I’m not gonna be coy about this – I have a crush on Imogen Heap.
She’s probably nowhere near as charming in person as she is on stage or in the videos she shares of her progress when working on a new album, but considering I’ll probably never meet her in person, I can indulge my foolish crush.
Immie is an absolutely brilliant songwriter, producer and performer. She won a Grammy a couple of years ago for best engineered album of the year. Her writing eschews conventional song structure, she has an angelic but familiar-sounding voice, and she has the technical skill to use all the modern electronic tools to create the richly textured and layered production achieved by the best techno artists. Marcy & I were fortunate to see Immie in concert at the Fillmore a couple of years ago, and it proved to be one of the most enjoyable concerts I’ve ever seen.
The first of the two videos below shows Immie performing Hide And Seek, the first Imogen Heap track that caught my attention. She has her keyboard configured as a voder – she’s playing her own altered voice via the keyboard to accompany her singing. She closed her concert with this track, but first started playing it in the middle, at the point in the recording where she is singing over a loop of her own voice. She stopped suddenly, revealing that the audience was singing that accompanying part, and said “OK – you all know your part”, and then started the song from the start, knowing the audience would come in on queue!!
The second video is a demonstration of a set of “magic gloves” that she uses with a whole bunch of technologies to play her accompaniment through body movements, finishing off with the performance of a song using the magic gloves. Pretty amazing stuff, and actually gives a very good feel for how Immie comes off in concert.