Crafting Emotion: Christine Tarquinio’s Interview on the Art of Musical Storytelling in ‘All Angles’

by the partae

All Angles” is described as a journey into the intricate dance of control, strength, and unspoken struggles within. How did you approach capturing these emotions in both the lyrics and the musical composition of the song?

For me I find the concept for the melody easier to develop first and try to evoke the emotion that shows the feeling of the story.  The lyrics are quite steadfast from the first verse. I try to capture a perception of strength from the outset but as the song develops, I reveal that “on the inside I completely fall apart’. It’s the nature of humans to try and show up every day and be their best but sometimes situations out of our control can change our feelings in the blink of an eye and our strength can be challenged. We feel this need to keep going on as normal, even though we may be struggling.

As a singer-songwriter, you draw inspiration from your role as a mother and the challenges of family life. How did your experiences as a mother influence the creation of “All Angles,” and how do you balance the storytelling aspects with the musical elements?

Being a mother is a great source of inspiration to me in writing my music. I have young children who are navigating the world for themselves.  The notion of being able to take any bad feelings away is my wish for them. In this song I try to balance with the lyrics and musical elements, the real world versus perfect work scenario of being able to solve all their problems.

The song touches on the profound sense of presence required to defend one’s family when it matters most. Can you share a specific personal experience or moment that inspired the theme and message behind “All Angles”?

Being a parent, I see my children following a similar path to me.  Making friends and going through school life. If they have a bad day, it often takes me back to my own experiences of growing up. Not all kids were kind to me growing up and it stays with you. If you see your own children going to a similar experience, then you can feel helpless. I wrote this song to show my children I am there for them as one of their greatest supporters in life.

“All Angles” is your first release since your EP in mid-2023. What prompted the timing of this release, and did the creative process differ for this song compared to your previous works?
I did allow myself to take a break from creating music last year. I am always working on writing new music but it felt like the right time just after New Years to dive back into recording. The creative process was slightly different as my producer was overseas so the mixing/mastering was done remotely, and I would just submit my vocals/guitar. It was an enjoyable experience. I was lucky to find someone to work with who was very talented, had a great vision and musicality and most of all was very patient. The song came together very quickly but it was a lot of fun.

Being a singing teacher, you play a crucial role in fostering the next generation of vocal talent. How does your experience as a teacher influence your own approach to songwriting and music production?
There are sometimes certain rules that need to be applied with technique and pitch when teaching singing. However, it also needs to be fun and it is okay to make mistakes.  That is also the key to songwriting.  Some things will work, some don’t but you can bend the rules and not necessarily have to fit into one box.  All voices are unique and are a gift. That is the main message I give to my students.

You’ve utilized your guitar to establish the emotional framework for your songs in “All Angles.” Can you delve into your creative process when working with the guitar and how it contributes to the emotional depth of your music?
The guitar is often my go to instrument when writing any song. One small riff or a few chords on my guitar can instantly shape the way a song may turn out. With just a guitar it gives me freedom to explore melodies and experiment with new sounds and styles with my voice. This process can often take time and I don’t like to rush this process. I am happier to start a song and then leave it for a few days and come back to it fresh with new ideas.

Your musical style is described as a synthesis of various influences, including Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Muse, Gwen Stefani, Natalie Imbruglia, and Jewel. How do you navigate merging these influences to create a unique and authentic sound that represents Christine Tarquinio?
I am inspired by all of these amazing musicians as their music resonates with me so much. I can get lost in their music and forget about any worries I may have. I love the ability to escape in a song just for a moment and this group are very good at it. I really like the fact they are humble and also family is super important to all of them I think that is why I gravitate towards their music, and they inspire me to be my best authentic self with my music.

The song reflects the challenges of family life. Can you share some specific themes or moments in the song that highlight these challenges, and how important is it for you to convey both the joys and difficulties of being a parent through your music?
This is a great question. The absolute joy of seeing your family happy, succeeding in their own lives and just being content is the goal. The difficulties are anything that gets in the way of these things. In the beginning of the song there is a theme alluding to difficult times had in the past. However, it is reflecting on what I do next. Even though we are being tested, I am now making a plan for what comes next. The joy in the song is me taking back my power and seeing a sense of normality returning once again.

“All Angles” is produced, mixed, and mastered by Daniel Nieberg. How did the collaboration with Daniel enhance the overall sound and message of the song, and what was the most rewarding aspect of working together?

Working with Daniel was an amazing experience.  He interpreted my song so amazingly well. All he had to go on was my demo guitar and vocals only. He then used the piano to compost this this amazing, dreamy almost hypnotic track. The most rewarding part was the collaboration of ideas. Even though it was all done online it was still so easy to discuss changes and new ideas and trying a few different things until we agreed the song was finally ready.

Celebrating nearly a decade since your debut release, how has your approach to music and songwriting evolved over the years, and what lessons have you learned that continue to shape your musical journey?
Well I have been lucky to work with a few amazing producers over the last 10 years and they all bring something unique to each project. I have found it is a good idea to try working with different musicians and producers as it keeps you inspired and willing to try out new ideas. In that way I think my music has been able to evolve naturally. My process for writing has always been the same it is always me with a guitar and my phone close by to record any gems of an idea that pop up. I really would like to do more co-writing on songs, from the outset that is something I look forward to in the years ahead.

Sustainability is mentioned as one of your commitments. How does this commitment manifest in your music career, and do you incorporate sustainable practices in other aspects of your life as well?
Music is my outlet for expression, it makes me happy, it provides emotional release. I need to do it for my well-being so like any other thing in life I always make time for this.  It must be a balance. This is so important to me, and it is a part of who I am. The fact that I get to share my music and my stories across the world is a humbling experience and I am so grateful I get to do this.  The joy comes back full circle as I see comments from the people who are enjoying my music.

Looking ahead to the next decade of your musical career, what goals and aspirations do you have, and how do you envision your sound evolving in the future?

I am taking more of an interest in the production side of music. It is still a way off for now, but it is something I aspire to do. I look forward to doing some more collaboration songs with other singers. That would be amazing too. I hope my sound will keep evolving so it is still present and relevant and still able to make an impact on the listener.

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