Search Results for: from the desk of Amor De Días

From The Desk Of Amor De Días’ Lupe Núñez-Fernández: Eliane Radigue’s “Kyema, Intermediate States”

Amor de Días—the duo of Alasdair Maclean (Clientele) and Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas)—just released debut album Street Of The Love Of Days via Merge. (Those of you who speak Spanish know that the band’s moniker translates to “love of days,” hence the album title.) Maclean and Núñez-Fernández worked on the 15-track LP for more than three years, and it features guest spots by the likes of Louis Philippe, Damon & Naomi, Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor) and Danny Manners. Maclean and Núñez-Fernández will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

Núñez-Fernández: I think it was through Ubuweb that I came across Eliane Radigue‘s music a few years ago, and since then, she’s become one of my favorite composers, someone I come to again and again. In the ’50s, she studied electroacoustic techniques under Pierre Shaeffer, the founder of musique concrète, and then in the 60s, she was Pierre Henry’s assistant, developing her own style slowly but steadily while raising her three children with Arman. Then in the mid-’70s, she took a few years off music when she converted to Tibetan Buddhism, but her guru sent her back to it and she started making a large-scale cycle of works based on the life of 11th-century Tibetan master Milarepa. These days, she’s still composing and studying the teachings of the Tibetan lamas. 1992’s Kyema, Intermediate States, a layered synthesized drones piece, is from a trilogy inspired by The Tibetan Book Of The Dead. The word “kyema” in Tibetan refers to a state of surprise mixed with sorrow; for me, all her work suggests an uncanny sense of transformation. I’m looking forward to this festival of her work in London when we come back from tour.

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From The Desk Of Amor De Días’ Alasdair Maclean: King Soly

Amor de Días—the duo of Alasdair Maclean (Clientele) and Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas)—just released debut album Street Of The Love Of Days via Merge. (Those of you who speak Spanish know that the band’s moniker translates to “love of days,” hence the album title.) Maclean and Núñez-Fernández worked on the 15-track LP for more than three years, and it features guest spots by the likes of Louis Philippe, Damon & Naomi, Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor) and Danny Manners. Maclean and Núñez-Fernández will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

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Maclean: Dubstep is probably the most talked about British electronic music style of the last decade, to the extent that it’s on the verge of becoming a joke here in the U.K. It’s pretty much everywhere. People chuckle as they tell tales of their clueless mates who were in nu-metal bands and are now “dubstep producers.” This is exactly the moment, eight years too late, that people like me prick their ears up and get interested. Funnily enough, back in my youth, as well as listening to dusty records from the ’60s, I liked drum ‘n’ bass records by people like Ray Keith and Dead Dred, who, as I understand it, are now seen as the fathers of dubstep. Out of the people I’ve heard, Burial is great, but my favourite is King Soly. “Tamil Dub” and “Wicked King Of Persia” are wonderful tracks. The cheesy dialogue samples get on my nerves a bit, but the sheer, slow heaviness and the space is extraordinary. It’s my tip for the top (eight years too late).

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From The Desk Of Amor De Días’ Lupe Núñez-Fernández: “The Natural History Of Selborne”

Amor de Días—the duo of Alasdair Maclean (Clientele) and Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas)—just released debut album Street Of The Love Of Days via Merge. (Those of you who speak Spanish know that the band’s moniker translates to “love of days,” hence the album title.) Maclean and Núñez-Fernández worked on the 15-track LP for more than three years, and it features guest spots by the likes of Louis Philippe, Damon & Naomi, Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor) and Danny Manners. Maclean and Núñez-Fernández will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

Núñez-Fernández: I first learned of Gilbert White through Alasdair, who took me to White’s house in Hampshire a few years ago. The Natural History Of Selborne, his most famous work, is an account of his daily observations of the happenings in his backyard, which sort of set the foundations for the work of modern naturalists everywhere. His use of the scientific method helped dispel myths and beliefs around plant and animal life. But even if you’re not a gardener, there is something really pleasurable and inspiring about his prose and the things he selects to write about, an inherent enveloping rhythm like the kind you can find in earlier “books of days.” “Today the swallows came back to the hedgerow”; “there was a pheasant in the zig-zag path this afternoon”; “men cut their meadows.” Day by day, year by year, season after season, this is a record of a life quietly spent marveling and in awe of the experimental potential of everyday actions. (Never mind the soundness of some of his attempts, like growing watermelons in England or timing how long his poor tortoise Timothy could stand under water.) Even if just passing through London, a visit to his Selborne orchard is well worth a detour.

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From The Desk Of Amor De Días’ Alasdair Maclean: Hares

Amor de Días—the duo of Alasdair Maclean (Clientele) and Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas)—just released debut album Street Of The Love Of Days via Merge. (Those of you who speak Spanish know that the band’s moniker translates to “love of days,” hence the album title.) Maclean and Núñez-Fernández worked on the 15-track LP for more than three years, and it features guest spots by the likes of Louis Philippe, Damon & Naomi, Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor) and Danny Manners. Maclean and Núñez-Fernández will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

Maclean: We had one of those real moments of tension in a bar recently: Two friends were drunkenly arguing over whether hares could change sex. It almost ended in dueling handbags, but the crisis was uneasily defused. As a precaution against this ever happening again, I decided to read up on hares. As far as I’m aware, I’ve never knowingly seen one. I knew that they were somehow linked to the moon and appeared in myths and legends, often as a “trickster” figure, often as a companion to witches. But beyond this, I realised, these graceful creatures were a mystery to me. A friend generously leant me The Leaping Hare by George Ewart Evans and David Thompson (a compendium of facts on every aspect of the hare, from mythology to zoology, written in the 1970s, which I can definitely recommend to any hare-curious readers) and from this I learned:

1. No, of course, hares cannot change sex, although it was a widely held folk belief that they could.
2. Unlike rabbits, they’re not good to eat at all. Their flesh is oily, dark and stringy.
3. In olden times, if a fisherman in Scotland was baiting his line, it was bad luck to even mention a hare. To see one was a disaster; the skipper would refuse to leave port.
4. In Renaissance painting, hares were used as a kind of nudge-nudge visual symbol for the female sexual organs.
5. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Celts all saw the hare as a sacred or magical animal.

And that’s only five things I learnt. I’m relieved to say I can now defuse pretty much any hare-based arguments that break out.

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From The Desk Of Amor De Días’ Lupe Núñez-Fernández: Early Footage Of Bridget St. John From May 1970 In Paris

Amor de Días—the duo of Alasdair Maclean (Clientele) and Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas)—just released debut album Street Of The Love Of Days via Merge. (Those of you who speak Spanish know that the band’s moniker translates to “love of days,” hence the album title.) Maclean and Núñez-Fernández worked on the 15-track LP for more than three years, and it features guest spots by the likes of Louis Philippe, Damon & Naomi, Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor) and Danny Manners. Maclean and Núñez-Fernández will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

Núñez-Fernández: I got to see Bridget St. John at Chickfactor‘s Mon Gala Papillon festival in London and was captivated not just by her voice and performance, but also by her stage presence, so hypnotic and intuitive. Thirty-five years ago, John Peel, who released her first three albums on his Dandelion label, described her as “the best lady singer/songwriter in the country,” and I can only agree with that. Watching this early footage from 1970 and listening to her BBC sessions from 1968-1976 reminds me once again why she’s become one of my musical heroes.

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From The Desk Of Amor De Días’ Alasdair Maclean: Yuri Norstein’s “Seasons”

Amor de Días—the duo of Alasdair Maclean (Clientele) and Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas)—just released debut album Street Of The Love Of Days via Merge. (Those of you who speak Spanish know that the band’s moniker translates to “love of days,” hence the album title.) Maclean and Núñez-Fernández worked on the 15-track LP for more than three years, and it features guest spots by the likes of Louis Philippe, Damon & Naomi, Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor) and Danny Manners. Maclean and Núñez-Fernández will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

Maclean: People of my generation have an image of the Soviet Bloc as a glum, Stasi-haunted tundra, where depressed housewives queue hopelessly for cabbages. In fact, as friends of mine from the former East Berlin tell me, murderous tyrants, torture and gulags aside, there were some pretty progressive aspects to Soviet society. According to the fascinating Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation by Alexei Yurchak, people felt a widespread, unironic desire to do their civic duty and give to society as a whole (something almost totally foreign to us). They perfected the art of recycling and would have been appalled at the waste we produce. And then there’s Soviet stop-motion animation. A few years ago, Lupe introduced me to a series of DVDs called Masters Of Russian Animation. The ones I’ve seen are all great. But my favourite Russian animator is called Yuri Norstein. He’s still alive and has been making an animated version of Nikolai Gogol’s The Overcoat since 1981. That’s 30 years on one animation. Tale Of Tales (1979) is his most famous work, but the one I want you to see is called Seasons, which he made in collaboration with I. Ivanov Vano. It’s set to an extraordinary, spooky recitation of “October” and “November” from Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons. The moment where the two riders part and one drifts downhill and into the mist of the forest gives me the chills.

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From The Desk Of Amor De Días’ Lupe Núñez-Fernández: Comet Gain’s “Howl Of The Lonely Crowd”

Amor de Días—the duo of Alasdair Maclean (Clientele) and Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas)—just released debut album Street Of The Love Of Days via Merge. (Those of you who speak Spanish know that the band’s moniker translates to “love of days,” hence the album title.) Maclean and Núñez-Fernández worked on the 15-track LP for more than three years, and it features guest spots by the likes of Louis Philippe, Damon & Naomi, Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor) and Danny Manners. Maclean and Núñez-Fernández will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

Núñez-Fernández: I’ve been a huge Comet Gain fan for as long as I can remember. I think David is an amazing songwriter, I’m forever in awe of Rachel’s singing, and you can’t beat seeing the whole band doing their thing live. To me, they are the spirit of collective diy. My first band, Pipas, was definitely inspired by them. One of my favorite things about living in London has always been being able to go to their shows, so imagine my excitement when I got to see them in the studio last year working on their new album and getting to sing “oooohs” and “aahs” on a couple of their songs. Maybe I’m partial, but I think it’s their best yet. They are still completely unparalleled. Their music will save us.

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From The Desk Of Amor De Días’ Alasdair Maclean: The Mystic Chord

Amor de Días—the duo of Alasdair Maclean (Clientele) and Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas)—just released debut album Street Of The Love Of Days via Merge. (Those of you who speak Spanish know that the band’s moniker translates to “love of days,” hence the album title.) Maclean and Núñez-Fernández worked on the 15-track LP for more than three years, and it features guest spots by the likes of Louis Philippe, Damon & Naomi, Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor) and Danny Manners. Maclean and Núñez-Fernández will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

Maclean: Classical composers have rock musicians beat when it comes to lunatic delusions. I’m thinking of Erik Satie, who composed a 14-hour piano piece consisting of one short, eerily harmonised piano figure repeated 840 times (“Vexations”) and told his musicians to play “with shame.” Or Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, who believed he had invented a mystic chord. The idea of the mystic chord is great in principle. It’s a chord that suddenly makes everything unclear clear. In Scriabin’s words, it “was designed to afford instant apprehension of—that is, to reveal—what was in essence beyond the mind of man to conceptualize … an intimation of a hidden otherness.” Scriabin thought this chord was made up of the following notes (assuming you’re playing it in the key of C): C, D, E, F sharp, A, B flat and C. If you play it on a piano, it sounds vaguely horror movie soundtrack-ish. It doesn’t intimate a hidden otherness, I’m afraid. Not to me, anyway. Even if Scriabin’s chord doesn’t do it for me, I do like the idea that there is a hidden mystic chord out there somewhere. That at some point, during a gig or a recital or just when three people in the street are whistling at the same time, someone will hit a wrong note and the chord will accidentally be articulated. And at that moment, everything beyond will suddenly come into focus, and we’ll take off our hats as if we’re in church.

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From The Desk Of Amor De Días’ Lupe Núñez-Fernández: Peter Watkins’ “Edvard Munch”

Amor de Días—the duo of Alasdair Maclean (Clientele) and Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas)—just released debut album Street Of The Love Of Days via Merge. (Those of you who speak Spanish know that the band’s moniker translates to “love of days,” hence the album title.) Maclean and Núñez-Fernández worked on the 15-track LP for more than three years, and it features guest spots by the likes of Louis Philippe, Damon & Naomi, Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor) and Danny Manners. Maclean and Núñez-Fernández will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

Núñez-Fernández: I love films about art and artists, and this quasi-documentary-style telling of Munch‘s life might be my favorite. There is something really haunting about the way Peter Watkins meshes layers of reverie-like scenes repeatedly, like unforgettable memories, over an anonymous voiceover narration guiding us through the facts of Munch’s life. You catch glimpses into the vivid, present trauma behind his work, and the result is a picture as profound and enveloping as his paintings. I love the collaborative method behind Watkins’ filmmaking; the script was collectively edited, and he chose to use untrained actors to reenact the lives of Munch and his circle. The film is so rich and so beautiful, it took me three days to watch it last year. This scene is set at The Black Pig, a cafe in Berlin where Munch and contemporaries such as Strindberg met to drink and discuss politics, religion, art and sex. What else.

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From The Desk Of Amor De Días’ Alasdair Maclean: Liam Hayes And Plush

Amor de Días—the duo of Alasdair Maclean (Clientele) and Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas)—just released debut album Street Of The Love Of Days via Merge. (Those of you who speak Spanish know that the band’s moniker translates to “love of days,” hence the album title.) Maclean and Núñez-Fernández worked on the 15-track LP for more than three years, and it features guest spots by the likes of Louis Philippe, Damon & Naomi, Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor) and Danny Manners. Maclean and Núñez-Fernández will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

Maclean: Liam Hayes is a hero of American music. But U.S. critics just don’t seem to get him. He’s far more celebrated in the U.K., but even there he doesn’t have the audience he deserves. Hayes’ music unravels in consistently unpredictable ways; think vintage Paul McCartney or Brian Wilson. People say the genius chess player Bobby Fischer had a method of extraordinary purity and simplicity—but that you only realised it after he’d made his moves. Liam’s songs are dazzling like that. Gorgeous, unexpected harmonic progressions and resolutions, beautiful textural arrangements. “Found A Little Baby” is my favourite song, but Bright Penny, the latest album, is also a classic. He’s been a huge inspiration to me for nearly a decade.

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