Sally Oldfield
Spirituality Infuses Flaming Star
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• Part Three
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Paula: Are you yourself very well travelled? Have you experienced a lot of different countries and cultures first-hand?

Sally: I do like travelling a lot but lately I've taken to sort of what I call mind travel [laughing]. You don't have the hassle of the airports and the stress of travelling. But I do have a lot of a affinity with different cultures, I suppose it is a karmic thing. I feel a lot of affinity with India, Greece . . . I honestly love America, the wide-open space, feel and the sort of openness of the people. For us British, it is a bit of an uptight community over here and I am hoping to come to America soon.

Paula: You have two very well known and musical brothers, Terry and Mike. I always ask this to people who are either children of or siblings of famous relatives: have you found it hard to branch out on your own and get known on your own as being an artist in your own right, rather than being Mike's sister?

Sally: I've never found it a problem because, being very spiritually aware, I've never seen this as a problem although a few people ask me this question. In fact, someone asked me that the other day, and it just depends on the person - if the person themselves feels overshadowed, then that's the way its going to be, but I've always been a very free spirit and I feel very different to Mike and Terry, and I've never felt this sort of limitation in any sort of a way at all. I think I feel much more like Shirley MacLean and Warren Beatty who are quite famously known from not being in each other's shadows and very much going out on their own journey.

Paula: Besides vocals, what other instruments do you play?

Sally: I'm a keyboard player mainly, I've studied piano, and I write songs on the piano, but I do play the guitar a bit.

Paula: Musically speaking, who are some of your influences?

Sally: Kind of difficult to answer. I love tribal music and soul music - I love soul music because it does have this connection to spirituality; soul music is sort of born in a spiritual context. But I love classical music also and just any music which is inspired; I don't really like mainstream pop music, that's sort of corporately controlled at the moment, although there is the occasional good song. But I love music that has genuine individual inspiration.

Paula: What are your goals as an artist? What do you hope listeners will take away from listening to Flaming Star and your music in general?

Sally: I'm a very intense writer of music and people often say one of the nicest things anyone ever said to me, was that when they play my music, especially when they're driving and they are feeling uptight about something, they feel so long as my music is playing everything is going to be OK, they find it quite reassuring. I suppose that's the process that I go through when I write music, because it often starts off with 'I'm feeling quite negative," for example, "Flaming Star" started off with a kind of feeling of anger and I kind of tend to go into feelings in quite a therapeutic way and use my music and my songwriting to transform those states into quite a positive feeling. So Flaming Star is a transformation of anger into a more powerful state.

Paula: It's therapeutic for you as the writer, and therapeutic coming across to the listener as well.

Sally: Yes, that's what I would hope.

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