The 9th Dock of the Bay International Music Documentary Festival is set to be held in Donostia from the 9th to the 16th, kicking off this year’s cinema with some great screenings.
Some of the competing films are We Like It Like That: The Story of Latin Boogaloo, Mavis!, Rumba tres, de ida y vuelta, Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten Cambodia’s Lost, Sonido Pamplona, The Second Act of Elliot Murphy, La muerte en la Alcarria, Orion: The Man Who Would Be King and Cool Cats.
Here are a couple that we certainly won’t be missing:
To round off the month, much closer to home is the Lurrazpiko Festa, here in San Sebastián in the last weekend of January (29th/30th).
The groups – including our adored Single, Hidrogenesse, C. Tangana and El Coleta – will be playing at the Sala Gazteszena and the Sala Dabadaba. We expect the event will be as brilliantly organised as it has been in previous years and we’ll all have an excellent time.
We’re sure there’s more but remember we’ll be around with more tips every Friday in the social networks.
We’re meeting Colleen, the stage name that provides a front for Cécile Schott, a French musician who has been living in San Sebastian-Donosti for some years now, and with whom we have had the pleasure of turning to for the soundtrack of the videos for the 2015 Autumn/Winter season. Her song ‘Geometría del Universo’ [Geometry of the Universe] is the one that provides the background melody for the images of Mundaka [a fishing village in the Basque Country] where we did the filming. Since 2003, Colleen has issued five albums, with the latest one being Captain of None in Thrill Jockey in 2015.
Making the most of this opportunity, we wanted to find out a little more about her, so we sent our most loquacious reporter to have a quick chat with her.
I get the feeling that together with Iker Spozio you have created a very unique world. A world full of very different influences and slightly distanced from all the rest.
Yes, the truth is that neither Iker nor I feels linked to any one of today’s aesthetic “movements”, but instead we have a very broad range of interests, often ones related to the past: music is my true love, but I’ve always liked the literature and visual arts from more or less far-off continents and eras. So I do think that makes my music difficult to “pigeonhole”: it is both experimental and very melodic at the same time, aspects which are generally considered opposites. I mix old acoustic instruments with electronic effects, and now that I sing, too, I think the result is even more personal. What is certain is that I always follow my deepest desires when I make a new record: I work with recording companies that have never imposed anything on me at artistic level, and as I do everything (compose the music, write the lyrics, play all the instruments, sing, record, do the mixing and produce), the end product is wholly mine.
Talking of influences, I remember a dinner at your home in which we talked about thousands of things, but not a lot about music, and even the music we listened to couldn’t have been further away from your own…
I imagine it was Jamaican music; in fact, my latest album has Jamaican influences, and more specifically Dub, although it’s clear that I never intended to copy a specific genre, but instead include the concepts and tools that I like and admire as a musician and producer: in this case, it’s the use of effects such as delay and echo, the importance of the bass lines, and the creative freedom that are part of Dub music. It is precisely Dub that has in many ways foreshadowed a large part of today’s music, as you can see clearly in the output of producers such as Lee Perry, King Tubby, and so many other lesser known ones. But considering that my main instrument is the viola da gamba, it’s obvious that the end result doesn’t sound anything like Jamaican music, and that’s a blessing, as the masterpieces in this genre have all been created.
Being a musician usually means having to perform in concert. How do you feel about playing live? I see you as being much more at home creating your music in the studio than performing in front of people. Is that the case?
No, that’s not the case! I love performing live, not just because of the pleasure I get from playing in front of an audience and the mental and physical exercise involved in bringing to the stage something that has been created in a studio, but also because I think it’s vital to have direct contact with the people that enable me to live my passion– I’m very grateful to them. If anyone reading this would like to have some idea of what my performances are like, they should watch this session I recorded for KEXP in June this year, during my US tour.
For the video showcasing our new collection, we needed music that would go well with a wintery, seaside setting, somewhere on the Basque Coast. The result was that after mulling it over for a bit, we thought of you, and realised that some of your songs fitted in with the message we wanted to convey. Is there any link between your music and the sea?
I really love the sea, and there’s no doubt that moving to San Sebastian-Donosti after living in Paris for 11 years has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. The sea has a calming effect on me and I’m falling more and more in love with nature; for the past few years now I’ve been captivated by the world of birds, so I’m always wandering around with my binoculars, as you never know when an interesting bird is likely to pop up. Donosti and the Basque Country as a whole are incredible places in terms of the variety of habitats they contain, and it’s a real treat for me to live somewhere where there are so many places to go and recharge your batteries. So in that sense, nature and the sea help me to focus on my creative process, and they even have an influence on some of my lyrics – and my latest album actually has a track inspired by the lighthouse on Mount Igeldo, which is called “Lighthouse”!
Well, to finish I’d like to thank you for providing the soundtrack to the images of Mundaka and the Basque Coast. Speaking for ourselves, we are absolutely thrilled with the end result. We hope you like it, too. A big hug and thank you.