Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Jul 31st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Chameleon

music StephanieStephanie Schneiderman’s music may be ever-changing, but her message remains constant

Whether she is performing with the Portland, Ore.-based indie pop-rock band Dirty Martini or going solo—as she will on Thursday at Don Quixote’s—Stephanie Schneiderman is constantly evolving as an artist.

“I’m always trying to do something that’s different for me, even if I can’t speak to it being different or not for anybody else,” Schneiderman says.

The singer has written many folk songs in her career, but recently, she has ventured into the world of trip-hop and electronic music by partnering with producer/DJ/electronic musician Keith Schreiner, a move which has done wonders for her songwriting.

“I would bring a song to Keith and he would say, ‘Don’t go to the big, giant happy chorus and grow the song that way. Let the instrumentation grow the song,’” Schneiderman says. “That’s the theme of electronic and ambient music—letting those textures grow the song. This realization caused me to come up with more melodic and intricate songs.”

Tracks like “Twenty Slivers” off her sixth solo album, 2008’s Dangerous Fruit—the first time she and Schreiner collaborated—demonstrate what Schneiderman is talking about. The cool, trip-hop sound sets the tone and mood, while her airy vocals remain level throughout, relaying the lyrics steadily while a variety of subtle sounds and flourishes augment their meanings.

Never one to rest on her laurels, Schneiderman didn’t let her evolution as an artist end there. Her eighth solo album, released in 2012, threw listeners yet another curveball.

“Recently, I put out an album called Live at the Old Church, which brought me full circle to my roots in chamber music because I played chamber music when I was in college,” Schneiderman says. “I had a string section and a choir backing me up on that album, and it was songs that I’d already recorded with the electronic sound, but I wanted to do a really stripped-down version of the tracks.”

Variety keeps Schneiderman motivated musically, because of the limitless opportunities for growth and collaboration. Each song she crafts can be used for her solo work or for Dirty Martini, and she admits that she loves having options.

“It’s nice to have two different plates you can use for songs,” she says. “Songs are unique, but there are usually things about them that pull them one way or another.”

Writing songs is one thing, but describing the inspiration behind them is a completely different story for Schneiderman.

“I wrote ‘Oxygen’ [off Dangerous Fruit], for example, so long ago that it’s hard to remember the exact process,” she admits. “When I’m writing, I’m not thinking about it in the same way I’m thinking about it now when I’m describing it to someone. All I’m doing is capturing that feeling at that time. My husband’s a sculptor, and he says he can see something before he starts sculpting it; he just has to find it in there. I think that way about my songs too; I’m just chipping away at the stones, trying to find the piece.”

As long as she is making music that is honest and speaks to people, Schneiderman says she doesn’t care what it looks or sounds like.

“I saw a quote once: ‘A good writer simply has to speak authentically and it will connect with an audience,’” she explains. “Even if the words aren’t perfect, clever or sophisticated, as long as they’re authentic, they’ll speak to people. I totally relate to that.” 


Stephanie Schneiderman will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18 at Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. Tickets are $12/adv, $15/door. 603-2294.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Picture of Health

Santa Cruz just received a high ranking among California counties. But it may be hiding some of the biggest health dangers facing our area

 

In The Time of Leo: Our Creative Efforts

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Time Capsule

Actors age in real time in audacious, mesmerizing ‘Boyhood’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Maharaja

Chef Didar Singh on Royal Taj’s reincarnation as Maharaja

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Muns Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir

This vivacious cherry-pink Rosé is a simply beautiful summer wine.