By Sarah Allen
CALGARY – Robyn Chmelyk has been Djing and creating copious variations of art in Calgary for the past four years, but after a cross-Canadian train ride to her temporary new home in Toronto, she’s releasing her first EP, I Miss You, an electronic project under the name Lovelush.
Multidisciplinary is the word that comes to mind when describing the nature of Chmelyk’s art and music – she’s currently a graphic design student and stresses the connection between visual and audible art.
“[Music] is kind of a part of why I study graphic design … because I feel like design and those principles can apply to everything including music and everything else outside of visual arts. I try and fuse the visual and sound arts. Essentially, whenever I am procrastinating from doing visual artwork, I am making music.”
While music has been a part of Chmelyk’s life for as long as she can remember and she began in choir performances as a kid, she has planted her feet firmly in the world of electronic music.
“I really like how in electronic music, everything lines up and it sort of reminds you that it is electronic,” she says, adding, “These days a lot of music uses a lot of really complex software, but it’s made to seem almost natural or invisible. I love electronic music because it reminds us that someone has their hand in this creating something.”
This past summer, Chmelyk found out she would be heading to Toronto for school and leaving her roots behind for a place where she really knew no one.
“That was such a big decision to let go of all the support and different networks that I had in Calgary. For me, when I’m on my own I tend to get pretty lonely, but I like to funnel that into a creative practice and use it as sort of the fuel [for my process].”
With the release of this EP, she says she wants to leave people to feeling nostalgic yet connected. While she sat on that train to Toronto, she was inspired to share the longing that resided in her for the people she was leaving behind.
This brought on the title of the EP, but also the concept for her cover artwork featuring two photographs Chmelyk had taken and used laid over one another of jellyfish – connected despite being apart.
“[The cover art represents] things existing on different plains and different places but they are totally still interconnected and have that relationship to each other.”
“My feeling that drove the album was just experimentation, reminding people that places of childlike experimentation where you are just doodling, drawing and creating … that’s so important. I hope the album comes across like a lullaby in some ways where it is so familiar but also soothing.”
And that isn’t the only way in which Chmelyk brings nostalgia to the table.
A lot of the songs on her EP have what she describes as a ‘very retro vibe’. “It reminds me of playing video games as a child and how magical those experiences were.” She adds that some of the samples used are from Calgary’s Beat Drop, a music production organization and DJ school.
Luscious is a song that not only is Chmelyk’s favourite at the moment, but is sure to give listeners the feeling of bliss.
“It was inspired by taking the sound of the rain and turning it into an electronic experience. It’s like when you are inside listening to the pitter patter of rain on the outside of the house … it has a sort of sublime feeling to me.”
She describes the sound design of the songs that spoke to her as being ‘luscious and layered’.
“There are so many elements put into that sound design where you don’t even hear it, but you feel it. So, with Luscious I wanted to make a play between the name behind the project and the lusciousness of that music.”
I Miss You will be released Nov. 9 for free on SoundCloud and Bandcamp where donations can be made to support Lovelush.I Miss You, Lovelush