Aurora Halal – “Electric Lights - Women in Electronic Music”

Aurora Halal: Poseidon. Witch. Angel

Aurora Halal (Photo: Katja Ruge)

This Brooklyn-based producer and video artist has established herself in the last few years as one of the primary innovators of techno music. From her party series „Mutual Dreaming“ to Berghain and major festivals like Primavera Sound and Unsound she introduces people to her very own, significantly shadow filled landscape – or as she says herself: „Darkness feels light to me, makes me feel good.“
Working with Daniel Martin-McCormick, Aurora Halal hosts Sustain-Release, a weekender happening that is so much more than just another festival for the electronic music scene of North America.

Aurora, what do you hope to find in music? Both your own and other people’s?
Music is one of the strongest portals into the life force that I am aware of. It has a unique quality of conveying emotion and I’m always surprised by the fact that repetitive or melodic sounds are transformed by our brains into this joyful, or stressful (“turn it off now!”) feeling, and it´s so specific to the person what wavelength works for them. It´s sort of a bizarre alchemy, isn’t it?
I guess for me, my wavelength that I go for when playing music is something with a tender emotional element, combined with an exciting tension or darkness. Darkness feels light to me, makes me feel good.
But for me as a fan dancing at clubs, it´s a lot different and more diverse. Some of my favorite DJs play very bright music. I’m very open to all kinds of music as long as it feels authentic and like something real is being communicated to me, and I can relax into it and take a ride.

What do you prefer, the secluded studio process or working in front of an audience?
For the last two years I’ve had a long phase of presenting my music mostly in the live space, and creating parties as my main form of expression. I’ve been thriving off that energy, and basically avoiding my studio because I don’t have a lot of time or focus and it’s hard to switch modes. But lately I’ve missed my private studio world a lot and am now back in the mood for it and enjoy the feeling that no one is watching. I like to follow my phases and not question them too much.

What is your ideal space/place to listen to music?
In my bedroom through nice monitors, and on headphones while biking. When I’m home I do this all day long and get lost in it.

Do you see a connection between your femininity and your work?
I have always felt a strong animus in myself, which is the Jungian idea of the unconscious male or female counterparts within each person. I never identified strongly with my femininity, and its honestly strange to often get questions like this because being a woman is not at all in my mind while doing my activities. I feel like Poseidon when I play at Berghain, and I guess that’s male. Other times, I’m a witch or an angel.

Aurora, thanks so much for sharing this with us.

This interview with Aurora Halal is part of the ongoing photo-project “Electric Lights – Women in Electronic Music” by Hamburg based photographer Katja Ruge and Kaput co-publisher Thomas Venker focused on the role of women in electronic music. Each photoshoot is accompanied by a short interview, based on a personalised questionnaire. The interviews will be published on the kaput website on a monthly basis, before finding their way into a book.

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