Interview with Karin Schaupp
Katie Noonan and Karin Schaupp have just dropped their third album together, Songs of the Latin Skies and has gone to #1 on the iTunes World Music chart within 24 hours. Amnplify’s Pauli Dee spoke to Karin about the album and the pairs’ upcoming tour.
Pauli: Hi Karin, thanks for talking to me. You released your new album with Katie Noonan today Songs of the Latin Skies and it’s just gone to #1 on the iTunes world albums chart. Congratulations!
Karin: Thank you! It’s one of those surreal things. You know these days an album gets released and there’s a lot less “hoohaah” than there used to be 20 years ago, you know, you’d have a launch and everything and you sort of don’t do that anymore. We’ve just done what we’ve done with the last couple of albums and just launched it with the announcement of a tour!
How are your emotions leading up to the release of an album?
Well this album has just been such a joy to make! I know that might sound like not a very meaningful thing to say but I’ve just, personally liked this type of music for a really long time and I know Katie has also and it was just a joy from beginning to end to make the CD. It came out easily, everything flowed, we just had a great time from the very earliest moments of even thinking about “what’s our next album going to be” and then getting all the arrangements sorted out and then starting to rehearse and record, it was just really wonderful. We both pinch ourselves that we get to do this and call it work!
Was it a long process? How long were you working on the album?
It was drawn out because we’re both very busy doing a lot of different things… I’m trying to think of when we decided to do it. It must have been a couple of years ago really, but I suppose choosing all the repertoire and really honing in, because we could have easily made 5 albums with all the amazing Latin songs out there, so that happened around the middle of last year. The first half of the year would have been spent choosing the music and then getting the arrangements sorted out. We had some amazing arrangers. Richard Charlton did probably the largest amount of arrangements. He’s just an amazing Australian composer and guitarist. We also had Carlos Barbosa-Lima, who’s an older generation Brazilian guitarist and incredible arranger. He’s just an amazing senior person in this industry, especially with Brazilian music. I played with him some years ago, we were in a trio together and I’ve always thought he was one of the most amazing arrangers, so to have him make some arrangements for us was very special. We’ve also got Ken Murray, another amazing Australian guitarist who kind of specialises in Brazilian music and Doug De Vries, yet another amazing Australian Jazz and Brazilian guitarist. Then there was a couple of solos that really need any kind of arrangement.
You’ve worked alongside Katie Noonan for quite a while on a lot of projects. How did you meet?
I don’t know if I can remember the first time we met, we just kept running into each other at festivals and saying, “We should do something together.” Richard Tognetti got us together at the Huntington Music Festival, which was I don’t even know how many years ago! I think Katie was pregnant with her first son at the time so it must’ve been eleven years ago or something like that. It was a long time ago! That went really well and we thought “we’ll have to do this again” and then it took another 8 years or something of again, running into each other, often at airports until we made our first EP together, Songs of the British Isles, soon followed by the Australian and New Zealand one, and now this one and I don’t think we have any plans of stopping, I think it’s just something that we’ll continue to do in between everything else that we’re doing! It’s just a real joy and every time we get back together it’s like “Oh, that’s right, this is so lovely!”
We’ve gotten to know each other really well, personally as well, we’ve become really good friends too, so that helps.
Katie’s been quoted as saying “Playing with Karin is like floating on a gorgeous cloud!” How would you describe working with Katie?
Oh… [laughs] I can’t be that poetic on the spot!!! Look, it’s a privilege and just pure joy, she’s an incredible artist and incredible musician. I waited a long time to work with a singer. I had little bits of pieces, but to have an ongoing project with a singer, because you get into the accompanying role as a guitarist and after having done so much solo work, for me it was really a matter of finding the right singer to do that with.
Do you sing?
No! Not well. For me, Katie’s the right singer to have this ongoing duo with.
You’re about to take the album on tour. Are you all set and ready for that?
We are! Well we’ve recorded the whole thing so definitely know the pieces!
Will you rehearse? Or just get out there and wing it?
Yes, we’ll rehearse. I think we’re both perfectionists. We both jointly produced the album, together with Dave Neil and we’re very fussy, so we will definitely rehearse everything and feel comfortable that everything is polished around the edges.
You’re going all around the country with the tour. Is there anywhere in particular you’re looking forward to visit?
I guess just the places I haven’t played in before. That’s always exciting, but also really nice to go back and revisit venues and audiences, you know there are some people that have supported us either separately or together so often that sometimes you get to know people in the audience and that’s really lovely when people come up to you and say, “I first saw you play so many years ago.” I think we both have our own audience and now have built up an audience together and that’s just really nice.
Do you have a preference between the creating process to performing live?
Definitely performing! For me it’s all about communicating and the story telling and sharing. I guess I consider it to have been successful if people feel moved by the music. You know that they’ve had a night out and the music has put them in touch with themselves.
Connect with Karin & Katie
Connect with Karin & Katie
- Pauli Dee
Karin Schaupp & Katie Noonan take their “Songs of the Latin Skies” around the country starting in April. You can get your tickets here: