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Talking Mood Curation and Sonic Storytelling with Claire Morgan

From Berlin mega-grins to Copenhagen cathedrals with one of Australia's most promising exports.

Hopping between her home country to play along side Marcel Dettmann in January, then back to her new base to play her second closing set at Berghain's Panorama Bar, Claire Morgan has been working hard at becoming one of Australia's most promising exports. She's become somewhat of a regular at House Of Mince parties, a title she has impressively managed to maintain, keeping in mind the fact she has been living in Berlin for three years nowThe superbly talented techno slayer has just been announced as the headline act on the main Mince Arena stage at Super Open Air: House Of Mince's 4th Birthday. She'll be performing alongside the country's finest electronic talents, including DJ Kiti, Annabelle Gaspar vs Lorna Clarkson and a hotly anticipated performance by Gang of She. Ahead of this Sunday's event, we had a chat to the sonic curator about her worldwide jaunts and everything in between.

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THUMP: In an interview last year you mentioned that you were going back to focus on producing your own stuff. How did that go/ what can we expect?
Claire Morgan: This year was my third Berlin Winter and I finally understand how to channel the intense physical and psychological effect of the darkness and cold into music. I wrote quite a lot of music! I have a well-defined process and workflow for writing film scores but it's taken me quite awhile to develop my own method for writing solo music. I have a lot of hardware and am most creative when I've got my back to the computer and my hands and mind on my machines. The tracks I'll be releasing are essentially live hardware jams that have been beefed up post-jam. Every spare minute over the last month has been spent finishing off these tracks and I am now sending them off into the world. It feels great.

What makes Techno and House such a powerful medium for you?
Funnily enough, I learned a lot about my style of DJing and why I love techno so much from playing ambient sets in the Copenhagen Cathedral. I'm happiest playing my records at eye level with the crowd and my dancefloor focused inwards on itself. I don't view DJing as visual performance medium, my role is a mood curator and sonic storyteller. I love seeing people disappear into a deep, physical meditation in music and sound, when I feel that happening it's such a powerful and inspiring feeling every time.

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Tell us about your recent set at Panorama Bar?
It's always brilliant at P-Bar. This was my second closing set there, I love playing long sets and going deep into my record collection. It's a unique environment, the way that room holds and amplifies energy and the freedom of the dancefloor is such a drug for me. My mega-grin lasts from the second I walk in the door until about a week afterwards.

What's been your most interesting overseas gig?
I was heading to Copenhagen to play at Culture Box and was invited to also play an ambient set at the Vor Frue Kirke, a stunning Gothic cathedral in the Royal District of Copenhagen. There are hundreds of candles, pillows and mattresses on the floor, soft, psychedelic lighting and an incredible sonic space created by the dome above your head. It's so achingly beautiful, like a scene from a movie. Walking into that space is like entering a parallel universe, total sensory explosion. I chose classical music, film scores, ambient electronic tracks and created sound collages from field recordings I have made around the world. The response has been really overwhelming. I will play there again when it reopens next winter and am hatching a plan to smuggle a rather exceptional acoustic guitarist along for the show.

Tell us about your relationship with House Of Mince - what's your fondest memory?
It was love at first sight for The House of Mince and me, and they now manage my Australian tours. It's such a good fit for both of us, we share the same aesthetics when it comes to music, ethos and vibe. My fondest memory is the first time I played for them, walking in the door to a gorgeous welcome from Betty Grumble who also did a killer show before I started, not your average warmup! Meeting head honcho Peter who I adore, hearing the music from the other residents and loving all of it. Everyone I come into contact with through HOM is just my people. Lucky me! Oh yeah, and playing with Marcel Dettmann was totally awesome, definitely one of my techno heroes.

Finally, have you got in store for us on Sunday at House of Mince 4th Birthday?
A mix of killer techno, electro and house records that I've been hoarding over the last few months. I always love bringing my experiences and interpretations of Berlin to dance floors in Australia. It's great to be home.

Super OpenAir | The House of Mince 4th Birthday is happening this Sunday at The Factory Theatre. The full lineup includes Claire Morgan, DJ Kiti, Annabelle Gaspar vs Lorna Clarkson with a special performance from Gang of She, Ben Drayton (Bad Dog / Lovecult 2000), Ben Fester (Astral People / Heavenly), James Greville (Rimbombo), Victoria Kim, RY4 and Baby Face Thrilla. Tickets here.

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