FIVE QUESTIONS FOR CLARILOOPS
Ruby Lulham AKA Clariloops, is quickly becoming one of the most unique voices in modern music today. Combining her experience of performing as a classical clarinetist, with her explorations into an ambient electronic space through the use of guitar pedals, she has created a sound which is unlike anything else out there. The project started as a way to add creativity into her classical clarinet practices and quickly snowballed into a stream of commercial releases including her first album "Mindful Movement" and her brand new release "Sun/Rain". Most recently, she collaborated with the Sonixinema team to release a sample library as a part of their new Community initiative, titled CLARILOOPS. It features a range of textures, loops and one shots curated and performed by Ruby, inspired by her work with clarinet and guitar pedals.
If you want to learn more about Clariloops, Click Here
Give us a brief history of Ruby Lulham - What inspired you at a young age and how did you get into music?
RL: I started playing clarinet at the age of 9 when I was able to join my school’s band program. Before that, I had tinkered around on the piano and taught myself some basic music theory but I ended up choosing clarinet as my primary instrument because my mother still had her high school clarinet in the top of a cupboard at our house. It seemed like the logical choice! Throughout my
schooling, I always had excellent clarinet teachers who provided the perfect amount of pressure to improve as well as freedom to explore! I learned both classical and jazz improvisation and ended up studying a Bachelor of Music (Classical Performance) at Monash University.
From quite a young age, I’ve found joy and inspiration in exploring music with people as well as alone. Creating and sharing a musical experience with a group of musicians has always invigorated me because there are always new things to discover from others. I’ve also found a lot of joy through different stages of my life in getting lost in a musical work of my own making while
recording or producing music on my computer. I feel like I’m constantly learning, being inspired and getting more and more into music every day.
Tell us how you transitioned into using pedals in your playing?
RL: I had a bit of a crisis of confidence a couple of years ago. Having finished a music degree and actually getting a full time gig (hooray!), I realised I’d never fully ‘resonated with’ classical music. I could certainly imitate it all well enough to get through a degree and get a job but I didn’t ever completely fall in love with it in the way that my friends had. Instead of throwing in the towel and
giving it all up, I really started to seek out what I liked about my instruments and about music in general.
I started working out how to connect my instrument to effects pedals in March 2020. At the time I was following a lot of ambient guitarists on instagram and youtube. I figured if I could get my sound to travel through some pedals, there’s no reason I couldn’t make some nice ambient music like all these cool guitarists! That musical and technological exploration is what brought my love of music and of clarinet back to life. It got me thinking about new things that I could do to explore composition, improvisation, sound design, music production and everything in between.
How did you find the process of creating samples for your new sample pack - is it much different to recording your own music?
RL: It was a bit different! I tend to choose a key that I want to record a project in and float around that in order to create a sound world that is really immersive and distinctive. For the sample library, I wanted to record things in a lot of different keys and registers on the clarinet to provide artistic freedom with the sounds. I also recorded each sample as ‘clean’ clarinet sound with no effects, as well as with effects. I use a lot of effected clarinet in my own music but will never get over the beauty of the clarinet sound without effects on it. I loved this project because it was very fun to be inspired by something completely different and record every weird and wonderful idea that popped into my head!
You’ve just released your new album “Sun//Rain” under your pseudonym Clariloops. Tell us a bit about the process for creating the album
RL: Inspired by the weather in Melbourne over summer, the music on this album depicts those sunny days that become muggy, humid, full of tension, and end with big fat raindrops bouncing off warm concrete. Everything I compose starts on my pedal board which consists of some reverb pedals,
delay, a harmoniser, and a loop pedal. All the tracks on this album started out as layers and layers of material inside a loop pedal. With all of my music, I tend to record a lot of experiments in similar keys and then ignore the project for a month or more. When I came back to this one, I wanted to explore more, both compositionally and instrumentally. I started adding a lot of sounds from my
Organelle, a small synthesiser by Critter and Guitar which was become and endless source of inspiration and fun for me. The album has become an exploration of how clarinet and synthesised sound can work so well together, weaving in and out to create this sound world that, to me, reflects the feelings I get on rainy summer days.
Tell us about a piece of music that you love that you think our readers should check out
RL: Nat Bartsch is an Australian pianist and composer who’s music makes me feel every emotion at once. I got to see her do her first post-covid show in a small jazz bar in Melbourne a month or so ago and it was one of the most stunning things to watch - this quite simple, minimalistic music being played with such vulnerability. Truly stunning! If you’re going to check out one thing by her, it would be the track ‘Forever, And No Time At All’ from the album Forever More.
If you want to learn more about Clariloops, Click Here
For more information about Ruby AKA Clariloops, visit www.clariloops.com