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The Eighth Note: Erika Grant

Last edited: 20.06.17 | Comment? | By










‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

Today’s guest is Erika Grant, who is involved with numerous musical projects.

Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:

I am Erika Grant! I’ve been playing music since I was wee, originally classical violin, now I play bass in Wellington bands Orchestra of Spheres and Cookie Brooklyn and The Crumbs, as well as teach piano. I also sometimes improvise on various bits and pieces at the Pyramid Club, and occasionally make music for theatre and film.











What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?

Cookie Brooklyn and The Crumbs have just released our debut album- “On Television”- a concept album based on email conversations between super fans of the New York band Television. Orchestra of Spheres are currently working on a few new tunes to take away on tour with us (we’re off on a European tour in July), and I’m working on a live soundtrack to be performed with a silent film.


Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?

FaceBook is a pretty good place to keep in touch with what’s happening with the bands I’m in. We’re pretty active on there.


What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?

Well, I still feel like I’m growing up! So here’s 3 influential albums that have appeared at different times of my life:

Ys- Joanna Newsom: Joanna Newsom in my favourite living artist. She is a master of rhythm, rhyme and symbol. This album, containing just 5 songs, always takes me on a journey to places dark and light. Van Dyke Parks arrangements are also mind-blowingly amazing. A total masterpiece.

A Love Supreme- John Coltrane: This is an album I never get sick of, and always find new things to listen to inside these tracks. It’s a very moving, spiritual experience for me, putting this album on. John Coltrane is one of my all-time musical heroes and I feel like his compositions and performances changed the world of music forever.

Bad Jelly The Witch- Spike Milligan: More story than song, this record really shaped my childhood, and probably my sense of humour. It seemed like it was playing endlessly in my house, growing up. I love how it is funny, dark, sweet and sad and not at all dumbed down for children. I put this on just the other day and it was as powerful as it’s ever been for me.


Erika Grant playing with Orchestra of Spheres










Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?

I feel very lucky in the sense that I have gotten to play with a lot of my local musical heroes. I’d love to play more with you, Alistair!! I’d also love to play with pop superstar “Wing” though I’m not sure if she’s still making music. Also, my partner Ben Lemi, I’d love to form a band with him. We always seem to be so busy with other projects that it’s hard to find time to jam, but he’s an amazing musician, and I’m always learning heaps about music from him.


What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?

The Pyramid Club is my favorite place, because it’s run by some of my favorite people, and it’s a place where anything and everything can go down. All sorts of gigs have happened there over the years, and it’s run as a not for profit, mostly by a community of dedicated volunteers. There’s a real spirit of exploration and experimentation, and it’s a total labour of love by the creators.


In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?

Sometimes someone will bring a song to rehearsal that’s fully formed, so we learn our parts and then work on the feel as a band. Sometimes we’ll start completely fresh and see if we can create something from a jam, sometimes someone will bring just a snippit of an idea and we’ll each make up our own parts around that. Sometimes fiddling at the piano yields results for me, often times tunes just pop into my head. I quite like that space between awake and sleep, there seems to be unending amounts of music there just waiting for me to hear it!


Where/when is your next gig?

Orchestra of Spheres are next playing oth the 8th of July at the ‘Cite De La Musique Festival’ in Lausanne, Switzerland, to kick off our 3 week european tour. See you there!!



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