Misha Penton a singer, composer, director, writer, and filmmaker. She invents and perform solo and collaborative dramatic new music works. Her projects blossom in many forms: live performance, audio projects, video works, site specific installations, visual art works, lyrics, and writings.
Misha’s music is a blend of futuristic art song and chamber electronica, creating poetic dreamworlds. From a delicate spider-silk tone thread to shimmering and cascading wails, you will hear the rise and fall of her many-layered voices woven into swirling electronic sound worlds. She makes her home in Houston, Texas and has come to love the dystopian beauty of Houston’s spiraling superhighways, the cathedral-like concrete pilings of the underpasses, the wildflower-lined bayous, and the ever-expanding glass and steel of the metropolis.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
My music invites the listener into an intensely poetic and immersive, multisensory world. I challenge conventions, push boundaries, and create music that defies easy classification. I love that my music is genre-blending, often experimental and atmospheric, and incorporates elements from classical, rock, experimental, ambient, and avant-garde music. I love to combine my music with video-making to create multidisciplinary experiences.
What sets your music apart? What is unique, or at least uncommon?
I focus on creating mood, texture, and atmosphere rather than traditional song structures. I use unconventional vocal techniques and innovative soundscapes that challenge traditional notions of music and focus on neo-operatic and vocal elements. This fusion results in a sound that is sometimes ethereal and always eclectic — creating a bridge between different musical worlds.
What is your creative process like?
I usually start with lyrics and voice, and I do a lot of improvising and experimentation. At first, the vocal world and the instrumental settings are not closely related. Because this is an unconventional approach, the process creates unexpected musical twists and turns that take the listener on a journey. I also use chance and indeterminacy in my music and in the creation of my videos—embracing happenstance and happy accidents.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
You have no limitations. Follow your inner voice and unique vision.
If we were to look at the artists you are listening to, who would be on your playlist?
Björk. Peter Gabriel. Meshell Ndegeocello. Joni Mitchell. Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. India Arie. Alicia Keys. Annie Lennox. Kate Bush. Esperanza Spalding. Lauryn Hill. H.E.R.
What is your current music project about?
“Earthshine” celebrates the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. It’s a time for introspection, going inward, and engaging with stillness before the beginning of a new cycle. My music video and song conjures the subtle illuminating energies of beautiful things unseen or unnoticed. It is a reminder that we’re on this extraordinary planet, spinning and speeding through the galaxy…we’re all here for barely a blink of an eye. Can we treat each other and the Earth better?
Do you have a cherished childhood teddy bear or other stuffed animal sitting on your bed at home?
There are stuffed animals all around my house including Baby Yoda and Baby Groot, and a limited edition Dr Seuss print of Sylvester McMonkey McBean’s Star-Belly Sneetch Machine from Sneetches and Other Stories. I also have a beautiful figurine of Maleficent (a heroine of mine).
Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
Young Me: Sophie Turner. Badass Me: Salma Hayek. Super-Badass Me: Helen Mirren.
Would you rather be the one in a movie who gets the hero/heroine or the baddie with all the good lines?
The baddie, of course!
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
Dragons. Again, obvious!
If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?
Ignore everybody and follow your awesome creative vision wherever it takes you!