Diane wrote her first song at the age of three and picked up her first guitar at the age of seven.
Her album, “Jewel in the Sun,” debuted at No. 16 on Billboard’s New Age charts when it was released in October 2002, peaking at number 11. In 2005, her album, The Best of Diane, went No. 1 on the New Age radio charts. In all, she’s worked on more than 45 albums, producing 28 under her own label, Neo Pacifica.
Diane’s music embraces many styles, from Celtic, Trance, World and Native American, to techno, rock and folk.
Interview with Ambient Visions
AV: Music has a unique way of touching all of us in one way or another. Having read a little about you on the Internet you have said that you were singing and writing songs when you were 3 years old. What kinds of music touched you and motivated you to sing and write at the tender age of three?
DA: Anything and everything musical touched me. I was writing Celtic songs about Donegal at age 3, interestingly enough, since I knew nothing of Ireland at the time, and the only music played in the house was classical and opera.
AV: Was music a part of your home growing up and did your parents encourage you in your musical leanings?
DA: My mother was a magnificent opera singer, who sang with the Symphony for many years but she and my father were completely against me pursuing any kind of musical career. There are eight children and none had any interest in music, except myself. It was very difficult because I was the only one of the eight children who had to pay for college because I choose music. I worked 3 jobs to pay for college and one was singing rock and roll, which I was sure was my direction, but over time, I found a softer side to my spirit.
AV: When you were growing up was listening to external music (radio, cds etc) an influence/inspiration to you in regards to how you felt about singing and writing music?
DA: Growing up, I was completely hooked on music, I knew it was part of who I was, but it had no influence over what I wrote because my songs were my autobiography and release of the emotions I was going thru as I was learning about life.
AV: Judging from the music you have been involved with over the years I would say that the natural world that surrounds you offers you inspiration in regards to your music as well. Tell me about singing to your horse growing up on the ranch and the effect that living in such an environment had on the music that you were writing and that you would write later as an adult.
DA: My horse was the only one who did not protest or judge me when I sang, so I did allot of singing and song writing on horse back. It was absolute total freedom, and I wrote and sang with great abandon about everything. On the ranch where I grew up, the Chumash tribes had lived a few hundred years earlier, and I would hike down to a river that ran along a mountain of oak tress a huge rocks. In beautiful moments of silence, hiking along the river, I could see their chiseled faces in the tall rock walls along the river, and wrote music to tell what I felt there stories might have been, hence the Ah Nee Mah albums I have done to reflect some of those moments.
AV: I did notice in your Wikipedia entry that you trained as an opera singer. What attracted you to opera and what was it that you took away from that training that has been of use to you as you sing on your albums now?
DA: My mother was an extraordinary opera singer and I wanted to be like her, though her voice was a gift not many have. Knowing how to sing correctly has been wonderful, especially thru my early years of rock and roll and knowing how to protect the voice.
AV: Do you have an instrument of choice when it comes to composing your music? Why?
DA: Guitar is one of my favorites because the vibration of the wood against my body is so alive and healing. And I use allot of alternative tunings on guitar which creates a whole new landscape of music possibilities each time.
AV: When did you first run across music that would be considered new age or ambient? Who was it and what were your thoughts about the music and how it communicated the emotions of the artist?
DA: Truly, I was writing beautiful ambient pieces as a teenager, it was the best way to express my deep emotions. Later on, when I was listening to some beautiful music, it was referred to as New Age, and I thought, well, I have been writing something very similar to this for a while, maybe I’ll just keep going with it.
Entrevista a Diane Arkenstone
Hace poco, cuando volví a escuchar por enésima vez las cadenciosas melodías, los sensuales ritmos, los exóticos arreglos y la hermosa voz de Diane Arkenstone, pensé “hum, me encantaría que me concediera una entrevista, es realmente fabulosa”. Así que crucé los dedos y me puse en contacto con ella, para saber si tal vez quería estar un rato con nosotros, y hablarnos de su carrera, su música, sus proyectos. Fue una gran alegría cuando me dijo que sí… creo que es todo un lujo contar con ella en el Búnker.
De formación clásica – se entrenó como cantante de ópera en sus comienzos -, es una multi-instrumentalista – su talento en la ejecución abarca instrumentos tan dispares como la guitarra, la flauta y la percusión -, y sus temas alcanzan los primeros puestos en las listas del Billboard’s New Age. Sus más de cuarenta y cinco álbumes, bien en solitario o bien en compañía de otros artistas, le han asegurado un lugar muy importante en la música New-Age: influencias celtas, ecos de los nativos americanos, ricas armonías vocales, bases rítmicas electrónicas y ambientes pop para una música sugerente, evocadora, sensual y profundamente inspirada de una artista inquieta, experimentadora, con un concepto musical universal.
Nos ha concedido una entrevista muy interesante. Teneis información y música en su página web oficial, y un montón de música disponible también en su página de Amazon. Damas y caballeros, Diane Arkenstone.
1.- ¿Qué escuchabas cuando eras una niña? / What did you listen to when you were a child?
Sólo opera y música clásica, porque mi madre era cantante de opera, de una familia de cantantes de opera de Sicilia.
Opera and Classical music only, because my mother was an opera singer, from a family of opera singers from Sicily.
2.- En los comienzos, fuiste entrenada como cantante de opera. ¿Es eso lo que querías ser de mayor? / In the beginning, you were trained as an opera singer. Is that what you wanted to be when you grow up?
Sí, para seguir la tradición familiar.
Yes, to follow in the family tradition.
3.- Experimentaste con diferentes estilos antes de encontrar el tuyo propio. ¿Te ayudó aquella primera etapa a ser la artista que eres ahora? / You experimented with different styles before finding your own one. Did that early stage help you to be the artist you are now?
Todavía estoy experimentando y creciendo como artista, Pablo, de hecho, mi nuevo album es más al estilo de un album Americano acústico, de cantante/compositora. Y después de eso, ¡quién sabe qué estaré creando en el estudio!:)
I am still experimenting and growing as an artist, Pablo, in fact, my new album is more of an acoustic, singer/songwriter, americana album. And after that, who knows what I will be creating in the studio! 🙂