The Monthly interviews New Zealand Wordcore outfit, Moebius Orchestra – Part 2 – Connecting the Words to the Music

Part one of this interview is here

What about the writing. How does that work?

Poet 2

Both Poet 1 and I write independently and we have quite different styles. Poet 1 has a more atmospheric more epic style, a much larger and expansive writing style to my own. I tend to write short quirky pieces, but the vital element is that we are counterpoints to each other’s work.

We write a lot of poems and then we bounce them off each other and select what works democratically. There is a real organic orientation to what we do.

Have you worked with each other before?

Poet 2

I have worked with Poet 1 on poetry projects but not on musical projects or in this case a Wordcore project. I have worked with bands before and I did used to perform poetry over the top of a hard blues band, but what we are doing now has a more lush and beautiful sound.

When you read poetry over the top of a hard playing blues rock band you tend to have to shout the words over the top of the music. What we are creating now allows the words, the poetry, to shine.

Poet 1

We are very dance orientated; a lot of the music has a solid groove and you can dance to the music.

With regards to the music, if you are playing awkward time signatures how do you marry that with the words?

Musician 1

I tend at the moment to stick to 3/4 and 4/4 time signatures, but there are moments where I can venture off into other time signatures. At the moment we are creating ambient material as well and that allows the poets to work their words over that where there is no specific time signature.

Our opening piece at the moment starts off with Overtone singing, similar to Mongolian Throat Singing, and that is put through a Loop Pedal and from there poetry is spoken over the top of that. There are other pieces where we use Armenian instruments, which are quite sombre, and we build up to a more dance orientated approach.

Whatever we do though to me the crucial thing is to make sure that the words are not lost in the mix. Luckily Poet 1 has worked with a Wordcore band before, so he has a lot of experience allowing his words to flow over the music, and Pete has quite an idiosyncratic style which works along with the music.

At the moment we are working towards making sure everything fits together in as connected a way as possible.

Is the Moebius Orchestra a recording project, a live band, or both?

Poet 1

It will be both but more importantly, The Moebius Orchestra will be as much a theatre project. We are hoping to use film, performance, ritual and costumes, so it will be much more of a show than just a straight up band, or Wordcore group. We also intend to record the music we make and we are hoping to produce an album in the near future. We have a drummer and a guitar/banjo hybrid player who has African influences in his playing, so once you add all of that together, The Moebius Orchestra should be quite an adventure.

Where to now?

Poet 1

We are hoping to play festivals soon; we still have to negotiate the Covid restrictions, and as I said, we hope to record and if all goes well we hope to go overseas if we can find a way to do that.

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