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Louise Terra

Multidisciplinary artist Louise Terra, whose remarkable ability to weave together sonic textures, lush swirling vocals and intricate rhythms has been a hallmark of her career, is a headliner at Saturday’s ‘Reactivate the Night’ event.

We checked in with her to see how she was feeling ahead of the night, both about performing and her relatively recent decision to put down roots here in Castlemaine.

How have things gone since your move last year?

“Moving to Castlemaine was pretty surreal. I have a community of friends here and they’ve been wanting me to move up for a while; I was ready to leave Melbourne, but it’s a jump.

“It’s been really positive, though of course on the other hand, not being able to get out and about due to COVID has been a real challenge. So yes, an oddly mixed experience.

Photo of Louise Terra by Jeannie Brown

“It’s a paradox, as I have enjoyed the resulting quietude. You go from having a garage in Fitzroy to a spacious garden here, so I’ve been enjoying what I could from my Castlemaine ‘perimeter’.”

And the benefits of being here now?

“It’s such an exciting, creative community; there’s such high numbers of people creating – an example of a great environment. I was drawn to this community.

“Having toured Europe and seen how many small, super active communities there are over there, and the resulting potentials there are, I’m so happy to be here – the closeness of a community like this facilitates a range of creative crossovers.”

Has the move here influenced your compositions?

“I notice the music I’m writing here has been about coming back to what’s important to me. In the previous 10 years I put lots of time into music production, whereas here I find I’m gazing at beautiful trees and, in doing so, I’m also getting right back to the music I love.

“The resulting music has been a lot less about production, which is always so cerebral. I’ve been working here with rawness: the rawness of my own voice; of simple starting points; of stripping back on technical production.”

And why commit to the Fringe Festival as you’ve done?

“I’m an independent artist and have been for 20 years, my community has always existed on the edge, the fringe community is dear to my heart.

“I love the idea of local independent artists coming together to present their work. Some of most the exciting creative work is happening on the fringe, not the main stage.

“The theme for this Festival and for Saturday night, Reactivate, is for me about breathing life back into the mechanics of this cultural community; the social systems that have been on hold, and to valuing the gifts that can only come from taking time to let ideas and concepts gestate.”

Louise Terra’s next single, ‘Yuu’, will be released next Wednesday 31 March, with her much-anticipated EP ‘Follow the Moon into the Ocean’ due out on Wednesday 14 April.

Louise appears on stage this Saturday just after 10pm, at the Market Building.

With thanks to David Littlewood for words & interview