For the fifth episode of The Songwriting Cafè, I invited harpist, singer, and songwriter Mia Ramer.
Mia and I had a very interesting and in-depth talk about her main instrument, the songwriting process, and busking.
As it often happens during the format, we started the conversation focusing on how the music scene is like in my guest's hometown.
Mia comes from Switzerland and she is based in a region close to Geneve and Lausanne. With its beautiful landscapes, the area can definetely be inspiring for an artist, but, as Mia pointed out, the local music scene is not as rich as you would expect. On the other hand, Switzerland hosts some of the best blues and jazz festivals in the world. The area around Montreuax is also pretty legendary for rock music fans.
After this ice-breaking question, Mia and I started conversating about influences and genres. Mia has a diverse taste in music, being a fan of Nick Drake, Radiohead, but also jazz artists, and classical tunes.
This multi-faceted approach to music is also present in her songwriting, as she uses the harp to play many different genres.
We had the chance to talk widely about her instrument, also prompted by a question from a viewer, Crankyray, who asked Mia whether she found the celtic harp a bit limiting sometimes. Mia showed us how to perform a song in a certain key and how to use the levers to play around with tonality and scales.
One of the highlights of our conversation was busking. Mia is, in fact, an experienced busker, so she shared a lot of tips for any musician who would like to start performing in the streets.
It was also very interesting to learn how Mia uses various instruments to compose her songs: not just the harp, but also the guitar, the ukulele, and even the kalimba! Each instrument can inspire a lot of ideas, although Mia often comes up with melodies in her head, without the help of other tools.
We also focused on our lyrics, talking about the differences in writing in English versus our own native languages.
In case you missed our live stream, you can watch most parts of our conversation in this YouTube video:
Or download the podcast for the audio format!