guest edit w/ mary lattimore

q&a with mary lattimore images captured by rachael cassells
30 november 2023

photos captured by rachael cassells

mesmerizing mary lattimore

there is nothing on earth like the music of mary lattimore live. an acclaimed harpist and composer, her live performance is often described as a profoundly emotional and transformative experience.

on the eve of mary’s extensive usa tour to launch her new album goodbye, hotel arkada, our friend and collaborator photographer rachael pony cassells stopped by mary’s beautiful, colour filled home in the echo park hills of los angeles, to snap some photos. mary was spending some final quality time with her beloved cat jenny, while trying on some romance was born outfits to wear for her upcoming december australian / nz tour! 

at home with mary lattimore

creativity is such a mysterious and ephemeral force, can you trace where these new songs began?

when I think of these songs, I think about fading flowers in vases, melted candles, getting older, being on tour and having things change while you’re away, not realising how ephemeral experiences are until they don’t happen anymore, fear for a planet we’re losing because of greed, an ode to art and music that’s really shaped your life that can transport you back in time, longing to maintain sensitivity and to not sink into hollow despondency.

mary and jenny

we were thinking about how your music transports us. knowing you take us there, is that a strange experience playing and having that impact on an audience? 

thank you for saying this. i love being able to connect with other people for this brief moment in time. because there’s a lot of improvisation involved, the pieces are never the same twice, so it feels like we are potentially going into something together. it’s my great hope that the music is transportive for the audience, but I can’t assume it or know it, really. i only know that for me, it takes me away from mundane and brutal realities for an hour into a place that feels like it has warmth and color and safety, so if others can get into the zone to meet me there, it feels like a triumph.

you have worked with so many amazing artists, when you collaborate do you feel comfortable sharing your creativity with new musicians, or do you wait until you know someone… for us, we always seem to form a relationship before we collaborate with someone, because it feels quite vulnerable opening up in that way?

i love collaboration and find it to be like having a good conversation. it’s very social. i think it’s easier to be vulnerable and open up with music than it is with spoken language, sometimes. it really depends on the person, whether the music or the friendship comes first but most of the time, the result is the same, making this thing together that brings you closer and that kind of symbolizes this time you’ve shared when your ears were open and responding to what they were saying. 

i think we share the same love for the cure, were they an influence on your formative years as a teen goth baby mary ?

oh yeah! many nights crying on the roof of my parents house as a sad-girl, reading poetry and listening to disintegration. i’ve been lucky to have their music keeping me company since age 11! my life is in service to this little weirdo.

your house is so pretty and feels very inviting, like I just want to sit down on the couch with you and pony and have a cup of tea with jenny. You do a lot of touring and traveling around, do you love your time at home? 

thank you, anna! i can’t wait for you to visit us. i do love my time at home and nesting and having dinner parties and going to my favourite venue zebulon and eating delicious LA tacos and hangin’ out. but also I find that when I’m home, I’m a little bit frantic with tasks and there’s a lot of stress because it’s usually for a limited time. wish there was more time but also, as you know, being a business owner in a creative field is hard work and there are a lot of spinning plates! i think the new year will bring more

how do you feel about fashion? for us we love the idea of putting something on and how it makes you feel, do you enjoy dressing up? were there any pieces from the shoot you really loved?

i love love love the black lace outfits, the long dress and also the skirt plus shirt with the bows. super elegant and flattering and timeless. i really love fashion, especially wearing special pieces on the stage. it’s so cool to have an audience member send a photo where you think you look pretty in something you’ve picked out to wear. thank you, anna and luke, for bringing beautiful clothing into my life. 

we were wondering what the story with jenny is too? how long have you had her for? i’ve never had a cat, but I am coming around to it, she seems like a really fun cat!

i got her in the pandemic because i live alone and really wanted company and she’s great company, a really friendly little lady! she’s about 3 and i love how cats are so mellow and easy. she’s funny too, very playful. she really makes me smile.

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