It’s easy to relate to Dorothea Tachler of My Favourite Things when she describes their latest release, ‘Fly I Will, Because I Can’, as a healing journey within the music. “Music was my anchor and my lighthouse in stormy and dark nights, and putting my inner turmoil into words really helped me process it better. It was kind of my metamorphosis, being disintegrated like a chrysalis, and being shaped into something new.”
Somewhere between ‘Blonde Redhead’ and My Bloody Valentine lies a jewelry box full of my My Favourite Things, with sparkling iridescent grandeur. Each track glistens as it realizes and emerges from endings to find beautiful new beginnings.
‘Fly I Will, Because I Can’ is the Brooklyn based trio’s third release to date, filled with the musical powers of shoegaze, dream pop, experimental and psychedelic rock, that finds it’s way into something new and unique on it’s own. The lead off track, ‘A Little Closer’, is accompanied by a video by NYC videographer Gi Yong Rhee.
TM had the opportunity to sit down with Dorothea Tachler of ‘My Favourite Things’ to discuss the release of ‘Fly I Will, Because I Can’, growing up in Germany and later moving to NY, and working with videographer Gi Yong Rhee …plus more..
TM – You once said that you wanted to break away from your classical music upbringing and “explore an instrument without the strict teachers”. How do you feel this has worked for you?
DT – I think it was necessary to express myself more freely. I started writing songs on the Ukulele for example, because I didn’t know how to play it. the tuning is interesting and can lead to different chord progressions in my opinion. exploring the sounds inspired me in different ways. it made me forget the classical chord progression (1-4-5-1) a little bit if you know what I mean. which doesn’t mean that I only want to write that way, or that I don’t love classical structures – I still use them in my writing, but for me it was important to break away and explore, because there are so many different ways to do things and I wouldn’t want to deprive myself of getting into all of them
TM – Growing up in Germany as a ‘mixed child’ made you feel more like an outsider, you say. Did this have an effect on your early experiences with music?
DT – that’s a good question. I think so. Music became a world I could escape to, if you will. Not sure if it was only the fact that I was mixed, or other facts that made me feel like an outsider, but I definitely liked music or books for that effect. Playing and listening to music offered all these colorful exciting places to go to. Now that I think of it, I think music back then really became a comforting friend that was just always there and would never leave me, and it never did 🙂
TM – How did things change for you creatively once you moved to New York?
DT – Things changed a lot. Coming to New York was very liberating in many ways and I became way more productive, explorative and independent.
I had more time and space to create (at least in the beginning), and a lot of material wanted to come out of me – maybe as a way to digest all the changes that life had thrown on me. However, it was also a lot of fun to explore and let loose musically. Before, I had played in a bunch of bands, and even though I had started writing my own music before, I was mostly playing someone else’s music or co-creating with band mates. Now I wrote, recorded, explored much more by myself and besides starting My Favourite Things, and other projects, I began composing music for films which also gave me the opportunity to explore more genres – like creating soundscapes and playing with ambient sounds, which opened a new space for me to do more of ambient music. I also started collaborating with a lot of different artists that inspired me to try out new things, e.g. I worked with the Concent Label, and they asked me to write a Dub song for a split 7-inch, which was so fun that it inspired me to start a dub/reggae project with drummer Chuck Palmer. And recently, I played a lot of free music with baritone-sax player Paula Henderson, which is a lot of fun.
TM – I feel like, with your new song ‘A Little Closer’, each instrument is a different perspective on the story that is unfolding in the music. Would you say that this is true?
DT – Thank you, I love that you are hearing it that way! Yes, you could say it is true. This song is kind of about personal growth process that we all go through. The harmonium is kind of a drone, and we do have elements in our lives that sort of stay even and are not changing that much. Then there are fast elements like the drums, when life feels like we’re on a fast train that we can’t stop… some melodic and some distorted, blurry sounds… so yes, it is totally applicable on elements of life.
TM – How would you say that ‘Fly I Will, Because I Can’ is different from your past record releases? Please tell us about this album.
DT – Musically, I feel like this record is different because I wrote more songs on the acoustic guitar and the autoharp, and this creates a different and more folky feel. It is maybe less musical exploration like the first record “rarara”. It’s perhaps more mature on different levels – I wrote the songs, but drummer Yoshio Kobayashi wrote all his own parts, besides a few suggestions. Also the way we recorded the drums was more professional like before, we did it in our friends and part-time bass player Jonathan Granoff’s studio The Space Palace. Also our vibraphone player Yusuke Yamamoto played, like live, mostly his own vibraphone parts – before, I played mostly everything and had the parts more written for guest musicians.
On a different level, when it comes to lyrics, I feel like this record is more mature as I am maturing personally – a lot of these songs are taking a very honest look at things I’ve been dealing with at the time. Altogether, this album reflects some kind of metamorphosis for me, while the previous records were more still in a preparing state for that transformation.
TM If you closed your eyes and listened to your new song ‘A Little Closer’, what would the scene in your mind look like?
DT – It would depend on the moment I am doing that, I guess. Right now it is …
flying over landscapes and shorelines, rollercoast-ing through different moments of my life.. being on trains, traveling through Europe or in a car on tour, seeing the landscape flying by besides me and changing…from forests to shorelines to deserts with big cacti to open fields with nothing and a big vast sky that changes from clear blue with amazingly shaped clouds to a dark and gloomy sky that turns into a big rain. which takes us to dancing in the rain on a pebbly beach. Maybe in Ireland. and ends with being on a boat going into the big wide open.
that was fun, thanks for that 🙂
TM – What was it like working with videographer Gi Yong Rhee on your new video ‘A Little Closer’?
DT – It was great and I am so happy and grateful that it finally came together! we had been talking about making music videos together for many years. All of a sudden, it felt like we really needed to put together a video for the new album, or several videos, and somehow we made it happen. We have been friends for many years, and it is always amazing and interesting to work together creatively with friends –
…definitely one of my favourite things 🙂
stay tuned for more..! 🙂
Feature photo by Jim Avignon
My Favourite Things (cover) – artwork by Uma Sharma