectations, you can be as simple or complex as you feel, and it’s the only form of art that I can practice without even slightly judging myself.
D: If you could spend a night in any one person’s dreams who would it be and what would you tell them?
A: Hmmmmm, I’d be in everyone’s dreams and tell them to pay more attention to their dreams.
D: What is your favourite dish to cook?
A: Anything I can put garlic in! I like soup, because it’s different every time, I try to recreate Tom Kha but I still have not perfected it.
D: What is the most immediately important change to the world our generation needs to make?
A: For so long, the “dream” has been to get married, buy a house, and have a bunch of kids. I suggest people investigate alternative lifestyles. There are over 6 billion people in the world, there’s no need to continue populating right now. Adopt! Use less, recycle more. Go to farmers markets, cook for ourselves, have a compost. Goodwill donations and shopping trips (found some of my favourite pieces at the goodwill!) investigating where our purchases come from, the life cycle of products and where they will eventually end up. Get off the Internet! go outside and allow your brain to wander without interruption. Drink less, trip more!
Check out Kendrick and Annas track Real here.
Text: Milly McMahon