Unconventional singer-songwriter Miriam Lieberman has released her sophisticated new single Infinite We Are, a beautiful track about the power of imagination. The stunning song is accompanied by a sweet, colourful animated clip by artist Aidan Judd. Infinite We Are is the first taste of Miriam's upcoming album Just Transforming, created during the tumultuous year of 2020. To celebrate the release, this captivating artist will take her trio on the road around New South Wales, which kicked off at The Rhythm Hut in Gosford, then moving through Wauchope, Wingham, Blue Mountains and Marrickville before wrapping at The Base in Newcastle on June 26.
There is something otherworldly about Infinite We Are. The track feels evocative of classic songwriters and storytellers Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon, but there is a unique element to the tone and delivery of the music and lyrics that is almost indescribable. Magical harmonies, sweeping strings and a reverent, delicate arrangement characterise this song and it's easy to get lost in its soft power. Speaking on the inspiration behind Infinite We Are, Miriam explains, "This song is about the power of imagination. It's about sharing our dreams, stories and imaginings as a way to go beyond our own limitations, and the benefit of dreaming." The clip for Infinite We Are encapsulates this perfectly – a dreary black and white world is peppered, and eventually overcome with colour as the song progresses. The animation is sweet, endearing and beautifully reflective of the power of this song, as Miriam describes, "I had an idea that I wanted the video to begin in black and white, with a feeling of separation and alienation that through the characters allowing themselves to dream would turn into a colourful, nature inclusive space were the characters reconnected with each other."
Infinite We Are is just a taste of what to expect from Lieberman's new album Just Transforming. These songs feel like lullabies as the antidote to the stresses of modern daily life; the title track encourages the listener to continue changing and growing, and songs like Little Bird offer thoughtful insight into the passing of time and cycle of life. These are grand themes, and they are presented beautifully through breathtaking strings arrangements – featuring Miriam herself on the kora, a 21-stringed African harp – intricate, developed vocal melodies and gentle, rolling percussion. Reflecting on the process of making Just Transforming, Miriam says, "In this crazy past year of uncertainty, I've come back to my songwriting after a hiatus of becoming a mum. The result is an album of new songs about our incredible and fragile planet, about becoming a mum, about imagination and about our need for each other. It's my intention to empower and uplift people with this music."
This is a collection of songs meant to be experienced live, with Miriam's unique lineup of strings and kora, plus gorgeous three part harmonies from her trio. Luckily for audiences in New South Wales, there are plenty of opportunities to catch Miriam Lieberman and her trio live throughout May and June this year.
Question: How would you describe your music?
Miriam Lieberman: My trio combines kora (West African harp), guitar, violins and lush vocal harmonies. They are songs journeying on my own perspective of things with a sound that seeks to be luscious, vivid and uplifting. The genre of this music sits somewhere between indie pop, contemporary folk and world.
Question: What inspired your latest single "Infinite We Are"?
Miriam Lieberman: Thinking on the power of imagination, particularly collective imagination and the sharing of our creative ideas as a way to transcend our own limitations, lighten our burdens and find new answers.
Question: Can you tell us about your upcoming album "Just Transforming"?
Miriam Lieberman: In this crazy past year of uncertainty, I've come back to my songwriting after a hiatus of having a child. The result is an album of new songs about our incredible and fragile planet, about becoming a mum, about imagination and about our need for each other. It's my intention to empower and uplift people with this music.
Question: Is there a particular message you hope listeners take from your music?
Miriam Lieberman: We can find solutions yet unimagined to the problems we face as a planet if we work as a collective and we need each other to get there.
Question: What can we expect from your upcoming shows?
Miriam Lieberman: I adore playing with my trio members Lara Goodridge (Fourplay/ Baby et Lulu) and Susie Bishop ( Chaika). Expect songs that will take you on a journey as well as a few stories told in between luscious vocal harmonies, soaring strings and sounds that seek to uplift and connect us.
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Miriam Lieberman: I believe we all need music and that music has an incredible power to enhance and enrich the human emotions we feel. I don't have a wish for anyone in particular to attend the show just anyone that resonates with the music.
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Miriam Lieberman: A beautiful melody that I've chanced upon in my improvisations that seems to carry a story and lyrics waiting to be written.
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Miriam Lieberman: Dolly Parton - My toddler, the trio and I frequently sing along to Jolene when in the car together on tour :) and we keep coming back to good old Joni Mitchell whose moody and picturesque songs carry a feeling and nostalgia of their own.
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Miriam Lieberman: Since as long I can remember I have harboured a deep love of music. This naturally evolved into performing, songwriting, recording and performing. My family wanted me to go into a more traditionally solid career. It wasn't until doing a contemporary music intensive course The Bondi Wave which was led by industry professionals that I had the guts to really believe I could make music my full-time gig. This led me to dropping out of a law degree and committing to creating a career in the music industry.
Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?
Miriam Lieberman: I've never wanted to stop doing my music and I've always found a way to keep going though at times I've had other jobs on the side. The motivation comes from a will to create and the thrill I get from creating.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Miriam Lieberman: Getting to work and collaborate with some wonderful artists as well as getting to travel to so many places with my music - I've met so many interesting people and got to experience places through music like living in West Africa studying traditional music.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Miriam Lieberman: I wake up early - I have a toddler as an alarm clock :) We usually read a book and play some ukulele in bed before getting up. I make time in my morning to do a bit of yoga and swim in the ocean (even in winter) as it switches on my brain and gets me connected to nature. Later I get on my laptop with a coffee for a few hours to follow the myriad of admin tasks I have as a self-managed artist. Later in the arvo I would typically rehearse for my next gig or my choir or teach one or two private music students. On a gig day I get to sound check early before the concert and catch up with my trio before we get to play together which for me is always a high. On an evening without a concert I pick up my toddler from daycare, eat dinner and run a bubble bath before more books in bed then practice kora or guitar into the evening before sleep calls me...
Question: What's next, for you?
Miriam Lieberman: Touring the new album in Sydney, Melbourne and far Nth QLD
Question: Can you share your socials? (links please)
Miriam Lieberman: Official website
Interview by Gwen van Montfort