Interview with Ifigenia Derzioti (Half Southern North)

Half Southern North Ifigenias Derzioti one woman band (IDVEX). Mysticism and darkness. A journey into many dreamlike paths and an intimacy that it often scares you. I could write a lot while listening to Ifigenias melodies but I will not. I want your journey into the mystery to be undisturbed from comments and and personal thoughts. So, I will recommend, while reading the interview, listen and travel unrestrained with Half Southern North.

Hello Ifigenia and welcome to Aegis

Hello Andreas. Thank you for having me at Aegis magazine and for supporting 1/2SN.

For starters, you are a one woman band. Tell as a little bit about this, what does it mean? Is it something you were after or just happened?

That’s right, it’s a one woman band that started in the winter of 2013 under the name “1/2 Southern North” (Half Southern North), although the first step took place in 2008 with two recordings under the name “Lothron” where other musicians participated. The truth is I prefer the term one person band as I don’t think that in art there are sexes plus I wouldn’t want to attract the listeners attention on how a one woman band sounds but only for the music itself

This translates as a difficult undertaking as you have to cope with everything by yourself, there are more expenses for equipment and instruments, more time required to study, learn and comprehend the operation both of the musical instruments and musical equipment in case you work in a home studio. It’s a lonely sport but on the other hand if you want to do something do it yourself and that implies -like anything- both the positive and the negative parameters.

I certainly din’t pursuit it, but as I was not lucky in finding a band all these years, there was no other way. And I am not of these people who would sit and cry over that. In the countryside there is no metal scene or people to collaborate etc… If you love something you go after it and you try to do it as good as you can.. Everything else is fairy tales

Youre music is quite dark and different. How this came up and how you would characterise it?

With the compositions I have the following problem: the basic instrument is my voice and everything else like guitars, bass, synthesizer and any other instrument I have used so far I had to learn it (this is why there are any drums in any song) even at the level that I managed to and unfortunately this has as a result not to be able technically and compositionally to attribute what I have in mind.

I had never thought that I had to write something to be heard like this one or that one and to be part of this kind of music, I just followed my musical influences like for example black metal, doom metal as well as experimental 20th century music and I tried to convey all those sounds connecting them with each other. I like the “dark” - if this is how you want to characterise it – sound and everything else that is enclosed with this darkness. I don’t know if my work is different, if is good or bad but certainly from the acoustic side it loses because everything was recorded in the house and at the time I didn’t have knowledge about mixing/mastering etc.

But all of these demos are created with a lot of will and to sum up I would say that my sound is o mixture of my influences: a black noise of doom …

I imagine presenting your music live is rather hard. Would you like to do it and if yes how do you think you could deal with it?

It has been asked of me in the past to do a couple of live performances, which I would have really liked to do, but is something impossible as there are no other band members and getting on stage with a computer and a guitar is not something that expresses me. Το avoid misunderstandings I am not jugging other musicians who do this, I have been in relevant concerts and the result was very good as technology now - both sound and light – creates amazing audio-visual environments. It’s just that for me a live performance is when all the musical instruments place their being on stage, like old school and not όχι click and play.

All the musicas instruments that we listen are played by you? Tell us a little bit about the recording process.

As I said earlier, in the demos released so far the recording took place in the house and I play all the instruments. The way I work is a little bit unorthodox as I write first the first guitar –which is the basic melody to be followed-, then the bass, after the second guitar, afterwards all the other instruments that are going to be used and the voice comes last. All the pieces released under the name 1/2SN are so far based on melodic lines (as there is the absence of drums) and are minimalistic repetitive patterns with a lot of experimenting on the sounds and slow tempo.

Do you have any other interests besides music? What inspires you?

I would say that I am dedicated in this cause 1000%, when I don’t write music I study and I try to improve myself both technically and as far as sound is concerned. Besides music I read a lot of books which awake the part of myself dealing with creation and perception.

My inspiration for lyrics comes from personal experiences, Greek mythology –mainly the underworld – death, the left path of the spirit and internal phobias which all of us carry in our souls.

Where do you see ½ Southern North in the future? Which are your dreams and ambitions for the future?

I don’t think about the future as it is something fluid and uncertain. I always take one step at a time.

Definitely at this time there is nothing that concerns me more than the recordings and compositions of the first full studio album of 1/2SN, which I have been working on since the summer of 2017 and due to some problems was held back. I would like to have an as whole as possible outcome both in composition and sound as this is my first time recording in a professional studio.

As far as I know you are in a recording procedure this period. What to expect from you?

At this time I am full time over the compositions and recording of my album and the truth is I have still a lot to do until it is completed.

It is the first full studio album of 1/2SN, and it doesn’t have a lot in common with the previous ones, as there are not so many sound experimentations , it follows a cleaner doom path and will be more specific lyrical themed. This is my first work that will be recorded full drum set and in which other musicians have participated in some of the songs.

Thank you so much for your time and we hope to see you soon in Cyprus.

Thank you so much Andreas and the readers of Aegis , keep the flame burning !