Cinthie: studio life during lockdown
From lost Sunday evenings in Berghain to homeschooling. We catch up with Berlin renaissance woman Cinthie to find out about life during lockdown and take a tour of her studio.
Juno: Hi Cinthie. How’s life for you at the moment? How much has changed over the last year?
Cinthie: Life is actually pretty good but around two weeks ago I really started to feel the lockdown. I’m getting bored of moving from home to the store and to the studio and back. I also miss inspiration to write tracks. I miss my friends and also playing, having some wine with friends or just getting lost at Berghain on a Sunday evening. It’s just so many simple things that can’t be done right now.
But I don’t want to be too negative as it looks like one day we will all be vaccinated. And also I moved closer to some already close friends, which I’m super happy about. So I can’t complain too much for now.
Have you still been making music?
Yes, yes, oh yes! I have been super active in the studio with slowly preparing a new album, some EPs and a lot of remixes for other acts.
It’s a big question, but how has life changed since the pandemic? Both personally and in terms of work and music. How much of a difference has it made not travelling to gigs?
Instead of travelling I moved all my free time to the studio to produce more music, some for me, some for others and some remixes and even some tracks for games. I also tried to get deeper into all the instruments I have. To be the master of all my gear one day is my final goal. From time to time I’m not feeling inspired but that’s normal and then I’m doing other things instead. Writing another album for next year will be my top goal for now. In addition to that I’m super duper happy and thankful for all the support I received for my record store Elevate. Vinyl sales are on a new high and it allows me to share music in a different way by selling the records in my store and being able to still have an income. But I’ve got itchy feet, really. I really need a break from Berlin and to see some other places again.
I miss travelling a lot and this might sound funny but compared to all the things I have during the week with my daughter, shop and studio, it always feels like holidays for me to go on tour.
Has the studio been a safe haven or have other things become more important?
No, it is still very important for me to go to the studio to clear my head and be creative. I also watch a lot of tutorials to improve my workflow or learn new techniques and get inspired. I’m kinda scared to lose my workflow I worked so hard for in the last couple of years.
How else has your creativity been affected?
It almost feels like I’m running out of creativity a bit at the moment, to be honest, as I always take a lot of creativity from travelling or meeting friends.
Has it sparked any new approaches or differences in the ways that you create?
I always try to get out of my comfort zone a lot and now I’m not having any pressure – if I ever had any pressure anyway – I try to get out of my comfort zone and try some new things, which is really nice. Especially in the studio I have. It’s so much fun to dive into using all the instruments.
In terms of specific tech, has the pandemic given you any chances to get more closely acquainted with specific pieces of hardware? Has anything good come from lockdown?’
Yes, I tried to master all my favourite instruments like the [Roland] 909 and 808, 707 and the Juno, plus the Behringer Model D ( which I looooove for basslines ) and the [Roland] SH-101. I’m now leaving these on the side and working a bit more with the Elektron stuff or Roland’s D50.
For the Roland JX-8p I recently got the [Dtronics] DT-800, a controller box that gives me more control to edit or program the synth. It’s really fun to play around with it, and since Mike Dunn told me that Marshall Jefferson produced a lot of stuff with it for himself or Ten City, that made me curious. So as always I’m listening to a lot of music and studying the sounds and how it’s played or made, trying to convert it into my music. Sometimes it works well and sometimes not, haha!
Since schools are closed and I have to also homeschool my daughter, I try to prepare some stuff at home first before I go to the studio and I became a big big fan of the Arturia collection, which includes a loooooot of the old classics but as a digital [software] version with more functionality. It’s nice to be able to wrap up a few sketches from home and work on them back in the studio.
Scroll down to see more of Cinthie‘s studio.