An active musician since early childhood, Erin Barra is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, consultant, and more. Within her many different projects, Ableton Live and Push have become the center of Erin’s set-up in the studio and on stage. We recently caught up with Erin to discuss her music, playing solo and with a band, and what’s next up in her busy career.
What projects are you currently working on?
I'm in the process of putting the finishing touches on a number of records I've been making with a few key producers in NY, mostly for other artists. Once that's done I'm looking at finishing up my fourth release (which I've been working on for two years already) and making important decisions about what I want for and from that.
I've been doing a lot of consulting for bands wanting to integrate laptops into their stage performance. Sharing my experience and knowledge about Live has been very satisfying.
Besides that, I always seem to have my hands in about five other things at any given time - whether it’s writing tech product reviews, co-writing with artists or learning new techniques and skills - I seem to keep myself extremely busy.
When did you start working with Ableton Live?
I got deep into Ableton during the summer of 2010, on the suggestion of a producer/DJ friend of mine, Gravytron. Neither of us had messed with the software and we literally spent most of an entire summer inside a room making beats and exploring Live 8 together. It started as more of an extension of my stage performance but has since become the foundation of my creative process in the studio and writing room as well.
How does Live work with your solo live show setup and within more of an ensemble setup?
When it's just me up there, I consider Live to be more of a conduit or instrument. I'm playing the computer in tandem with multiple synthesizers and MIDI controllers. When we incorporate it into a band type situation, Live literally becomes another member of the band that we have to play along with. To summarize, when I'm solo I'm playing Live, and when I'm with other musicians, we're playing WITH Live.