Imogen Heap to weave Asian sounds into new album

Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:38pm EST
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By Gowri Jayakumar

PUNE, India (Reuters) - What started as a little girl's dream to travel around the globe in her own plane with her own classical orchestra has led to a Grammy award and three critically acclaimed albums for Imogen Heap, who will use sounds embodying Asia for her next album.

A skilled player of several instruments, the 33-year-old English singer is breaking down her upcoming fourth album into several projects with themes set in different parts of the world, she told Reuters at the recent Bacardi NH7 Weekender music festival in Pune, a city outside of Mumbai.

"Every single song in the album has its own kind of ecosystem around it," said Heap, who was dressed in a black churidar-kameez, a traditional long tunic worn with tight trousers, with a pink dupatta shawl around her shoulders.

A do-it-yourself artist, Heap composes, arranges and produces her own music, effortlessly weaving urban dance beats and electronica with a hint of traditional song-writing, while slipping in an odd array of sounds, such as the hiss of a frying pan or the clatter of cutlery.

While in India, Heap wrote a new song with music director Vishal Dadlani for "The Dewarists," a television show that airs on Asian channel Star World.

She has yet to name her new album, which is expected to contain roughly 12 tracks including her song with Dadlani called "Minds Without Fear."

Other songs will be "Lifeline," based on the tsunami that ravaged Japan earlier this year, with 900 sounds sent by Heap's fans from around the world forming the base of the tune. Another, "Neglected Space," is about bringing to life an old Georgian walled garden in her village.