Laura Luna Castillo

Laura Luna Castillo

Laura Luna Castillo is attracted to images. The photographic, the cinematographic, but especially the sound ones. He began working with a still image, but it was soon revealed to be limiting; Then he went to the movies, short films and there, by combining effects and music in the stories he wanted to capture, he understood that “through music, you can also generate powerful atmospheres that turn out to be cinematographic by themselves.”

“I started,” he says, “with field recordings and then manipulated the recordings digitally. Since then, my sound practice has evolved into the use of a combination of diverse elements to produce hybrid sound pieces. Currently I mix different electronic and experimental methods, such as live coding  (use of interactive programming as an improvisation) or the use of sensors and motors to generate electroacoustic sounds”.

The sound work of the one born in Puebla has been settled in three albums (none of them published on a label of this country) and has its genesis in the mechanisms of memories, imagination and perception. It is a project in which memory produces a spark and from it begins a process in which a composition is generated-built around it: it is a procedure of birth. There are sounds that work as detonators and that remain persistently – although not always in the foreground – throughout each cut (“Ennui Hours”, “Nor Slumber No Sleep”) and that could serve as a “reference”, a hold in the middle of abstraction; but the whole is a treatment that gradually involves; It is to play a bit like minimalism and its imperceptible changes.

Sometimes there are issues that despite their initial turbidity (“Auroras”) later become tremendously clear and others are like small vignettes or, better, tiny impressions (“Simulacra”), some in which the voice is the axis (” Wasteland ”).

For Luna Castillo “imagination, memories and our perception are interwoven through our experiences and are, at the same time, the main components of our identities; They are pillar elements of our human condition. But all these elements are also elusive, ambiguous and intangible. These paradoxes are the ones that I find interesting, because in a way, the reality that each individual experiences and builds is a ‘virtual reality’, since it is malleable, changing and can be explored from different temporalities and paradigms ”.

Luna Castillo’s record debut was with Isolarios (Bava Vanga, 2014), which was followed by Laminares (Genot Center, 2018) and the recent Folksonomies (Cudighi Records, 2019). In each of them the compositions function as chapters of a “great” narrative.

 

Isolarios – he points out – has as a source of inspiration various mental states that develop on a deeply individual and alienating level, since there is no way to share these experiences; Each person is totally alone in front of them. The word ‘isolars’ just refers us to representations of islands, to a microcosm in isolation. Each song reflects a mental state and contradictory feelings of fear and anxiety along with illusions, dreams and positive feelings. Many of these mental states were inspired by stories of science fiction and magical realism, stories of lost cosmonauts and expeditions with no return. ”

Laminar, meanwhile, is more subtle? in its construction. Although the enveloping process is maintained, since the album starts with “Mokstraumen” the development is more delicate; the sounds that give it life are dimmer, they are articulated in layers and even there are visions of the electronic old school (“Anik I”, “Extrasolar”), placid passages (“The Veldt”) and mysterious tones as in the collaboration with Teresa Klonorová (“Skafandrem”) who take “as inspiration scales and temporalities that go beyond the human, hyperojets that move slowly and have massive changes that seem imperceptible, such as the processes of geological formation and astronomical events” .

Folksonomies, Laura Luna Castillo’s most recent recording, portrays her stranded in the ocean. As in its previous plate, the technique has continuity, although the sounds are different and therefore produce different atmospheres, new sensations. The combination of serious sounds, such as distant laments, with others that seem fleeting bird voices, creates an atmosphere of desolation, of helplessness (“I See but Say Nothing”); Sometimes, music places us in sacred precincts (“Ataris Bellum”), but as the sound universe changes continuously, the impression is that images also change and create beautiful but strange atmospheres that are closer to contemporary music.

 

The aquatic tone of Folksonomies is not turbulent, on the contrary, here the currents flow peacefully, but they take us from one space to another, they travel from region to region and the mutations are almost imperceptible; It is like getting on a boat and getting carried away by the current and always finding new views along the way, all of them calm, calm, rested and where occasionally the saturation of sounds becomes a distracting element that regularly ends up dejected by the Serenity at all.

Folksonomies, says the author, is “an album that follows a story of characters, feelings and universal databases. The title refers to an index created by multiple sources, especially that of hyperlinks, generated through the internet, through the participation of thousands of users, both human and virtual, that are generating a knowledge fabric without beginning and without end, without hierarchies and without concrete and conclusive definitions ”.

As references, Laura Luna’s music works in a line similar to that established by The Caretaker, although in my opinion it is less obsessive than this one. Finally, the woman who, in addition to the works mentioned, has different compositions disseminated in anthologies or compilations (one of them is the song “Cepheid Variables”, produced for Longform Editions, label focused on the launch of long-lasting musical pieces) , he concludes with a statement in which he establishes his vision about his work environment: “The current scene within electronic music, in its different variants and subcultures, has generated a large number of communities in which experimentation, solidarity and the need to generate changes within our society are reflected. Electronic music is also generating platforms where you can discuss different social and political concerns. I consider myself an example and a result of these solidarity practices, because thanks to this inclusion, I have been able to start and continue with my solo project with total creative freedom”.