Isolation is a challenge no one signed up for, but it’s proving an inspiration for Melbourne Polytechnic music student Eve.
Eve Constantine - who performs as Eve. – has released songs, been included on a compilation album and a very cool cassette mixtape and has had radio airtime since restrictions hit Melbourne.
Her track Modern Logic is on the compilation album Songs From Home and came about almost by chance for the Diploma of Music Industry (Performance) student.
‘It was one of my assessments for my tech class and initially I was working on another track, it was an outtake of what I had made,’ Eve says. ‘I had left the player going on Ableton. I just forgot about it and then suddenly it played through and my ears perked up and I thought “that’s a good progression, I’ll save that”. It was really minimalist and when it came to write the lyrics for it I played it and just improvised over it which was fun because I think it gives me more freedom creatively to see what comes out.’
Eve saw the call out by Tremorverse Records for music students to take part in an ‘isolation curation of sorts’ and despite feeling timid and shy and never having uploaded any music before she came around to thinking ‘you're never going to know if you don't try putting it out there’. The song was selected for the album and the Tremorverse crew hooked her up with all the music sites. ‘It really did give me a major platform and space to now navigate through when I release future stuff. I can put up all platforms, which is really good.’
The plays on radio came about through another artist on the album, singer Gabrielle from Trad Ukiyo, who in an interview with Joy 94.9 was asked to suggest who else to listen to from the album. She said Eve. and the track played.
‘It was fantastic because it was a new connection and friendship that formed and then suddenly was being played on the radio,’ Eve. says. ‘It was amazing and really kind and thoughtful and I really appreciated it because in reality, it’s difficult to get your stuff out there and find a way to get it on the radio easily. So yeah, I was shook.’
The cool mixtape by Perth small business Space Cassette, House of the Existential Dread, also features songs written and released during quarantine.
Eve, who relocated to Melbourne for the course just before the pandemic hit, had a very busy end of Semester 1, completing work and submitting assignments, and has since found a creative second wind in iso. She’s reaching back to some tracks she had put aside earlier and has dedicated time to work on them, with firm goals of creating more music to a timeline.
‘I really want to commit to myself and actually release a song per month up until October,’ Eve says. ‘Hopefully I can get three new ones.’
Eve says she was initially bummed about the switch from on campus to online learning but the transition wasn’t too bad after all.
‘If you're doing a performance degree, you want to be on campus and doing everything you want to be doing,’ she says. ‘I had all the resources that I needed to be studying at home, which I think made the transition a lot easier. There was a little bit of time where everyone was getting used to the online thing and it was a bit hectic. Of course when you have two other people living with you and everyone's on the internet it can kind of cut or lag out but other than that wasn't too bad.’
She connects and collaborates with classmates on Zoom and social media: ‘It's really interesting to see everybody adapt to how things have changed. A lot of good stuff has come out of it.’
During lockdown, Eve finds it helps to have a routine that gives some structure to her days at home, eating well, sleeping well, getting in some exercise and switching off. She also has a dedicated workspace, set up on a new desk on the insistence of her mother after a few weeks of a sore back. Along with all the keyboards, microphones and cables, there are little touches of inspiration like prints, her songwriting book and a candle.
‘I really took the time to make it a space that I wanted to be in, because I always find that if my energy is right in the space that I’m in, I find it really easy to create content,’ she says. ‘If you want to be where you are sitting, you're more in tune, your ideas are going to fly. You're going to feel in the zone.’
However, she has struggled to find a balance between work and downtime. ‘I would find myself working really long hours,’ she says. ‘It's hard, because as a creative person I feel like we don't really switch off. I'll do my classwork for six to eight hours of the day and then externally of that my mind is still thinking about my personal music or other project. It's continuous movement in your brain.
‘I think it's really important to make sure that you have time to wind down and to switch off and think “OK I'm going let myself rest”.’