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Echoes of Loss: A Collaborative Journey Through ‘In Your Eyes’

‘In Your Eyes’ stands as a poignant testament to the power of collaboration and shared emotional experiences in the realm of music. Produced by Jares and Ava Irandoost, this EP encapsulates a fusion of ethereal sounds and raw storytelling, navigating themes of loss and remembrance.

Released under Katermukke Records, the project is a tribute to personal grief journeys sparked by a Farsi poem shared between the artists. Through immersive soundscapes and evocative lyricism, ‘In Your Eyes’ invites listeners on a reflective journey, resonating with universal sentiments of longing and empathy. In this interview, we delve into the collaborative process, thematic inspirations, and the impact of cultural backgrounds on the EP’s narrative.

Stream or get your copy of  ‘In Your Eyes’ here.

EG: Hi Jares and Ava, welcome to EG and congratulations on the release of ‘In Your Eyes’ on Katermukke Records! Could you share with us the inspiration behind this collaboration and the significance of releasing it on this particular label?

Jares: Thanks for the invite. I’ve fallen in love with Ava’s voice since I first heard it through some videos on Instagram. We then connected through the Katermukke family and realized we both have a similar story of loss… it was only natural for us to collaborate on a tribute. I remember one day, she was in Australia (I think), and sent me a beautiful poem in Farsi via a voice message on WhatsApp. That voice message is the exact one that was used for ‘In Your Eyes’! And releasing it on Katermukke is kind of surreal in itself, what an honor to share our personal story on this groundbreaking label. The creative liberty they gave us is priceless.

Ava Irandoost: I couldn’t agree more with Jares.

EG: Ava, your filmmaking and performance art background adds a unique dimension to your music. How did these influences shape the creative process for ‘In Your Eyes’?

Ava Irandoost: Whether it’s an art, music, or film project, the creative process follows a similar path for me. It’s about storytelling and diving into the depths of emotions and questions to express them outwardly.

Coming from a background in film and architecture, I’m fascinated by creating immersive spaces and atmospheres, sonically and visually. I’d like to explore these crafted experiences together with my audience, allowing them to feel and interact with the unfolding narrative and space in time.

EG: Jares, your style is often described as blending ethereal and progressive sounds. How did you integrate these elements into “In Your Eyes,” especially considering its emotive context?

Jares: I always found ethereal elements to have a special reflective impact on the listeners… and so using these textures was a perfect fit given the emotive context of the track. I’ve tried to use a lot of deep synths throughout the track, combining it with some nice effects on Ava’s voice. I think this was especially illustrated during the break.

EG: The Farsi poem served as a catalyst for this project. Can you elaborate on how it influenced the direction and mood of the EP?

Ava Irandoost: The poem ‘In Your Eyes’ holds personal significance for me, as I wrote it on the first anniversary of my brother’s passing last year. It reflects upon the final expression I remember in my brother’s eyes. Realizing that Jares and I shared the experience of losing our brothers sparked a creative connection between us. I shared it with Jares, and from there, we began exchanging ideas and developing the concept collaboratively. We wanted the music to mirror the sentiment conveyed in the words, so we crafted the soundscapes to evoke a sense of longing. The sonic experience carries a piece of that emotional journey, reflecting the profound impact of loss and remembrance.

EG: Jares, your dedication to connecting with your audience on a deeper level is evident in your performances. How do you translate this connection into your studio collaborations, particularly with Ava on “In Your Eyes”?

Jares: No matter the context, I think connecting with people on a deeper level is always important. For our collaboration, the connection happened organically as we both shared about our loss and were vulnerable. With that vulnerability comes a real connection, which makes this collaboration process effortless. We both knew what we wanted and worked together to get there. I’m actually excited to meet Ava in person for the first time later in May!

EG: Ava, the release date of “In Your Eyes” holds personal significance for Jares, marking his brother’s memorial. How does this timing add depth and meaning to the EP for you as collaborators and your listeners?

Ava Irandoost: The timing of the release date, coinciding with Jares’ brother’s memorial, carries something for both of us as collaborators. Having experienced the loss of my own brother, I deeply empathize with Jares’ personal journey. It’s a reminder that human emotions transcend individual experiences and connect us on a fundamental level. This shared emotional experience resonates not only with us but also with our listeners. Regardless of whether they’ve experienced a similar loss, the authenticity behind the track speaks to the universal human experience. This concept also extends to the music video we shot in Cape Town. The video captures the diverse expressions of individuals experiencing similar emotions, encouraging a sense of unity and empathy.

“I believe that we shouldn’t put a lot of boundaries when it comes to art, and we’re fortunate enough in this scene to have open-minded listeners who are willing to explore new sounds” – Jares

EG: The EP features a remix by Berlin-based Franca. How did her interpretation add a new perspective to the project, and what was the collaborative process like in creating the remix?

Ava Irandoost: Franca’s remix of ‘In Your Eyes’ and her unique interpretation brought a fresh perspective to the project. Initially, I shared the track with Franca without providing the translated lyrics. Intrigued by the music itself, she expressed interest in remixing it, which thrilled me. Later, she requested the translated lyrics to better understand the song’s essence. Franca experimented with the vocals during the collaborative process, exploring different elements and meanings behind the lyrics. Despite her travels and limited access to a studio, the process proceeded smoothly. Franca’s creativity and commitment resulted in an outstanding remix.

EG: Ava, your journey from Tehran to Berlin is reflected in your diverse artistic pursuits. How did this cultural journey influence the themes and narratives explored in ‘In Your Eyes’?

Ava Irandoost: Our backgrounds and life experiences surely shape our artistic sensibilities, consciously or subconsciously. In the case of ‘In Your Eyes,’ the process of creating music became a way for me to navigate the profound loss of my brother. This emotional journey and fusion of our diverse cultural backgrounds infused our track’s language, texture, and mood.

EG: Jares, your music often explores deeper shades of the musical spectrum. How do you balance experimentalism with accessibility, especially in a project as emotionally charged as “In Your Eyes”?

Jares: That’s a very good question! It’s difficult nowadays to balance experimenting with new sounds and having an “accessible” final result. To be honest, for this specific project, I went fully experimental with new sounds and textures that I had never explored before, and I’m happy with the result. It will always depend on the motivation behind a track, for “In Your Eyes”, my focus was to write a track that can trigger Ava and myself on a deeper level, because it’s a personal tribute to 2 people that we admire. At the end of the day, I believe that we shouldn’t put a lot of boundaries when it comes to art, and we’re fortunate enough in this scene to have open-minded listeners who are willing to explore new sounds.

EG: As artists with distinct backgrounds and influences, how did you navigate the creative process to ensure a cohesive “In Your Eyes” vision while allowing room for individual expression?

Jares: I’ll let Ava correct me here, but I think both of us had a vision of the perfect track, and it did take a couple of iterations before we got it right. For instance, Ava wanted to keep the vocals raw, and I respected that. I had also initially created a more dance-floor instrumental, but given the context, we both agreed to rework it into something more reflective.. and that’s when I really went full experimental and didn’t give myself any boundaries. Communication is key, even when we’re working from different continents..

Ava Irandoost: I fully agree. Collaborating with him has been wonderful. Despite our physical distance, communication flowed smoothly, allowing space for exploration, experimentation, and creativity. It was truly a rewarding collaborative experience.

“This emotional journey and fusion of our diverse cultural backgrounds infused our track’s language, texture, and mood” – Ava Irandoost

EG: Looking beyond what future collaborations or projects can we expect from you both, and how has this collaboration influenced your artistic trajectories?

Jares: This was a great experience for both of us, so there will definitely be more collaborations to come! I feel like our styles complement each other in a nice way.

Ava Irandoost: I’m really looking forward to Jares visiting Berlin and us finally meeting in person, can’t wait to talk more about our upcoming projects and see where our collaboration takes us next.

EG: Thank you both for the time, and congrats on the release!

Jares: Thank you for having us!

Ava Irandoost: It was a pleasure to share our thoughts with you. Thank you for the opportunity.

Jares and Ava Irandoost’s ‘In Your Eyes’ is now available via Katermukke. Stream and download here.

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