Would you care to introduce yourself?
We are Let’s Talk About Space (Kieran Heather & Chris McGarry), an educational/music group that plays electro-pop and teaches kids about the wonders of the Universe.
How would you describe the music you make?
I guess the music could be described as electro-pop but that’s in the eye of the beholder. We wanted to make music that would fit with the subject, which is Space in case you didn’t know yet! The educational side of the project also influenced this as we tried to make a lot of songs appeal to children as well as adults, so it became science-fiction fairy tales. One of the things we’ve noticed since we started is that there is a lot of poetry in astronomy. People like Carl Sagan (one of our heroes) have really helped make people realise that these subjects are not sterile or boring. Astronomy is an incredible and beautiful thing and we wanted to relate that kind of elation into simple little pop songs.
How did you start out making music?
We started making music together for fun. It was really a bit of a joke at first, and we had no intentions of playing the music outside the confines of our homes and private gatherings. We gave some music to our friends and started getting good feedback and encouragement, and so decided take everything a little further.
What process goes into the way you write songs?
It varies drastically. A proportion of the music is written together from start to finish, other songs we write separately and bring to each other to flesh out and some we just write completely separately and if we’re both happy with them that’s it. It’s a very fluid process and helps keep things fresh, We’ve written and arranged music in various ways and we feel that keeping the process from going stagnant is the most important part. Everything we do has been recorded in our respective bedrooms or in a flat next door to Hansa Tonstudio (where Bowie recorded Heros) in Berlin. Oh, and we also collaborated with one of our all time musical heroes, Simian from the hugely influential pioneers of electronic music Silver Apples.
What can people expect from your live shows?
To date we’ve never played any two gigs with the same lineup or arrangements. We made a conscious decision to never get into the habit of playing regular shows in the same old venues, but instead would try to make every show unique and special in some way. So far the only gigs we’ve played have been at The Arches, Stereo, Insider Festival, Glasgow Science Centre’s Planetarium, Whitelee Windfarm, a spy station in Berlin as well and several Primary Schools. At Insider Festival we ended up luring the entire festival crowd into the forest with a brass band whilst the festival organiser dished out free, dangerously strong cider. At the Planetarium we donned our best Carl Sagan impressions and put on an educational show for the kids... Both shows were real highlights for us. We get a kick out of contrasting extremes and doing what's least expected. We’re currently making plans to play on top of a mountain... we’ll keep you posted.
What are you all listening to at the moment?
Our tastes have always remained fairly similar but continuously evolving. I think a steady diet of Grandaddy, Bowie, Kraftwerk,The Magnetic Fields and the BBC Radiophonic workshop is the standard. We have also recently gotten into Radiolab through a friend’s recommendation and I cannot tell you how good it is, you have to see for yourself. It’s a series of podcasts that focus loosely on science but are just all incredibly well written, edited and executed. Pick one at random and be amazed. Although I will obviously recommend the one entitled ‘Space’.
What can we expect to see/hear from you in the future?
As an educational project, we’ll keep trying to engage younger audiences, inspire kids to take an active interest in science, play school shows and hopefully run some more events at Glasgow Science Centre. As a band, we’ll be releasing an album in early 2013 with a few shows to coincide. We’d really like to do more collaborations, especially with local musicians and artists (if that’s you, please get in touch!). We really want to keep doing things that allow us to educate and challenge ourselves and others. We’ll be extra happy if we can get a reaction out of people along the way... even if that’s just flat out confusion!