2013 Through My Eyes: Kathryn Mary & Joshua Levi Ian [Lux Interna]

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“(…)I was wondering to what type of audience this album would appeal to the most, and came to the conclusion that if you feel closer to 16 Horsepower and Wovenhand than Death In June or Sol Invictus, then this is the music for you, straight from the States, painting with sound the images of deep forests, salt lakes, hot canyons, sultry swamps. Well played, catchy, but far from the triviality found in popular charts” [stark / “There Is Light In The Body, There Is Blood In The Sun” review]

How would you summarize this past year on an artistic and personal level?

Kathryn: 2013 has been a year of growth and transition for me, both on a personal and an artistic level. I was based in Europe for most of the year, and enjoyed both the opportunities and challenges that living abroad has to offer. 2013 has been an excellent year for Lux Interna, with the release of our new album, ‘there is light in the body, there is blood in the sun.’ This album marks a turning point for us as a band, and the reception has been incredible. We are very thankful for all the support we’ve received this year from fans all over the globe.

Joshua: This past year has been a whirlwind of experience, travel, work, and creation. There was little middle ground for me during 2013: there was simply real night and real light – the dark days seemed to hang heavier than ever, while the bright times were almost blinding. I began the year on a cold, grey morning in Heidelberg, ended it amongst the conifer trees of Oregon. And in between: Europe, North Africa, working with sixteenth and seventeenth century manuscripts, struggling with the German tongue, long hazy nights in Berlin, the intensity of performing with Lux Interna, camping in the redwoods…these are all images that will continue to define the contours of 2013 as it slowly transforms into memory.

What album did you listen to most often this year (not necessarily released in 2013)?

Kathryn: I came across so much great music this year – I don’t think I could choose just one album! I’d say my top 5 this year would include (in no particular order):
Om – Advaitic Songs
Wooden Wand – Death Seat
Julee Cruise – Floating Into the Night
Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra – Nancy & Lee
Roland Howard – Pop Crimes

Joshua: I agree with Kathryn, sorry…I don’t think that I can name just one. A few of the artists who played a large part in my own personal soundtrack to this year were: Roland Howard, Son House, Sixteen Horsepower, the Castanets, Hank Williams, Barn Owl, and Crime and the City Solution. But of course, I could go on…

What was the best cultural experience not related to music?

Kathryn: It was camping in the Sahara Desert with Joshua, sitting around a campfire with some Berber musicians we met there, singing and playing hand percussion under the most incredible starry sky. That is an experience I will never forget!

Joshua: Spending ten months of the last year completing research toward my doctoral dissertation, I was able to work with manuscripts – mystical, alchemical, and esoteric texts – from the late medieval and early modern periods. I was able, for the first time, to lay hands on the original, handwritten works of Jacob Böhme, a German mystic who I am particularly fascinated with. This work brought me to Germay, Poland, and the Netherlands. That was incredible. However, traveling through Morocco was one of the most amazing – as well as trying – experiences that I’ve had in quite a while…so many images will never leave me.

And best trip? Most beautiful or magic place you visited this year?

Kathryn: I was fortunate to travel quite a bit during 2013, spanning 3 continents, 9 countries, and countless cities, but I think the most magical place I visited was Morocco, specifically the Sahara desert, near the Moroccan/Algerian border. The sound of the desert, the light, the night, the culture of the people who live there… It is a truly magical place.

Joshua: Yes, well…again, I have to agree with Kathryn – the Sahara at night was…simply immense, the stars terrifyingly beautiful. We were lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time in so many “wild” places in the last year, from Death Valley to the Sahara to the redwood forests of California. This was connected on a deep level to what we were – and still are – trying to achieve on an artistic level: a sonic wilderness, an aural bridge between the untamed places within and those outside…

What was your greatest disappointment of 2013?

Kathryn: I lived in Berlin for most of 2013, and I’d say my greatest disappointment of the year was German beer. But I was fortunate to spend some time in Poland last summer, and I was seriously impressed by the microbreweries there! They were excellent.

Joshua: There were some really dark days in 2013…and bitter tastes. But I’d rather not rehearse them again.

Did you learn anything particular this year?

Kathryn: I took a lot of risks in 2013, both artistically and personally. And I grew because of it.

Joshua: …that flying and falling are largely a matter of perspective.

Plans, hopes, expectations for 2014?

Kathryn: I have a lot of hopes and plans for the new year! Lux Interna is hard at work. We have a lot of new material and are planning to release an EP later in 2014. We are also working on setting up a tour in the United States and Europe in the spring/summer of 2014 – any promoters looking to book should contactlux_interna@luxinterna.com for more information.

Joshua: My plan, my hope, and my expectation of myself can be summed up in one imperative: create! And yes, touring and studio work are hopefully in the cards…

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