White Night is an alternative electro-pop band based in both Berlin and San Francisco. The German-American duo draws inspiration from 1980’s pop, classical music, contemporary-classical music, and jazz. The members, Willi Leinen and Elizabeth Boardman, in addition to being songwriters and producers, are classically trained musicians who perform on guitar and viola/baroque viola.
Q: How easily do songs tend to come to you?
Ans : It depends! Sometimes we write and produce multiple songs in a week and sometimes we sit stuck in the doldrums for a couple weeks. The ideas for melodies and harmonies usually come pretty quickly, lyrics can take a little longer.
Q: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?
Ans: Create music you would want to listen to. The music scene, for both pop and classical, is full of critics being critical for the sake of it. If you are worried the song you are creating is either too different or not original enough, just ask yourself, would you listen to this? If the answer is yes, go forth and conquer.
Q: What is you favorite song to belt out at the bar/in the car?
ANs: Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman’s rendition of “Time to say Goodbye” almost always makes a loud and dramatic appearance during a long car ride.
Q:Who are your inspirations?
Ans: Our inspirations are Daft Punk, Tears for Fears, Kate Bush, Empress Of, Oh Land, Steve Reich…
Q:Do you have any events coming up or recording going on right now?
Ans: We are working on our first album!
Q: If you had a soundtrack to your life what song/songs would have to be on it?
Ans : Hans Zimmer everyday, all day.
Q:When and why did you start playing?
ANS: We both started our classical music training between the years of four and five. We met at San Francisco Conservatory of Music during our masters and started making music together in February 2017.
Q: Which instruments do you play?
Ans: Willi plays classical and electric guitar and manages the electronic liveset. Lizzie plays the viola/baroque viola, the keyboard, and sings.
Q: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
Ans: The best way to handle mistakes during performance is to accept that you will make them and just be prepared to improvise detours and recoveries. The more you are ok with the fact that you will make some small “mistakes”, the more relaxed you will feel in performance. The most mistakes are made when you are nervously awaiting them and not ready to just take them in your stride.
Q: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
Ans: Practice performance more than you might think you need to! Things always feel different when somebody is watching. Your brain works differently and so might your physical coordination.
Q: How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?
Ans: We both teach and have careers as freelance classical musicians so fitting in White Night time can be a challenge. But it is so much fun and such a creative outlet that it doesn’t feel like work! We are also a couple and live together so that makes things easier.
Thanks for taking time out of your day:)