On The Coast: Making Music On the Fly With Angela Sheik | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

Filed Under:

On The Coast: Making Music On the Fly With Angela Sheik

Play associated audio
Singer-songwriter Angela Sheik uses a loop pedal, a theremin, and a flute to create her unusual sound.
Joe del Tufo
Singer-songwriter Angela Sheik uses a loop pedal, a theremin, and a flute to create her unusual sound.

The first instrument singer-songwriter Angela Sheik ever played was her grandmother's piano. She wanted to learn how to play the Star Wars theme song, she says. But she's since branched into more unusual instruments — namely, a theremin and a loop pedal, which she uses to create lush, unique sounds. Sheik recently joined Metro Connection reporter Bryan Russo in the studio to talk about her one-of-a-kind musical style and to show us how to use a loop pedal.

On the art and science of looping:

"I had a different loop pedal for a long time¬ and I was at an electronic music festival and thankfully some guy came up to me, and he said, you should check this pedal out; I think it would really open up the possibilities for you," says Sheik. "I am so grateful for that man. I don't know who it was, but he was so right. It was just such a songwriting tool for me. It kept me from playing a crazy amount of chords. You know? The loop pedal gives you a structure, and I think changed my songwriting.

On using what she calls the queen of boss pedals — the Boss RC-300:

"It's basically three pedals smashed together with some effects, which is going to allow us to take some loops in and out. So we can record something and then we can take it out. You know, trial and error. Rhythm is key, and then you can add harmonies and take them out, and the rhythm will stay.

On defying musical genres:

Sheik says she's influenced by artists like Imogen Heap and Regina Spektor — musicians who defy genre, but she also says she's already had struggles with people who want her to embrace a genre with her own music.

"'What genre?' is the question that they usually ask and I don't have an answer for them. I love the people, especially the women icons that are the genre. Imogen Heap is her own genre. Regina Spektor is her own genre. She made anti-folk in my mind, so yeah, that's what I aspire to be."


[Music: "Sea of Love" by Tom Waits from Brawlers / "Chickadee" by Angela Sheik from Songs From the Red Box]

NPR

Ladies Lead Whiskey Renaissance As Distillers And New Tipplers

Whiskey was long considered a man's drink. But as sales of whiskey soar, it's women who are leading the new boom, thanks to a vanguard of female distillers, blenders and tasters.
NPR

Ladies Lead Whiskey Renaissance As Distillers And New Tipplers

Whiskey was long considered a man's drink. But as sales of whiskey soar, it's women who are leading the new boom, thanks to a vanguard of female distillers, blenders and tasters.
NPR

Transcript: President Obama's Full NPR Interview

Steve Inskeep's wide-ranging interview with President Obama covers recent executive actions on Cuba and immigration, race relations in the U.S., health care and extending democracy in the Middle East.
NPR

Die-In, Vortex, Selfie Stick: What's The Word Of 2014?

In January, members of the American Dialect Society will vote on the 2014 Word of the Year. Linguist Ben Zimmer runs through some contenders — including words both old and new.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.