Christine Owman Explains "Spelling Words"

Christine Owman Explains "Spelling Words"
Photo by Nicloas Tilosius

Arizona music label River Jones Music is best known for its lineup of local indie acts however the company hasn't limited itself to only the desert. Swedish/Danish singer Christine Owman is also a part of the family.

Owman enjoyed the stateside release of her new album Throwing Knives last week. On the album she not only sings but she plays the cello, ukulele, guitar, bass, piano and saw. That's right, that metal thing with pointy teeth people used to use to cut down trees.

I've never actually seen the saw played so I googled it and found a clip of Owman sitting under a spotlight; tool and violin bow in hand. To play the saw, she secures the wooden handle firmly between her thighs. With her left hand she uses her fingertips and thumb to curve the saw slightly and drags the bow over the teeth to deliver varying wooing sounds. The scene is delicate, yet dangerous, much like the sound in Throwing Knives.

Owman took time away from the countryside in Malmö, Sweden to talk about the first track off the album, "Spelling Words." Check out what she had to say and watch the music video after the jump.

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Christine Owman: "Spelling Words" is a hymn dedicated to the art of understanding one another. The inspiration grew from the frustration of the game of social interaction. I was so tired of not being able to trust the words I heard; to have to read between people's and my own lines.

In [the song] I sing about whether or not there is an existing objective truth. The longing for an empty sheet where no one interprets anything based on past experience - just on the words. What the words really mean.

When I had finished the song I coincidentally met Andi Almqvist, a fellow musician and song writer. After being introduced to his music I knew that his voice would fit really well in the song. Days after meeting him for the first time, he was in my studio recording his vocals. Andi later introduced me to Ola Frick from Moonbabies, who had mixed and produced a couple of Andi's songs. I loved what I heard and asked Ola to mix "Spelling Words." It went so well that he eventually co-produced the song.

"With the video for the song I wanted to express the feeling that there is more beneath. What's hiding behind those straight, conventional faces? A laugh towards our social rules and standards."

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