TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF.
I’m a native Californian living in Munich, Germany, passionate about music and very hard-working in general.
WHEN AND WHY WERE YOU STARTING TO PLAY?
I loved music as a child and my grandparents bought a small harmonium at an auction and it was fascinating to me because you had to pump with your feet to produce sound. My grandma taught me a few songs on that harmonium. Then they bought a grand piano at an auction and I happened to sit at it with a friend of the family who was a piano teacher one day. The woman recommended to my mother that I take piano lessons because I apparently picked up on whatever she told me very well.
WHICH INSTRUMENTS DO YOU PLAY?
I play piano, a bit of guitar and sing.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TUNE(S) YOU LEARNED?
The Streets of Laredo (on the harmonium).
IS MUSIC IN YOUR FAMILY?
Aside from much of my family being music lovers, not really.
DESCRIBE THE MUSICAL INTERESTS AND SKILLS OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBER.
My father was a music lover, a record collector and an amateur guitarist. My mother and all of my family enjoy music.
WHO WAS YOUR FIRST MUSIC PROFESSOR? OTHER PROFESSORS?
There have been many… but my first composition teacher was a composer at UC San Diego by the name of Rand Steiger. He was very encouraging and a great teacher as well as a wonderful person. In The Hague I studied with Louis Andriessen and Diderik Wagenaar.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MEMORIES OF MUSIC?
The first time I heard Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, 2nd movement I started crying. It was so strange to me that this happened and the emotion I felt was pure beauty.
Another memory was when I saw Tori Amos live for the first time in (I think) 1996 on her Boys For Pele tour and the concert was like magic. It moved me and changed the way I think about music. She was actually better live than on CD and I couldn’t believe it.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE MUSICIANS? GROUPS? CD’S?
The Beatles, The Doors, Tori Amos, The Beastie Boys, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Ludwig van Beethoven, Robert Schumann, Leos Janacek, Luciano Berio.
HOW OFTEN ARE YOU PRACTICING AND FOR HOW LONG?
I would practice more if I could, but at the moment I practice about 4 times per week, 1-2 hours each session.
WHAT ARE YOUR DOING-EXERCISES, FRESH TUNES, DIFFICULT TUNES, AND SO ON?
When I want to up my level on the keyboard I usually practice classical music as well as scales and arpeggios. Before singing, I warm up with various vocal exercises for about half an hour. If I want to work on my singing and keyboard technique at the same time, I grab Quattro Canzoni Populari by Luciano Berio — these are some of my favourite pieces. I find them very beautiful and rather experimental. And they are quite challenging for both piano and voice.
YOU’RE TEACHING MUSIC?
I have taught piano in the past, but now I am a mathematician by day.
WHERE DID YOU PLAY? WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE POPULAR PLACES?
I have performed in different venues in The Netherlands as well as in California, but this was before I was involved in pop music, so I was performing either classical music or experimental. I enjoyed performing in the different small venues in The Hague and Amsterdam — they had so much charm.
WHICH SONGS ARE YOU MOST LIKELY TO PERFORM?
I would like to perform any of my songs. I think it would be fun to make distinctly alternative versions of the more electronic songs for a live performance. But if I had to pick the top three I would want to perform they would be “Another One Gone”, “Short Sight” and “Said I Wanna”.
WHO’S WRITING YOUR SONGS? FOR MOST OF YOUR SONGS, WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY THEMES OR SUBJECTS?
I am writing nearly all of my songs. Rudy, drummer and collaborator, composed his first song for me and would like to create another one.
I try to write songs that describe or paint a certain emotion and mood. I try to vary the moods and emotions, depending on what is in my head desiring to be expressed.
HOW CAN YOUR MUSIC BE ACCESSED BY FANS? DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE?
I have a website: www.elizabetheverts.com where one can find all links to other social sites, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.…
IF IN THE WORLD YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
I would be a cat so that I could finally catch up on all that sleep I have been missing out on.
IF YOU COULD HAVE SUPPER FROM HISTORY WITH SOMEONE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I would like to have supper with Ludwig van Beethoven because I find him such a brilliant mind.
IF YOU HAD A CHOICE BETWEEN TWO SUPERPOWERS, BEING INVISIBLE OR ABLE TO FLY, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
I would choose to be able to fly.
WHAT DO YOU WORRY ABOUT, AND WHY?
I worry about forgetting something because I am very busy and do often forget things.
IF YOU WOKE UP AND HAD 777 UNREAD MESSAGES AND ONLY 7 OF THEM COULD REPLY, HOW WOULD YOU CHOOSE WHICH ONES TO REPLY?
I would look for emails from family or dear friends and prioritize them.
AN OSTRICH HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO YOU. YOU CAN’T SELL IT OR GIVE IT BACK. WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I would design an ostrich area and research why the hell it is a good idea to own an ostrich.
WE COMPLETE THE INTERVIEW AND YOU DISCOVER THAT YOU WIN $77 MILLION LOTTERY TICKET. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?
ANY FINAL WORDS?
Just a big thank you for this nice interview, Sasha!
BY SASHA RAVEN
PHOTO CREDIT: ELIZABETH EVERTS