I’ve been walking outside in nature since I was a little child, singing a few hours a day. That’s still what I have to do. It’s as important for me as food or sleep. I’ve found a lot of good little routes here.

Do you walk by yourself ?

Yes. That’s kind of how I wrote most of my melodies.

Do you sing out loud ?

Yeah. For sure. This is probably one of the few cities where you can without getting locked up.

Do people recognize you when you’re singing ?

Yeah, but they don’t give a shit. I mean in London, there’s paparazzi following me around wherever I go. Here, people don’t care. They’re just like, ’So ?’

So, New Yorkers have heard most of the songs on Vespertine, whether the know it or not.

Yeah, that’s a nice thought. I guess I really believe in the 12 notes on the piano. It’s so magical. You kind of hit note two and you do note nine and note seven three times, and that’s a map to a certain emotional location. And if you do note seven and then note two five times, that’s a map to another emotional location. It’s my favorite thing in the world : the power of melody. For centuries, folk melodies have had a very symbolic meaning to human beings. It’s a map to our feelings that nothing else can map out. So I think I’ll always be a melody kind of girl, you know ?

NYLON magazine, #14 june/july 2001