Inspiration comes from everywhere for the Uruguayan musician & producer. Now based in the oldest town of Ireland, she shares with us some details of her new release “Accela” where she collaborated with Sin Maldita. Her many influences, from medieval music to anime Lain to the landscape which serves for inspiration but also for calming down.
Listen to Soundscapes vol.147, curated by Lila Tirando a Violeta
What is your first memory with music?
My first memory with music is probably my mother blasting Uruguayan folkloric music every morning in order to wake me up to go to school & the soundtrack to Blade Runner windows 98 video-game.
When and why did you move to Ireland from Uruguay?
I move around often. Spent most of my life in Uruguay but a few years back I moved to The Netherlands, before that I was in between countries, quite some time in Wales, then Argentina, Mexico for a bit too… Now I have found a home in Ireland and intend to stay for a while. One of the reasons I moved here was because I’m a huge James Joyce fan, so I wanted to experience traveling around the island, but now I have fallen completely in love with the country and don’t wanna leave.
How does the music scene in Europe compare with that of your country?
I suppose it’s quite different. One of the best things about growing up and developing as a musician in Uruguay has been the fact that I learnt to be completely self sufficient, in a sense that I used to always do my own sound, my own lights, set up the stage and always help around in the DIY music community, collaborating and hosting our own events. The reason why we did that is because we had no other alternative if we wanted to play our music. Not many festivals, nor venues around… so yes, it’s quite the opposite from everything around Europe, which has tons of pros and cons I suppose.
What does dreaming mean to you?
Dreams can tell you so much and so little about who you are. In a sense dreaming and sleeping is almost like a reversal of death. I read somewhere that dreaming and sleeping gives us something close to the plot of Finnegans Wake. Nothing and everything, falling and rising, resting and getting tired, opposites merge throughout Finnegan’s Wake and they also merge every time we dream, I believe.
In your new album, Accela, you & Sin Maldita, create a cinematographic atmosphere in some moments, whereas there is complete, but controlled chaos in others. Do you think this is something that correlates directly to the references found in anime, and particularly in Lain?
I believe that Serial Experiments Lain has some of the most disruptive yet most beautiful visuals in animated history. Constant metaphors and intricate concepts through every episode of the short series. The content is more current now than ever -considering it was made in the 90s- the vision of the wired (internet and hyper connectivity for us) can sound almost prophetic.
As the anime develops Lain accesses deeper, darker, more complex levels of the Wired and I believe that is under control and out of curiosity for a while but then it’s followed by a prawl of chaos that overtake everything… that I feel can relate to Accela a lot as tracks progress, layers evolve and sounds distort more and more as track goes by.
What is the meaning behind the album artwork? It looks like there is so much symbolism involved.
The artwork was made by Dario Alva, who has also worked with some of my favorite musicians both mainstream and underground. It does indeed have a lot of symbolisms. It’s a treatment of digital 3D image in contemplation or a sort of ode to classic Flamenco art and medieval pictures, an homage to oneiric worlds created by Bosch, and uncanny symbols that resemble Gothic art and a religious-pagan content. But we’ll leave the interpretation of the elements up to the viewers, it’s more sincere that way.
There is truly something medieval in this album. I think the organ in FAV confirms it. Did you study music? Is medieval & gothic music a big influence on you?
Never studied music, always self taught. Indeed the whole release has a huge medieval and baroque sonic influence. I had an idea in mind when we started recording and Tim (Sin Maldita) went fully on board with it. I wanted to incorporate a lot of strings and classic instruments but blending it over with club sounds & contemporary maximalist drums, trying to find a balance in between the two very different worlds. In order to do that we used both hardware and software for this release. And myself living in Waterford, the oldest town in Ireland, helped influence me through that sonic landscape.
The whole album evokes something kind of spiritual, like a journey, intense & full of layers. These layers intrigue the listener, both because of the conceptual weight they bring, like the Outro which starts with a voice which is nearly understandable, & from a production side. How do you begin a track & go creating all these layers? How do you know what the song is missing?
We had so many stems (layers) on every song project I won’t lie it drove us both crazy, since we mostly worked remotely sending bounces back and forth, gathering at Tim’s studio a few times only, I can’t lie it was thousands of audio and midi files bouncing back and forth.
But that was the point we wanted from the start, to release a coherent maximalist sound design album with the influences stated before, which were a bit remote one from each-other. I’d say finalising the tracks and knowing when to stop was also a very hard part… we had to know when to stop because otherwise we’d probably be adding more layers until now. On the track All Day I Hear the Noise of Waters, I couldn’t let go of the fact I wanted it to sound like clashing water currents, “sailing in the middle of a thunderstorm” kind of feeling— and wasn’t feeling it — so when mixing time came around we told this to Imaabs and he understood our vision perfectly, he worked in a binaural audio kind of wizardry, plug in magic. I could finally let go.
I have read somewhere that Mekas is a big influence for you, do you want to tell us when you discovered his films? What is your relation with cinema? Are there other referential directors that influence you?
Yes I really like Mekas, his films make me super emotional, can’t remember how I discovered him but probably because in my teens I was a huge John Cale and V.U fan. As for another directors, I’m a massive fan of Wong Kar-Wai, Gregg Araki, Eliseo Subiela, Cronenberg and David Lynch.
What brings you back to earth, calms you down, soothes you? A way to prioritise your mental & physical health maybe.
Probably by hiking or walking around alone with my Tascam in search of field recordings with noise canceling headphones on.
What can we expect from you for the near future? Another album, live show, maybe something in the visual field?
Yes! We are preparing a follow up to Accela, I enjoyed very much collaborating with Sin Maldita so you can expect more from us and meanwhile I’ll be touring my solo AV show around.
The Noise Of Waters
Artist: Lila Tirando a Violeta / @lilatirandoavioleta
Interview: Agustina Passeron / @anit_sugar