When The Mae Trio lost their cellist in 2017 the remaining two members of the group had to rethink their career and plans for the future. Luckily those remaining two members were sisters Maggie and Elsie Rigby who were both determined to stick together in music. With the release of their latest self-titled record, now under the monicker The Maes, the duo have shown they have found a distinct voice.
During the opening stages of their national tour, Maggie took some time out of her busy schedule to speak with J.A.M about the process of finding a new voice as a duo and the process of writing music with her sister.
“Once we became a duo we had to figure out what it was that we wanted to say musically,” reflected Maggie. During this process, Maggie explained that “who we were, and where we came from quickly became a big part of the conversation.”
As such Maggie and Elsie chose to go back to their folk music roots with the self-titled album. A decision which has proven to be incredibly wise, with glowing reviews across the board.
Whilst the record is an exploration of their roots Maggie was quick to also say the process was also “quite an adventurous process.” As part of this process of exploration and adventure, the duo was able to collaborate with new people, perform in various different incarnations with accompanying cello or double bass, and most of all write from a much more personal perspective.
“It can be very liberating to be honest and raw, but it can also be difficult,” said Maggie before continuing, “You feel more connected to [the music] and the way people respond to it is thus a little bit more personal than the stuff we had done previously.”
Maggie is also of the belief that she and Elsie write in very complementary ways.
“We’ve been touring together for so long now that very often the experiences that we’re having are similar or parallel to each other. So I love the way that both Elsie and I take those experiences but write about them and interpret them very differently.”
Looking ahead to the show in Sydney tomorrow Maggie is excited to once again be performing to a crowd that knows their music intimately.
“There is something incredibly exciting and satisfying to be playing to people who already know our music. We do so much touring, particularly overseas, playing to people who have never heard of us so we’re kind of introducing ourselves and music to them. Whereas it’s such a reward and a treat for people who already know our music. It’s like having a second, deeper, conversation with an audience.”
May 10. The Vanguard, 42 King St, Newtown. $20+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.thevanguard.com.au
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