Sunday, May 15, 2016

Filipo Laresca: Unknown Sound Sources (ENG)

Spanish version here

Continuing with the Americas, we set our sights southward on Armenia, Colombia to meet with 37 year old Luis Felipe Henao Bustamante A.K.A Filipo Laresca who has been manipulating found sound, noise and dark ambient (to name but a few) into a sculptured aural chaos of sound for almost 10 years. 

Laresca’s sonic universe is forever changing, one minute sparkling with calm like the sun on the surface of the ocean, then the next stabbing and screaming like the vile cries of a dying man, and that doesn’t even begin to describe half of it….

Special thanks to Jacqueline for helping me with the translation process... I couldn’t have done it without you!

Please note at the time of writing, Laresca was still working on his latest release ‘Dedicado a Adolf Wölfli’  you can listen below:

DMD: Please could you describe the evolution of your music over the years since Radio works came out in 2012? and could you tell me about your last record Metalenguajes? 

FL: I think of my sound as a piece that is part of a whole. Radio Works is a small piece inspired by the work of Stefan Tischler and his album: "Excess of free speech" (1992, extreme records), working with spoken word and frequencies, that was the starting point for my later work. 

The evolution in my music is given by adding new sounds and contained ideas into the compositions these new sounds and ideas are gathered from the material I discovered on the road. Metalenguajes is a work conceived from the theories of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and linguist Otto Jespersen. 

With Metalenguajes, I tried to bring the theories of language and communication together with sound. Ironically, in Metalenguajes there is not much spoken word, but I wanted to approach with subsonic elements to be able to achieve what Wittgestein calls "communication failures". Hence metalanguages has a low frequency sound, infrasound and atonal notes musically inspired by composers like Christian Wolff, Günter Müller and Daniel Menche.

DMD: Is there another record coming out this year?

FL:  Of course. Right now I'm working on new material inspired by the work of the painter "art brut" Adolf Wölfli, a piece that I've put a lot of enthusiasm into and to a certain part it was unknown. 

The project basically involves the manipulation of strings, violin sounds, field recordings and sounds of bells gathered at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Armenia and Manizales (Colombia) all mixed with noises and glitches, influenced by music like Beequeen, Brume and a great album by Jim O'Rourke titled: Disengage (1992 Staaltape, Korm Plastics), I believe this material has influenced me greatly for my new project.

DMD: What do you do for a living? 

FL: I work mainly in advertising. I have a degree in advertising and a masters in design and interactive creation. My work usually involves creating communications strategies for small and medium regional companies, parallel to this I dedicate part of my time to research, compilation and creation of sound material.

DMD: What kind of music did you listen to growing up, and what inspired you to do what you do now?

FL:  From a young age, I was always caught by the sound. I did not start making music as a child or anything like that shit all musicians say. But I was always a record collector. From a young age I was attracted to death metal, grindcore, hardcore and jazz. But listening to John Zorn was a revelation to me. Seeing Zorn merge all the music that I liked and that I thought could not be mixed was a kind of epiphany. 

In '94 I bought alot of death metal releases through Relapse Records and in a delivery by accident came some music by PBK, Masonna, Maurizio Bianchi, Endo Kazumoto and Jim O'Rourke and immediately I fell in love with that kind of music, I knew that one day I would have to stop being a passive listener and start making my own music. I took some composition courses and saw the simplicity of technological tools that facilitate the creation of sound. That’s how I got to make the music I like to make.

DMD: Have you ever played live in the past, and are you planning on future shows?

FL: Yes. I did something live in 2010 at a festival in a small town called Salento (Quindio) at an event called ‘mixedmedia music and poetry’. I would like to participate in more events, but in the area where I live there is not much interest towards this type of music. Entrepreneurs and organizers prefer to put on a show with the singer of the moment or a pop group, and not take a risk with a sound that is not going to pay dividends.

DMD: How do you approach the song-writing process?

FL: In my opinion, and this might sound cliché, the writing process is subjective, intimate and lonely. Among the schemes I use to compose my pieces of work, there is always this constant inspiration in the theories of Arnold Schoenberg and the rejection or break towards tonality, so I like working with low frequencies in the manner of Thomas Köner, who has been a real influence on my work. 

The essential idea is gathering something I call "unknown sound sources" (I live near a forest, and perceive a huge amount of un-recognizable sounds) these sounds are subsequently captured, then mixed with sounds made with synthesizers, contact microphones, guitars and pedals. That’s how I begin to develop the concept of my music with these sound patterns, looking for the best interpretation of these strange phenomena, a way of onomatopoeia that perhaps are only in my head.

DMD:  How is the experimental music scene in Colombia?

FL: I think there might be a strong scene. Honestly, I am not aware of one, I work alone, and not by choice, but mainly because I do not know many people interested in this kind of sound. In my region (the coffee growing region), each year there is a festival of electronic arts and design called "The International Festival of the Image" by the University of Caldas (Manizales) and that has had the participation of luminaries such as Pauline Oliveros, David Rothenberg, Heitor Alvelos, and Ricardo Dal Farra to name a few. There you can appreciate the work of national and local musicians, but I honestly do not feel I belong to a music scene, my work is solitary.

DMD: How did you come to get involved with Big Pharma Records and Petroglyph Music?

FL: In this DIY, one has to manage his own music with record companies or netlabels. A few days ago, on Vimeo I watched an interview made with Lasse Marhaug at a festival in Mexico where he argued that "no one should look for a label for your own music, everyone should create their own label and make your own music.”

Interesting, but I did just the opposite. I think managing your work through record labels is a crucial way to capture an audience and meet interesting people with whom to work with in the future. Creating a label yourself is interesting but wasteful. So I sent my material to Big Pharma Records, Ton Doigt Dans Mon Cul and Petroglyph Music who accepted my work, I find it interesting publishing my work which has been unreleased for nearly 8 years, because the Music Business is EVIL.

DMD: What is electronic substance abuse?

FL: Hahaha! Well I’m not sure, I do not like having labels for music, sound is sound and that’s it. But now with all this massification and super communication, music is forced to belong to something, to some kind of style. That label of "Electronic substance abuse" I could have seen it somewhere, I found it curious, unorthodox and even funny so I stopped to think about the meaning and thought it was a good idea to classify my sound within this category, all this beginning with excess of primary sound elements within the composition.

DMD: What are your favourite bands right now? 

FL: Currently I listen to a lot of different things. I really like John Wiese, Carlos Giffoni, Daniel Menche, Nordvarg, Kawabata Makoto and stuff like that. But as well I love raw funk, free jazz, crooning and underground hip hop, things like: EL-P, Company Flow, I enjoy them a lot.

DMD: Before FL, did you play in any other bands?

FL: Yes, many years ago I tried out as a scratcher in my friend’s hip hop band, I also played in a few death metal bands, but nothing came of it. Those were other times, it was more complicated but at the same time it was easier….

You can listen to Felipe's music on bandcamp here


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