Artist in Residence Podcast: Estère

Musician and Empress of electric blue witch-hop Estère has made you a personalised audio performance.

Posted on
03.06.20

Self-isolation has been hard. Art can help everyone. Artist in Residence is an immersive podcast series made in collaboration with ten New Zealand artists across theatre, music, poetry and dance. Each artist has made you a 15-minute personalised performance to help with one thing you might be feeling in isolation and as we transition out of it.

Estère doesn’t play music - she creates sonic amalgamations that merge culture, language and legend. She breathes life into narratives that marry the acutely human to the achingly mythic. Estère plays 'electric blue witch-hop', as she calls her dimensions of electronic, folk and R&B. The New Zealand Herald called it “a beautiful mix of everything the music world is lauding and lusting after right now.”

Estère began her journey as a bedroom producer with an MPC called Lola. Her first album, ‘Estère’, released in 2015 via Paris-based record label Prospect, earned her accolades from prominent media outlets such as Disco Naïveté, Elle Magazine (FR) and Portals. In 2018, Estère’s second album ‘My Design, On Others’ Lives’ was championed by Radio NZ as “an exceptional record.” Afropunk called it “an immersive experience unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed.”

In her push to explore new terrain in song-writing and performance, Estère has created a concept show, ‘Into the Belly of Capricorn,’ for international arts festivals in 2020. Through the lens of the show’s protagonist, audiences are invited to explore archetypal themes shaped by the songs from Estère's soon-to-be released third album - titled ‘Archetypes’ - created with Massive Attack producer Stew Jackson.  

Estère has been twice nominated for NZ Music Awards, including Best Producer (2018) and Critics Choice Award (2015). 

Artist in Residence: Estère

A Symphony of Reassurance

Estère has created A Symphony of Reassurance, an audio performance from lockdown, to listen to when you need to feel reassured.

Listen in the midst of nature.

This episode is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifySoundcloud, our RSS feed and right here.

If you're listening from mobile, Apple, Spotify and Soundcloud are preferable to the below player (as the sound won't cut out when your phone goes to sleep!)

We recommend headphones.

Each artist has provided you with sleeve notes for their episode. Estère's sleeve notes are below.

Image by Paascalino Schaller

Sleeve Notes for A Symphony of Reassurance

Estère

I recognise this anxiety, this resistance towards waking up from a strange, sedate slumber. 

So I am allowing myself time. Figuratively, I am like a cicada that must slowly emerge from its underground burrow and shed its nymphal skin. 

This ASMR symphony is created to give an intimate ‘snapshot’ into my process of finding reassurance. With the listener, I want to explore the sonic textures of things that bring me a sense of calm and reassurance during this time of major life readjustment. 

The setting is at my mother’s house on the Kāpiti coast, where I begin a transitional journey that (as with most symphonies) is comprised of distinct movements. The first movement is inside the introspective realm of the household where I ‘dilly dally’ about - making tea, lighting oil burners… (I won’t put in too many spoilers). The second movement is exposure and connectivity to the world outside, to nature, and to the elements. The third and final movement synthesises all sonic textures into a meditative musical composition. 

In the midst of nature - would be the optimal spot for listening to this piece. 

Episode Credits

A Symphony of Reassurance was created and performed by Estère
Lead guitar, bass: Ben Lemi
Everything else: Estère

Theme music: C. Frances Duncan and Ruby Solly 
Graphic design: Sarah Gladwell
Produced by Kate Prior for The Pantograph Punch
Made with the support of NZ on Air

You can listen to Artist in Residence: Estère on Apple PodcastsSpotifySoundcloud, our RSS feed and above.