Lucrecia Dalt – Interview

Lucrecia Dalt: “The fear of not making this a sustainable career has returned due to corona”

Lucrecia Dalt (Photo: Camille Blake)

When Lucrecia Dalt made her RVNG Intl. debut three years ago with „Anticlines“, she was already an established artists with more than ten years of experience and five records on her back. But yet she never made it into the brighter spotlights. This definitely changed over the last 36 months, finally people understand the very subtile defined artistic language of her, the ability to listen carefully to the world around her and come up with new and challenging sound creations based on the environment as much as social interaction. Lucrecia Dalt just released a new body of work named „No era sólida“ on RVNG Intl. and gonna play  – against all Corona odds – some shows in Europe in the upcoming weeks. 

Lucrecia Dalt in conversation with Thomas Venker

Lucrecia, you are recently back on stage after a long Corona break from performances. What does standing on a stage mean for you as an artist in general? And in this specific situation now? How did you experienced the performances so far? Do you feel they are different from before Corona came into our lives – for you as well as for the audience?
That idea has slightly transform after corona, very definitely, in general for me standing on stage means engaging in the most active and energetically intense way I can, it means to self-induce a state of ecstasy, it means to have a rare opportunity to make a space resonate with my output and make that touch an audience.
I have performed twice after corona and those feelings are more intense, with the addition to have an almost-high-like experience by seeing people gathering together.

Lucrecia Dalt (Photo: Camille Blake)

Do you prefer in general one artistic outlet to the other: writing & producing new music versus performing the music?I really enjoy both, and they are both completely different experiences to me.

Do you remember the first concert you ever went to? What do you remember?While I was still living in Colombia, the concerts I went to seemed to have a lower impact in me, just cause it was music I wasn’t so passionate about during that time, it was more what was accessible that usually was pretty mainstream stuff, or whatever the local scene was into.
So let’s say the western idea of going to see your idols at teenage age wasn’t a possibility for me until I moved to Europe in 2005.  I remember going to a festival in Barcelona and being in a constant brain revolt just out of seeing for the first time in my life so many great performances, so I cannot think of one specific.

Are there other artists out there who you consider influences?
Oh yes, so many, one german artist that have been consistently influencing what I do is Asmus Tietchens, then, Maryanne Amacher, Eliane Radigue is giving me a lot of thought lately, specially in her way of thinking about sound and composition. I recently got a book called „Intermediary spaces“ put together by Julia Eckhardt, can’t get enough of that book. I’m also very inspired by sharing ideas with musician friends, Felix Kubin for instance is one of those, we’ve been calling each other on phone calls that last for a couple of hours every now and then for the past four years, it’s always a bomb of inspiration.

Before talking about your new super beautiful album „No era sólida“, lets go back a bit in time: You already had released five records before you reached with „Anticlines“, your debut record for RVNG Intl., a wider audience. Are you able to describe what came together at that time for your artistically and also by meeting these new group of people around you?
Before RVNG I kept myself busy working the same way I work now at a lower scale, and I had three fantastic labels supporting my work: Care Of Editions, Other People and Human Ear Music. It was a time as well where fear of not knowing how to make this a sustainable career was more present in the every day, as I say this now, this fear has returned due to corona, we still don’t know if “careers” like mine would be sustainable in the long term, but, against all odds here we are.

Lucrecia, your music is not an one dimensional approach, you combine with it field recordings, avantgardistic soundscapes and a very emotional personal musical landscapes. On paper this sounds like an unchallenging mission in its diversity of aesthetics – how do you experience the process of working on it?
Yes, I see what you mean, it’s frustrating at times to see this structural problem in our society, of how little fields and professions intertwine and influence each other, how little you see crossings between genres, I really don’t get it, it’s actually such a pleasure to combine the oddest of influences and sources and see them harmonise. In my process of making “No era sólida”, I came across a text by Maryanne Amacher, that I took almost as a blessing of approval, she said „I don’t think in the future there will be such a split between forms of pop music and alternative music. If art music continues, maybe the only distinction will be that people doing art music might design worlds that somehow are more specialised or exotic or even have watermarks because music no longer will be made for millions“

Lucrecia Dalt (Photo: Camille Blake)

I saw you quite often perform over the last years – and each performance was absolutely new.
At Alte Feuerwehrwache in Cologne you gave a workshop and played your material from „Anticlines“ quite one to one to explain the students and audience the processes behind it.
At Pavelló Mies van der Rohe in Barcelona you staged – as part of Sonar Festival 2019 and as a quite drastic contrast to the regular programming – a highly artistic and engagingly beautiful ballett with two handful of protagonists at the pavello.
And at this years CTM Festival I walked very touched through your sound installation within the Botanic Garden.
This wide spectre of live happenings, is this result of our artistic restlessness or do you think as an artist these days one has to bring new ideas all the time to the stage to keep things significant for the media as well as the bookers and the audience?
That’s unfortunately a consequence of marketing, give me an „exclusive“ „the never seen before“, and well, I guess we as artist have to find a limit in our capacity reacting to those expectations, but I do love the challenge of adjusting to new formats, and I think I am going more and more towards what could be called „experiential sound happenings“, I enjoy very much working withs spaces, with multichannel, but not for the technology itself but for having the capacity to build very contextualized narratives to those spaces, to create something that stays a bit longer than a concert, something that challenges the subjectivity of the person experiencing it

Can you name the starting point for the production for your new album „No era sólida“?
Yes, the first piece I made was “Seca”, it came in a moment after having performed Anticlines for a while in which I thought, how can I free up my voice, so I thought of artists like Ghedalia Tazartes and built a set of processing patches for my voice, I have to say that I felt a chill after doing that, and I thought, ok this has to be the premise of my new album, I prepare the technical in such a way that doesn’t become an interference, thereafter I use those tools to allow my voice to be as free as possible.

I do not speak Spanish and by that I do not get (at least without research) the explicit narrative of them – but still I feel invited by those mystery sound worlds, mostly cause they make me very curious. Do you think there are different classes of listeners or your music, separated by their ability to understand the lyrics or not?
There’s only spanish in the last piece “No era sólida”, the rest are what I call glossolalia, and I am loving the effect now that this music starts to be out there, I have received multiple requests already for the lyrics of “Disuelta”, even google created their own. When i was making the album I also came across a quote by Irena Klepfisz in Gloria Anzalduas book that says „and our tongues have become dry, the wilderness has dried out our tongues and we have forgotten speech“, not using language was a very liberating approach to me.

Lucrecia Dalt (Photo: Camille Blake)

To me the title of the album, „No era sólida“, perfectly opens the dialogue with the flowing character of the album – but it also works in relationship with the individual songs, whose are marked by a chamber play setting; each of them represents a world in its own, positioned in the neighborhood of each other.
Do you have a geographic map in mind for the album? Is there are territory all songs share – and how does it look to you?
The common territory is what I explained before, extreme freedom in instant delivery, but yeah, I guess what you call a map, I see it as an abstract entity that starts to gain force and make sense on its own, so I named her Lia.

You are originally from Colombia but living in Berlin for some years. I am sure with all the dramatic Corona happenings in South America it must feel especially weird for you these days to be so far away from family and friends. We were so used to the positive effects of globalisation (not going into the negative ones here…), like to be enabled to be in one minute here and one minute there and by that to be able to cultivate our lives with a network over multiple continents. And now we are mostly in digital conference rooms and experiences quite drastic different levels of Corona all over the world. What are your feeling regards this?
I’m still processing how to feel about this, the truth is, every-time I talk to my parents, I cry for two hours, not only to know the real struggle that’s happening in my country, and the grey grey future that there is, and in many for that matter, but knowing how divided I feel now, how my identity is collapsing, but i am in that process, being aware that I am in the best possible place I could be, trying to find meaning in my community of friends and new family acquired around here and in what I do.

You are scheduled to play on 4th of November in Cologne at Philharmonie. What are you able to share ab out this performance?
Not much yet, but I am really looking forward to occupying that space with my music, it’s a unique opportunity!

Anything else you are really looking forward within the remaining weeks of 2020?
Yes, many things, the positive aspect of corona is that I have become more perceptive, and I have outlined a plan of voice studies that I will eventually share with the world.


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Herausgeber & Chefredaktion:
Thomas Venker & Linus Volkmann
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