Justin of I Had an Accident Records sat down with Teaadora Nikolova to talk about her upcoming cassingle (cassette single) “Sang d’or / Gold Blood” July 15th. This recording is being simultaneously released with Everything is Chemical 7”. I Had an Accident Records wanted to finally get to know Teaadora since this is her second release with the label and there doesn’t seem to be too much known about her as she may be a little elusive. (Photo by Diamond Stingily)
How are you Teaadora?
Hey! I just had some tea and was reading “The Road Less Traveled.” Overall, I’m feeling inspired.
Speaking of being inspired and reading, I get inspired by literature and philosophy - what would you consider to be some of your favorite writers or books?
Some of my favorite books presently aren’t necessary literature but I do still enjoy fiction time to time. I consider myself to be in a phase of non-fiction, even though I did read Gertrude by Herman Hesse this year. I like to read books which make me feel, as well as think. After reading this book I thought about the darker aspects of relationships and how connected one’s inner world can be connected to music. I look for literature that allows for me to take on an insanity or depth of being I may not be comfortable exploring in my actual life. I’m also interested in the truncated poets such as Brautigan, Dickinson, cummings, Bukowski, since I like there to be much white space on the page, little written, and much said. Mostly, I read about love, relationships, alternative health, and many things that fall under what is known as critical theory. As I previously mentioned, I am currently reading The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, M.D., Bodies That Matter by Judith Butler, Speak Peace in a World of Conflict by Marshall Rosenberg, but mostly focused on the first book.
Your catalogue of releases is quite small, however I feel as if you may have other songs recorded but buried out there somewhere. How do you determine what you will put out and what stays hidden? How do you measure success when it comes to your recordings? Does recognition become a factor?
I would guess I have between one hundred to two hundred hours of music unreleased, some which may be lost, and on different formats, largely on tape. I have tapes I haven’t listened to in almost ten years. When I first able to make music to the extent of playing guitar and singing, I was twelve. At this time, I recorded onto my computer. I almost always deleted what I made. But when I about fifteen, I spent the whole summer in my room recording over and over on the same tape, listening back, trying to make a “record” or album.. I mostly spent time by myself instead of spending time with friends. When I did hang out with people I would bring my guitar and play music. I remember going to parties and just playing music in a quiet room, sometimes people would listen. I was an unusual teenager, not that I didn’t spend plenty of time being crass because I did. I remember my friends would invite me out and everyone was playing but I was making music. I’m unsure if I can psychologically understand my motivation from a time so removed. Music, love, and exploration of becoming my own person as most teenagers experience was all one as I grew up.
When I was sixteen, I started to play in a band, so I didn’t focus on solo music for a while. When we broke up when I was eighteen, I started to perpetually record music. I was motivated by someone who I idolized, he told me I didn’t need my band and that he thought I would become famous. I didn’t really think I would become famous from playing music but I did connect with the idea I was doing the right thing. I recorded on about sixty to one hundred orange ninety minute vintage tapes that were given to me by my friend who I mentioned before he left town. I never showed anyone any of these recordings besides one tape, the one I felt was a breakthrough for myself musically. I listened to each tape before I went to bed after recording it. I at one point was intimate with all the tapes in some degree, since I really only listened to my music everywhere I went. These tapes were incoherent to most but I found my own beauty in them. At this time, I met a friend on myspace, one of those friends you’d never meet in real life. When I told her about my love of listening to music no one else would be able to listen to, she told me we all can make our own basis of beauty. This had a huge impact on my understanding and proliferation of my music.
This was to some degree how I formed my identity of showing music, rarely ever showing anything. I still do this. I’ve recorded about ten songs this month no one will ever hear. There is an intuitive aspect to my selection process but also an element of vulnerability to revealing my music. My music is a diary for myself, I use it to speak the truth I cannot in my daily life, where I capture my darkness and come to terms with my life. This is not something you want to put into the world completely but I do in small granules. I feel if I changed my process I would lose my inner world to a certain degree and my love surrounding music. I feel even slightly vulnerable talking about this here. I’m trying to be more open with all the risk of speaking from the heart.
You’re one of my favorite artists on our label (and in general). How does it feel to be an up and comer?
I’ve been told by many people in my time as a musician I would be recognized as a musician. In my experience, this is a sad horse to tie yourself to because if we concern ourselves first with power within the music industry (recognition) and secondly with art and our truth, we lose our humanity as artists, which I believe is meant to stand apart from power. We can remain true to our values/truths and still become recognized and being recognized helps one sustain their art in a material world but we have to be conscious I believe with how we get there. I only do what I do because I love it but I’m not sure what it takes to become recognized. The people I have known who have been recognized have had different levels of talent, different stories, and all seem to deserve their recognition. I can’t say I understand the music business.
Can you tell me about the story with “Sang d’Or / Gold Blood”? How did this recording come about?
This recording came about after a show in Manhattan. I was playing a show I was upset about with my friend C.J. Boyd. I felt frustrated because I felt like no one was listening but instead talking over my quiet music. In this scenario, I usually indulge in some improvisational music, which I did. I also will usually cut the set short, which I was going to… until someone in the crowd refused. It ended up being more than one person, who I later found out was named Richard Papiercuts. I played a couple more for someone I felt was one of those passionate people who really resonate with your music and seem to give something back by their support. After the set, I was going to leave right away but Richard wanted to talk about putting out some music with him. He runs a label in NYC called Azul Discografica andhe felt his friends at The Wire would enjoy the music as well.
We recorded them in January 2012, I visited New York and my father in Boston before he died. We recorded in a studio space we rented and it was engineered by one of Richard’s friends. Richard added different instruments to the tracks. We mastered the record at WFMU with Scott Williams.
We planned on recording the album at a certain time but it got pushed back, the project eventually was recorded but the pressings of the album was pushed back as well. The whole project seemed to get lost in the translation of passion that once existed, mainly he wanted to get another label to put out the record but no one was interested on his end including Sacred Bones. A whole year and a half went by before I decided to take the recordings in my own direction. Richard was busy and I was afraid the recordings would be forever lost at some point. The tracks are some of my favorite I have ever recorded. Also, I am honored to have worked with Richard Papiercuts. I recommend you check out his music, along with the music he has done with Exquisite Corpse. Basically, we put a lot of expectation in the hands of others while we should have been busy on our end. This is part of the reason we have been so quiet for the past two years after touring consistently.
The recordings coming (except “sure cut”) out July 15th including “Sang d’Or / Blood Gold” with I Had an Accident Records and the release with online music website Everything is Chemical, were all recorded in NYC with Richard Papiercuts. I am proud of them, as well as my band, we are curious to see how they are perceived.
How can the net amount of entropy of the universe be massively decreased?
(Laughs, followed by silence.)
You can buy Teaadora’s upcoming record July 15th exclusively from I Had an Accident Records. This release is a sneak preview two songs from her upcoming full length being released later in 2014 “Chansons Survie / Songs of Survival.” She plans to tour with her band nationally after the release of this full length. Keep a lookout for this!