KARITI (EN)

– Hello, thanks for taking your time. How is everything right now in the camp of KARITI?

Hello Tania, thank you for your interest. My record came out in September, but i wasn’t able to play live or tour, so while we wait till the pandemic subsides, i’m playing these songs for my cats, writing material and waiting for the moment i’m able to go to a studio. I need to record a song which will be added to Covered Mirrors when it’s released on vinyl (sometime this year). Besides that i’m exploring electric guitar, the world of sound pedals and effects and ableton to try and record demos at home. Lastly, i started playing piano again, after many years of hiatus

-To begin with, how and why was KARITI born and why in a solo form?

i wrote the songs that later became Covered Mirrors without having a precise idea of what will become of them, i just needed to write words and compose to deal with shit and heal old wounds, it turned out to be cathartic and then the circumstances allowed for these songs to be recorded and released.  Also,  i’m a loner by nature, so doing it alone was natural, although i had a great deal of help from Lorenzo, who not only recorded and mixed the songs,  but also played on a couple of them and even helped me compose (or rather re-arrange) the melody for one of them. And of course Marco, who added some heaviness with his electric guitar.

Photo by Eleonora Cadeddu

-“Covered Mirrors” is your debut album. It came out last year. When did you start gathering ideas for this album and how did you decide that you needed to release these songs?

some of the lyrics are rooted in old poems piled up over the years (i’ve been writing for as long as i can remember myself), others poured out of me when i needed to express newer feelings and emotions. i started to compose melodies for those lyrics around the end of 2017-2018. The decision to record them came from feedback of some of my musician friends and the release happened because Emiliano from Aural Music heard one of the songs and offered to release it.

-I’d describe your music as dark Folk with a Doom vibe. At least it has the atmosphere, the feeling, the imagery you’d expect from a Doom album. What are your music inspirations?

my inspirations are all over the place and don’t only come from music, but also from art, literature, nature and, of course, Death. As for music, i can definitely name such artists as Scott Kelly, Dorthia Cottrell, Dax Riggs, Steve von Till, Karen Dalton, Yanka Dyagileva (a soviet punk legend), David Tibet, Nick Drake and many others to be of inspiration for me. i listen to a lot of different music, from classical to metal, i guess it all comes from there.

-And the non-music inspirations? Do they come from Inwards out outwards? Because I feel that KARITI connects with the emotional.

i’m glad you said this, because the record is indeed very emotional and personal, a lot of it comes from my own experience, but there are also songs inspired by ancient burial rites, mythology, Slavic folklore, acmeist poetry, animals, nature..

-“Covered Mirrors” is a powerful and evocative title. A bit symbolic too maybe. What’s its significance (figuratively)?

in many cultures, including my native – Russian, when someone dies, the mirrors of the house are covered to avoid for the spirit of the dead being trapped in forever, to prevent the evil spirits from entering or mourners from being distracted, it has a special meaning for me and the decision to name the record like this was instinctive.

Photo by Paola Erre

– The lyrics on the album in a pretty poetical form. To what extent do the form, the shape and aesthetic of words impact or affect the meaning of what you are communicating and what you want to convey?

to the vastest. i love the lifeblood of words, their shapes, the way they change their meaning when put together, depending on the voice reading them or the paper they’re written on; being able to express myself through writing is something i cherish very much, it helped me over the years and losing this ability would be devastating. the melodies came second, at least for Covered Mirrors, they were a vessel for those words, for new songs i’m writing it is a bit different.

-What are some of the recurring themes in KARITI?

kariti was born as an outlet for emotions and the need to purge, Covered Mirrors is about loss, death, parting, love and life in light (or darkness) thereof, for the new songs i’m stepping outside of my pain to write about less personal, yet very important for me issues

-And what emotions do you translate?

i hope i answered to this a bit above, there are so many definitions and theories about what are emotions, but i guess suffering, sorrow, grief, sadness, empathetic pain, despair and love are definitely there, among others

-I’d dare say it’s all about the “darkest” feelings. Sadness. Grief. Loss. This reminds me of a quote by Kenneth Anger that goes “I have found the definition of the beautiful. It is something intense and sad […] so that I can scarcely conceive a type of beauty which has nothing to do with sorrow.” How is sorrow part of beauty or vice versa? Does sadness have a bad reputation socially?

sorrow is extremely powerful, so much beauty comes from it, it is also a natural part of the cycle, despite being often demonized or even shamed socially, as you mention, the definition you quote perfectly sums it up

– This being said where does your music come from and what is it? An exorcism? A catharsis? A vessel?

it’s crazy how i mention all these exact words before even getting to this question (i didn’t look, i swear!) it’s all of them and more

-I think somehow the lyrics, even touching on different ideas and feelings, arise from the figure of death. Or are somehow connected to death. As it also suggests the name of the “band”. What is Death in the context of KARITI?

yes, you are right, Death is my main inspiration. Wallace Stevens wrote “Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her, alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams and our desires…Death is the mother of beauty, mystical, within whose burning bosom we devise”, the only thing i can add to this, is that for me Death is definitely female

-This being said, what’s the story behind the name?

kariti is a verb meaning “to mourn the dead” in church Slavonic, an ancient liturgical language and it perfectly sums up my music

-On the album there’s a reinterpretation of the poem “Requiem: to Death” by Anna Akhmatova. What other women artists have inspired you in some way? Maybe not their work, but something in their attitude, their way of facing the world.

Karen Dalton and Yanka Dyagileva, for being fearless, unconstrained, real and, ultimately, free

-“Kybele’s Kiss” has mythology. Is it more than that? Kybele was a goddess whom we could consider to be intersex, and was revered by priests and priestess who dressed up in women clothes. So is this song some kind of statement? It is an empowering and liberating myth that somehow breaks with the status quo.

it’s a love song of a sort, a hymn to the power of womanhood, as a child, i read about Kybele in “Thais of Athens”, a book by a soviet author and paleontologist Ivan Efremov and have been fascinated with her ever since, at some point, that poem poured out of me in one breath, as most of my lyrics do

-So there’s this hint to Greek mythology, your Russian roots are also present… You’ve lived in different countries. How is this reflected in your art?

Photo by Laura Sans

i feel very lucky to have been able to experience new cultures, learn new languages, meet so many interesting weird people, it taught me a lot and definitely impacts and inspires anything i do, including these songs

-And before we wrap this interview up; how would you describe “Covered Mirrors” in just 3 words?

cathartic peregrination (through) bereavement

-What’s now next for KARITI?

Covered Mirrors on vinyl with an extra song (whenever i’ll be able to actually record it in a studio), album number two in 2022, which will probably be somewhat different from Covered Mirrors, at least sonically speaking

– That’s all from our side, thanks again for your time. If you’d like to add some final words, feel free to do it.

thank you, again, for your interest and for these great questions, i enjoyed writing the answers. Thank you, also, for what you do to promote music and support artists, especially in these weird times, take care

Tania Giménez

Tania@queensofsteel.com

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