INTERVIEW: Me Lost Me [I Lost My] | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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“I grew up with folk music; going to folk sessions and gigs regularly with my parents (apart from a brief rebellious period as a teenager when I discovered punk and metal and decided I hated folk music). Morris dancers and strange musical instruments always surrounded me. I love the melodic characteristics, the rhythm, the unpretentious of it all, and how it can be funny and weird and dark and beautiful.”

That last sentence is as good a summation as any of the power of Jayne Dent’s work as Me Lost Me [I Lost My]. Having worked as a visual artist and musician for several years, her new solo project might have only taken flight early this year, but has already attracted significant attention and acclaim. With Dent touring across the region this month, it seemed time to find out more about Dent’s newest guise.

“Well, last summer I realised I had all these scraps of half-formed songs and sound installations kicking about that I hadn’t really found a specific use for. So I went through this stuff and found lots of things I liked and went from there really, rerecording and reusing these recordings while writing some new pieces specifically for the EP. The name came about around the same time, originally from a running joke about my ‘lazy and mumbly’ Derbyshire-English and some misunderstandings that amused a few of my Danish friends when I was living abroad and not speaking the English they were used to hearing. ‘Me lost me…’ (kind of meaning ‘I lost my…’) became a bit of a running joke and just kind of stuck!”

Morris dancers and strange musical instruments always surrounded me. I love the melodic characteristics, the rhythm, the unpretentious of it all, and how it can be funny and weird and dark and beautiful

Much of Dent’s current work focuses on using electronic ambiance and loops to construct songs and material, but her folk roots still shine through, most notably on a regular highlight of her live performances, her interpretation of folk songs Bows of London. “I came across a performance by Martin Carthy when I was doing a research project collecting a song from / about every county in England. I was desperate to find something new for the Greater London track, since I knew so many songs that referred to London already, and some bright corner of the internet lead me to Bows of London. I was obsessed with it immediately and set about making an arrangement that I could play live. I love the weirdness of it: it’s such a grim tale.”

Having already impressed on a live broadcast for BBC Radio 3 earlier this year (“I think I was more nervous about being interviewed in front of a live audience than the actual music-playing”, Dent jokes) and with shows with acts as diverse as Ceiling Demons, A-Sun Amissa and Negative Midas Touch coming this month, Me Lost Me [I Lost My] has clearly struck a nerve. Discussing her future plans, Dent notes: “I’m writing a lot at the moment and will record an album eventually, but I don’t want to rush the writing process. I’m also putting together a recorded collection of arrangements of traditional folk songs, which are already finding their way into the live set. There are five songs arranged for that project at the moment and I’m finding the whole research process really inspiring. I also want to get better at playing the concertina, that’s definitely on the list. Exciting times ahead, I hope!”

Me Lost Me [I Lost My] plays Empty Shop on Friday 6th October with Ceiling Demons and Otis Mensah and The Cumberland Arms on Thursday 12th October with A-Sun Amissa and Ten Sticks.

 

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