For me making music has always been about finding hidden lumps of pain, lighting fire to them and watching them disperse into the ether…
WEIGHTLESS/SINKING is the sonic representation of one of the most confusing periods of my life: I was simultaneously getting to grips with how much I had suffered from / attempted to forget the fact that one of my parents is a double cancer survivor, helping my family move out of my childhood home and trying to find my place in the mind-boggling metropolis that is London. I thought that the paradox of feeling like I was weightless yet at the same time sinking perfectly described the emotional soup I was in.
(I’m) a sparrow’s feather
on a lake: weightless/sinking
Listen to the EP while reading the text.
A bit about myself
I was born and raised in a village in the mountains near Madrid, in Spain, surrounded by nature, instruments, musicians, recording studios and a crazy mixture of Joao Gilberto, The Beatles, Elliott Smith, Radiohead, and Bjork. I studied classical guitar at a conservatoire for 10 years before moving to the UK to study Philosophy in Leeds, but after two years realized that I wasn’t making as much music as I needed to and ended up moving down to London where I’m currently in my third year of studying a course called Electronic Music Composition. Although I’d already ventured briefly into electronics, moving to the UK brought me face to face with the intensity of club music, and I began to distance myself from my acoustic roots and ended up spending two years making 4 to the floor Techno.
I reached a point some 9 months ago where, although I couldn’t stand making only repetitive, functional music anymore, I felt like there was such a gigantic gap between my roots and the new world I’d discovered that I would have to renounce to everything I’d learned in terms of electronic production in order to return to full-on song-writing. I remember thinking that James Blake had it easy because if you’ve studied classical piano, you can just grab a synth and fuse songwriting with electronics, but that classical guitar has no way into it. At around the same time I had decided to attend a group therapy retreat back home together with some close friends, and on my way there I was going through tons of old wav files just trying to get a sense of what I’d done during my first year in London. I had this really intense moment where I realised that although my musical output had become very eclectic (from a voice note of me fiddling on the guitar to an experimental electronic piece) there was a common feeling that ran through it all – a sort of consistency that made me think that I might actually be able to blend both worlds together into a paste that fully represented my experience without sounding too heterogeneous…
When I arrived at the retreat, surrounded by people who were trying to destroy conventions and discover what really mattered in their lives, I discovered that what makes me happiest is creating music that sincerely acknowledges my feelings. After the summer that followed, at the end of which I watched the contents of my childhood home being organized and packed into boxes, I was back in London and ready to start trying to unify my two worlds: the bodily electronics and the emotional songwriting and classical guitar. It was a complex process as I had absolutely no reference to follow and I was convinced that no one would get what I was trying to do, that it would just sound like a horrible cross-over… So I was wonderfully surprised and happy when people around me connected with it and understood what I was trying to make!
A bit about each track
In Shield, I’m exploring the armor that I think I’ve built around myself in order to fend off the uncomfortable notion that my mother went through cancer twice. This is something that I have hidden from everyone around me for a very long time and only recently started talking about with my closest friends. Throughout the song I’m exploring the sensations I’ve wanted to ignore: using the metaphor of sinking into a sort of liquid mud, I try to recreate the feeling of noticing pain and fear that inexorably creep up to smother me. I remember that I spent a lot of time on my phone during the period when I first found out about her illness, so I then mention how “the light from my phone numbs my weary eyes (…).” Towards the middle of the song I arrive at the realization that the only thing I can do is accept what life has given me and that “my shield is (after all) just a piece of metal”… I then imagine that this truth I’m now looking at is a gigantic orb of heat: “my armor lies in heaps of twisted meat, scorched in the heat coming off of this uncomfortable truth”…
In Dripping Slowly I’m describing how frustrating it is to fall back into vices that I’m trying to get away from: I talk about how I feel like a disgusting liquid that drips slowly into a sort of plastic container in which I’m surrounded by countless versions of my earlier selves – all of which have fallen here before me. There I solemnly swear that I’ll stay away, even though I know for sure that it won’t be long before I’m back…
Weightless/Sinking is a kind of weird surrealist scene where I envision that my future dead self is hanging in the form of a bunch of bones from these weird strings, rattling in the wind and trying to talk to my present self. My present self is, in turn, ignoring its whispers because it thinks that death is something from another planet. My future self is desperately trying to tell me that life isn’t about running everywhere in a hurry trying to make the best decisions and that I should stop constantly thinking about what I’m missing because I’ll regret not having appreciated what I had once I’m dead. I then describe how my present self is governed by two characters: The Preacher and The Judge, whose feet are wedged into my brain and whose ears are resting on my chest, respectively. This last part I guess relates to the anxiety of constantly monitoring yourself in search of defects.
C/Cesáreo Pontón, 18 is the address of the home in the countryside where I grew up. It’s a farewell song that I wrote after putting all the objects in my room into cardboard boxes and seeing it bare for the first time in my life. The song is directed at the sunlight that shines on the house throughout the year: I’m asking it to hold me, if only for a little while, because I’ve been in the arms of a strange, far away world (London). “Tell me that I’ll be OK even if from now on this house is only existing in my memories,” I plead.
All in all, this EP is a dive into how I’ve been feeling this past year: the ups, the downs, the nervousness, the calm… I only hope that you enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed making it!