Lee-Ann Curren, the ocean is my music
Surfing, music, content creation. Interview with the multifaceted French ocean artist
“The ocean was essential in cultivating my artistic soul. I think it helped me as a human being. In the ocean you cannot force anything, you have to accept what the waves decide, what the elements decide. It’s all about energy. It’s the same in life, it’s the same in music”
Oceanic balances, symphonic balances. Surfing on the notes, playing music in the waves. Lee-Ann Curren is guitar and surfboard, is a young woman divided between sport and music: a double soul cultivated for a long time. A combination capable today of reaching a perfect maturity, a maturity free from imposed constraints and performance obligations. An independent and creative maturity.
Lee-Ann grew up in a family that inhabitated the ocean currents. Her illustrious father Tom, her mother, her relatives… All these figures were linked in different ways to the ancient Polynesian religion of the waves, all these figures allowed Lee-Ann to understand the value of the eternal aquatic dance.
“I was very lucky to grow up in the water. Now I cannot live far from the ocean. It’s part of my life, of my everything. When I’m in the waves a deep feeling of calm pervades me, I observe the horizon line and admire the quiet, evocative movement of everything that surrounds it. When I ride a wave, I feel the same sensations I felt when I was 6, I think it’s something wonderful”
It was impossible for Lee-Ann to think of a childhood without a surfboard under her arm. She was very young when she entered the world professional circuits: whirlwind competitions that demand numbers and results.
Results that inevitably led to pressures that don’t belong to this special marine culture. A process that Lee-Ann stopped, preferring the freedom of her passions, of her multifaceted creativity, to the athletic glory.
“I reached the peak of my sporting activities at the age of 18, I was always traveling, always involved in some competition, I realized that I was missing too many things. Most of all I was missing music. I started playing and recording myself when I was 12-13 years old. I used to listen a lot of music with my mom and my father played a lot of instruments: he lived in California, I was in France, he kept his instruments in the garage and when I visited him we played together. High level surf took me out of focus, when you surf too much, you lose some magic in what you are doing. So I decided to reconnect with my high school band and to start recording again. My life immediately changed. At the same time, however, my mind could no longer be focused on competitions. So I decided to focus on free surfing and music”
Lee-Ann’s music has not turned its back on the waves, still today it constantly draws inspiration from them, from the musical score made up of winds and sunsets.
“Growing up all my favorite songs were somehow related to surf movies and videos. In my opinion these two things have always been connected. Learning to surf is like learning to play an instrument: it takes patience, you have to spend a lot of time on it. You have to really desire it. Also there is a very strong cinematic influence, documentaries and films related to surfing culture are always accompanied by wonderful soundtracks, by iconic songs: for this reason many surfers are close to music. The latest songs I have published are quite long compositions. ‘Conversations’, for example, is about my evolution and different periods of life. It is a very introspective piece, I put everything into it”
In addition to surfing and music, Lee-Ann’s recent work commitments have also led her to content creation. Sponsored by Vans, this 32-year-old French woman alternates her days between rehearsal rooms, waves and video productions. A full, multifaceted, stimulating life.
“I’m very lucky to have a sponsor who allows me to do all this. Now with Vans I’m carrying out ‘Cadavre Exquis’, an all-female project. It’s a video focused on the experiences of different surfers around the world. It’s not easy to find a balance between all these things: for example, sometimes I feel that I’m not fully focused on surfing or music, but I truly believe that the intertwining of these worlds helps me to fully express myself. I hope to repeat this project with Vans next year, in a few months my new songs will come out and I also hope to return to playing live. In the future I know that surfing will continue to be a fundamental component of my life, just like the ocean”
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