With her band Inheaven set to release new new single Baby's Alright on 22 April, complete with a self-directed video, below, Chloe Little discusses the female perspectives from behind music that have help to shape her own vision.
From the first conversations we had about starting my band Inheaven I knew I wanted it to be a visual and conceptual project – this was just as important to me as the songs we were yet to write. The process of making moving images and the beauty of early cinema hit a chord with me in my mid-teens. When I first saw Renée Jeanne Falconetti in La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc, she swallowed me whole and I felt like a tiny speck of nothing reflecting back from her gigantic eyes. I realised then that moving images can make me feel the same way my favourite songs do and I wanted to do the same for other people.
Until then, though, I’d only ever looked to women in music for inspiration as being in a band I’d never considered myself an artist. Siouxsie Sioux, Debbie Harry and Chrissie Hynde all changed my life, giving me the confidence to start a band, but I needed inspiration beyond music and what felt like safe reference points. I wanted to see things that felt new and that would make me explore different parts of my brain. That’s when I discovered the visual work of Yoko Ono and Marina Abramović.
Yoko and Marina come from a completely different world to me: they’ve both created profound concepts without using traditional tools and they’re both unique artists who exist without restraint. The way Marina is still breaking down barriers, conducting social experiments 50 years into an awe-inspiring career, is a revelation. Her performance art piece Rhythm 0 is exactly what I was looking for. She created something truly unique without being bound by tradition or protocol. Marina’s work helped me explore my own theories about traditional tools and everyday subject matter.
Yoko has always been present in my life – she is Yoko Ono, after all – but her book Grapefruit is still like nothing I’ve ever owned and the way Cut Piece was so shockingly ahead of its time makes me almost embarrassed to discuss my own work.
The first Inheaven songs were written in a non-traditional way. I started collecting images, taking photos, and curating them into short films. My bandmate James Taylor would then sit in front of them for hours and would write to them. Some of the band’s best songs came about like this. Then the edits started to get longer and we’d put the finished songs on top of these flashing images to create short films. I also started experimenting with scan work and cheap printing techniques. I used these images to make artwork concepts and later curated them into fanzines for fans to find and collect. I’ve since progressed to full-scale video production and I want to keep pushing my personal boundaries so I no longer even consider the idea of tradition.
Art can encompass so much – music, performance, moving images, conceptual. What Yoko and Marina did for me was encourage me to try and find the unique in the ordinary and that to create something of substance you have to trust your own vision and be fearless. Chloe Little @inheaven
For more head to Facebook.com/INHEAVENBAND.