Aimée Portioli / Grand River

Aimée Portioli (b. 1985), known as Grand River is a Dutch-Italian composer and poly-instrumentalist producer based in Berlin. 
Influenced by classical minimal music Grand River’s work integrates a large variety of sound structures and symphonic calculations.

 Her full-length debut album “Pineapple” followed in 2018 on Spazio Disponibile along with participations on Ghostly International and the Australian Longform Editions in 2019. In September 2020 she released “Blink A Few Times To Clear Your Eyes” on Editions Mego.
 Since 2016, Aimée also runs the record label One Instrument.

Finding Inspiration
During these months of severe lockdown, caring for my plants and expanding my collection is very inspiring to me. Plants have other rhythms then we humans do and they are teaching me a lot right now, especially in these moments of solitude and when everything is standing still. Reading and walking in the woods around the city is also part of the activities that keep me inspired.

Gain & Loss
I keep myself busy with music everyday, if it’s not composing then it’s with other music related projects. Also I have been doing a lot of research.

Physical Stage
I love playing for people. I can feel their energy immediately when I walk on the stage. It’s an exchange that is happening while playing, a dialogue between the crowd and myself.

Studio & Workspace
I have a dedicated space where I work, but at home in my living room I have a piano and a cello. That’s where where I also keep my records and turntables, so I guess my workspace is not disclosed to one place.

Daily Routine
Usually in the morning I am quite slow, I have breakfast and read. Then I walk my dog, check my emails and only after that I start working. I might work until late in the evening even if I try not to pass midnight or latest 1 AM anymore, just to keep a kind of more regular sleep/wake balance.

Dream Collaboration
I would love to work with an orchestra one day and to collaborate with some artists I really like and admire.

Entry Points
I have been singing in choirs and playing music since I was very little. I guess it was the fascination of the church choir when I was 5 years old when my grandmother brought me to church with her and all the music my mother was listening to at home daily.

Finishing Records
Usually I do when I feel emptied. I alternate extreme creative moments of composition and others where I just want to absorb. It’s like inhaling and exhaling.

Health & Productivity
I try to do my best, I eat healthy food, I try to sleep enough and do sports. I am always thinking about music and music related things though, so in the end I feel I am always working and I find it hard to relax sometimes.

Resonating Releases
I have been listening intensively to the track “Marking Time” by Pauline Anna Strom and can’t wait to receive the album that I purchased that will be released next month. That composition felt so unique to me, and then after some days of the release of the track, she sadly passed. I think the whole album will be very special.

Background image by Barbara Camean.