Beth Orton Lived in a Monastery


It’s been six years since Beth Orton’s last album, 2006’s Comfort Of Strangers, but she’s been much-missed in her time away. Orton is the sort of artist who inspires serious devotion, and when her new album, Sugaring Season, was released this month, her fans were thrilled. And if they’ve wondered where she’s been the past few years, she caught up with The Hivecast with Matt Pinfield to talk about having children and starting a family. But going on unexpected detours as a response to changes in her family life has always been something Orton has done. She explains one formative experience that came after her mother died. “My mum left me 1,500 pounds, and it was kind of like a fable — me and my brothers each did a different thing with the money. One of my brothers bought some Technics sets, I went to Thailand. I went for, like, a holiday — it was really shallow, ridiculous reasons why I went, and then me and a friend of mine decided that we’d go to Northern Thailand, and go into this monastery,” Orton tells Matt. “When I got there, everyone was in white robes – it was living in a monastery, like, really in a monastery, with monks and nuns.”

Learning to meditate (“You start meditating fifteen minutes, and a few days later you’re doing four hours, and by the weekend it’s kind of 14 hours a day”) helped Orton process her grief, but she’s always been gifted at expressing whatever emotions she’s feeling through her music, as well. Listen to the rest of the Hivecast to hear her talk about the ups and downs of life as Beth Orton. [Download & subscribe to the Hivecast via iTunes.]

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