Re: view／Vol.3 Ydegirl
photo & text: Ydegirl
translation: Bowen Casey
edit: Yuki Kikuchi
Soundtrack of memories
I want to have people who love music look back on their memories of a certain album and record the significance of everything they find.
■Your name including the names of your musical project(s): Ydegirl
■Occupation: Songwriter, Producer
■Date of birth: May 12th, around 2000 bc
■Where you live: Copenhagen & Berlin
■What does music give you? A place to stay
■Album: 『Suit for a Young』 CTM（Cæcilie Trier Musik ）
Itsy bitsy, but in the best possible way
At the time I knew very few musicians that weren’t cis-men so getting to know about CTM (Cæcilie Trier Musik) and her incredible music and voice was really important and defining to me. More than she is probably aware of. The scene in Copenhagen is quite small, so it was really something for me coming from the countryside to Copenhagen and suddenly meeting a lot of these musicians and bands like ‘Valby Vokal Gruppe’ and this other really sick impro rock jazz group called Selvhenter, that I’d been listening so much to throughout high school.
I was living with my grandmother, sleeping in the basement in one of those storage rooms that are in most apartment complexes in Copenhagen. Surrounded by all her pots and garden tools, left-over buckets of paint, and boxes full of scarfs and hats that hadn’t been worn for years, I would lie on my one-man bed, sheltered by one of those square mosquito nets, just listening to music for hours.
I liked my little scrappy ten square-meter room, even though the air would get very thin sometimes because the room’s only window had metal bars, which made it impossible to open.There were three doors, including one fireproof, before the final backdoor opened up out to the backyard. My point is, fresh air had to travel pretty far for it to reach my little wooden booth in the basement aligned with all the other booths. In the summer I would keep all three doors open with wooden door stoppers and leave an electric fan on in the hallway to help circulate the air. Some nights I would wake up from dreaming I was drowning. I’d then get out of bed, crawl the backstairs and let myself in through the kitchen backdoor to my grandma’s apartment and sneak into bed next to her.
Sometimes in the morning we would stand topless by the mirror by the dressing table in her bedroom and chat. She would let me try on her amber jewelry that I had adored ever since I was a little. She would tell me stories about the war and her childhood. Sometimes she would be moved by the subject and her eyes would turn glassy. She would never burst, just pause for a moment before continuing the story.
In the daytime and evenings, I would be listening to music on my small useless speakers, I had at the time. I was at a weird place in my life, experiencing a lot of numbness and paralysis. I didn’t see many friends and could hardly carry myself to the 3D animation classes, I was attending. Listening to music was one the few things that I was capable of. Besides going with my grandma shopping or accompanying her to her weekly water gym class, in the nearest indoor swimming pool, this is pretty much all I’d do. Just listen to album on album, while building a virtual room for all the sounds, making my head a nicer space to be in.
One night I was lying sleepless and I could just feel with every cell in my body, that my legs weren’t gonna walk me back to that 3D animation school, not even one last time. So I got out of bed, and once again crawled the backstairs, locked myself in through the kitchen backdoor and snuck into bed next to my grandma. She woke up and asked what was one my mind, and so I told her. She laid there for some time without saying anything. Then she just quoted this old Danish philosopher ‘To dare is to lose ones foothold for a short time. Not to dare is to lose oneself’. Nobody said anything, but I was smiling in the dark. And we both fell asleep. I never went back to the school again.
The following day I had just come back from the swimming pool with my grandmother, when a friend sent me this twenty minute long mp3 file with this piece of music called ‘Suite for a Young Girl’ by this artist called Cæcilie Trier. I was standing in my grandmother’s bedroom by the bed, when I first put it on. It felt like my full attention was sucked in by a vacuum. My ears went all pointy like an animal in the forest listening for branches cracking in the undergrowth. Images started flowing through my mind, which is something that happens when I really like some music, and when Cæcilie’s voice appeared on ‘The Way a Mouth Is a Mouth’, the album’s second track, I felt all weak. I ended up crashing in my grannie’s bed listening to the rest of the mp3. It was one of those experiences where it feels like u’r surrendering to the music. U feel itsy bitsy tiny but in the best possible way, because the world suddenly feels like a place where it’s safe to be small.
In addition to keeping those memories of living with my grandma alive inside of me, Cæcilie’s music got me through these times and her presence in the Danish underground music scene definitely helped me find my own voice.
Using classical instruments such as clarinet, guitar, and violin along with synthesizers and electronic drum patterns, Ydegirl’s music is a fascinating blend of Nordic Baroque Scene and elements of modern R&B and pop. The songs on Ydegirl’s self-titled debut album, released last October, deal with time and how the body adapts to it, as well as places both fantastic and real and their relationships to one another.