Unconventional singer-songwriter Miriam Lieberman has released her new album Just Transforming. Created during the tumultuous year of 2020, there is something otherworldly about Infinite We Are. The tracks on the album feels evocative of classic songwriters and storytellers Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon, but there is a unique element to the tone and delivery of the music and lyrics that is almost indescribable. We caught up with Miriam to learn more about her.
Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with Hear 2 Zen, what have you been up to today?
Pleasure, well it’s still morning but so far I’ve been up early reading books in bed with my toddler before getting him to day care and heading straight for a winter swim in the sea. Now I’m sitting down to a coffee and sharing it with you…
Tell us about yourself, how long have you been performing/creating music for?
I’ve always loved to sing and create music, even as a young child, but probably started writing my own songs in high school and it’s been a cumulative life-long learning process.
Who are your greatest inspirations? Why?
Have to start close to home. My mum has been a great inspiration. She has always been outspoken and bold, a medical Doctor, a visual artist, and mother of three kids that she mostly brought up as a single parent. As I was growing up she always encouraged me to live life vividly, to be compassionate to others and to follow my music – though I must admit at the end of school she would have preferred that I complete a law degree rather than changing tact completely and taking the leap to pursue music as my main gig.
I’m also greatly inspired by an older cousin of mine who was around a lot when I was growing up. She is a peace activist and mediator. She lives in Darwin now and has for months been going every single day to protest and keep company to a small group of asylum seekers who have been indefinitely detained. She spends a lot of time advocating for people who have need for a voice. I love the way she is impassioned and active to pursue social justice.
How do you create music? Are you lyrics/story driven, or does the music/melody come first? Explain your process.
This really depends on the song. Sometimes I have lyrics or a story I want to tell that I need music for. Other times I improvise on a melody and find that it seems to indicate a feeling and lyrics that seem to emerge from that.
What has been your greatest challenge so far in performing/creating music?
The many hats I have to wear as an independent self-managed artist. It’s a real testament to that idea that if you want something to happen you need to create it. It is not enough to just concentrate on the creative side. I need to divide my time between organising tours, keeping in touch with people that follow my music, updating my website and social media, crowdfunding, rehearsing with my trio and publicity. It certainly keeps it interesting and is never boring!
Tell us about your new release, how did it come about?
I’d been wanting to put out a new album for a while but with my recent transition into motherhood, at first I found it a lot harder to carve out that creative space and time needed. When the pandemic hit, I, like the rest of the world was forced to simplify things and there was a gift of more reflection time in that. I started writing again, after I had a few songs I applied for a grant with Create NSW. This allowed me to record the first few songs with my trio. At the time I thought I would only put out an EP.. As we got further into the project I gained the confidence that perhaps I could push just a bit further and record an entire album of songs instead. I kept on writing and ran a crowdfunding campaign with my supporters. Now just a few months later, here is the album.
What advice do you have to artists who are just starting out?
Listen to the music that you love and find what inspires you about it. Digest it somehow and then find your own authentic voice. Never be afraid to play / write what feels true to you. It may not resonate with everyone but you will find / create your tribe. Don’t wait for someone to discover your music, bring it to people. Be active, be humble and willing to learn new skills. Make time every day to work on your craft as well as time every day to get it out there into the world.
Tell us your favourite Zen practice.
I have a few…
Spending time in the ocean
An almost daily yoga and meditation session
Playing my kora before bed
Cuddles and cosy time with my two year old
SAT 26 JUN | THE BASE, NEWCASTLE, NSW | ALL AGES ALBUM LAUNCH
Tickets available from https://thebasehealth.com.au/category/events/music/
SUN 27 JUN | DJANGO CAMELOT, MARRICKVILLE, NSW | ALL AGES ALBUM LAUNCH
Tickets available fromhttps://www.stickytickets.com.au/89otq/miriam_lieberman_trio_album_launch.aspx
FRI 23 JUL | OPEN STUDIO NORTHCOTE, VIC