Part of the Work / Part of the Art: The Homecoming Concert

Interview with Guillermo Escudero
LOOP ( 2001
I think that "The Homecoming Concert" album is a deconstruction of classical music, especially because of the strings sections that really sound like a big orchestra. How did you develop the idea of deconstruction?
For me, lamé gold is concentrated not on classical music but on strings especially. One might say that lamé gold is a deconstruction of strings, but I prefer that lamé gold's music is thinking about the unique nature and essence of the sound of strings and how these strings are working and: how the sound of strings is working, which simply means: what the sound of the strings does [or: can do] to the listener while one is listening.
Maybe this approach only differs slightly from making a deconstruction of the sound and the work of strings, but I think there is a difference and I would describe this difference: that lamé gold's way of "thinking" about strings is less theoretically or obviouslsy theoretic but bound with and hidden inside the subject it is thinking about. Which means: lamé gold is making a certain kind of music and at the same time thinks about this kind of music and the way it is made.
In other terms: it's more Michael Mann than Jean Luc Godard. A Michael Mann-Film is always a MOVIE, but one which lets you see very behind the screen if you like. Up to that point where there is more than meets the eye. Of course there is the danger of overviewing the latter and: overhearing this approach in lamé gold's music, but - of course - this is a very interesting and exciting danger.
Do the musical ideas are based on classical pieces? Which are the authors you are influenced by?
No. Both, the music and the musical ideas are not based on classical music. Which means: the sources for both CDs are non-classical-recordings, my ideas are not taken from classical composers and: lamé gold is not concentrated on classical music. lamé gold 's music reduced are these two questions: What happens emotionally when the strings start to play? and: Why does this happen?
Of course, the use of strings in pop-music today and the last 3, 4 decades as well as its use in soundtracks or music composed for solemn occasions have their obvious connections to classical, romantic or impressionistic music, but I am not interested in these connections but in the emotinal richness, strength and effect of the sound of strings. Which in the end means that there is a kind of warning inside and behind lamé gold's music: beware of the strings! (because they're not here without reason)
If you are looking for influences than you are surely find some in impressionistic and romantic music, but alway bound in (sometimes open) loops and and a stricter and easier metric system than these music had. I do not think about these influences very often but if I have to and if I accept connections to impressionistic and romantic music than I would say: it is more George Martin than Debussy and Schumann
Track number two of "The Homecoming Concert" it's slightly different from track thirteen but with a very similar loop based melody. I understand that by repetition of the same musical elements, new atmospheres and sounds can be created. Do you agree?
There are a lot of connections between the Homecoming-Tracks because the whole Concert is made out of a collection of not more than thirty loops, and some of them are only pitched versions of other loops. These Loops were no pure or cutted samples from other recordings but edited and processed (sometimes through a lot of steps) pieces I made before. The concentration on these thirty loops which all were made out of the same two minutes music (a film soundtrack which is not necessary to name) led to a similar and compact sound which I wanted to have "The Homecoming Concert".
The idea was not to have a collection of tracks but to make a complete "composition" like a suite, or better: the sound, the image, the idea of a "composition". But not for taken as a "serious composer" which I don't want to be (this is to much linked to the cultural business). What I had in mind was making music, or: making a "composition" that pretends being made for soldiers coming back from a failured mission. On the one hand because I am very interested in the always existing and ongoing war inside the (western) societies and in failure as a discription of "history" - most of my radio-plays are about that -, and on the other hand this idea gave me the opportunity to think about how music works when it is captured and used by non-musical positions. When it has to "speak out" more than it is in itsself.
Working on "The Homecoming Concert" had the frightend fascination in mind, that music has the ability to be captured and used by everything and everyone.
It is the same with the music used for television specials around 9/11: you can look and hear the music working. And the intensions of the people using this music.
With "The Homecoming Concert" it is obviously clear that this is music on a thin line. That's why the text in the beginning and in the middle is so import. It doesn't explain anything, but it sets the field and the mood, so the (german understanding) listeners knows, that I know what I am doing with this Concert. That I know what kind of music I am creating with this Concert. So this text is a litte clue to take the music as an invitation to think about this music while listening.
In my opinion tracks 3 and 5, for example, are brilliant, where beauty it's the main protagonist, and in this sense I hardly believe that "Homecoming" means the return of a failed mission. What's your opinion?
Of course you are right: in war and in failure there is never beauty because it can't be there.
But in the time before and after there is. In the time when a mission is prepared and brought on its way: the time of "hope and glory". Then there is always a kind of beauty used. In films, music, television. Because, to speak about music, (in western societies) marches doesn't work anymore, and a special kind of beauy is working much more subtil.
And after a war, after a failure it is the same. Because beauty has the ability to cover and/or rewrite what has happen.
See, what this Enya-Song that is under nearly every 9/11 television picture does to the way many people think about it. And - as important - what many of them probably does not think. People using this song or music like that would say that it is a "healing" for the souls, but we know that this is not true. In music described by many as "beautiful" there is the desire and the longing to go back to the point before all that bad things started. Which means: to forget what has happen and to rewrite history. Maybe because most of us have (sometimes) this desire and longing and a special kind of music (the "beautiful music") hits our nerve for this and opens the gates for this desire and longing.
The first lamé gold album ["lamé gold, Payola, 2002] it has a very subtle beat together with strings sections that seem to me much closer to sorrow than hope, anyway this emotions depends of what the listener feels about it. In relation with emotions, could you please explain what do you mean with to deconstruct the making of emotions, to make them listenable through the sound of strings?
First of all, this is a habit for me as a person, not as an artist: to look on things (movies, television, music, text, political campaigns etc.) and by looking on it, and of course maybe entertained by it, try to figure out, how they work.
For example: when talking with my brother about a movie he always is arguing from only the inside of the movie: from what he has seen on the screen - while my opinion is that what I have seen is what the makers wanted me to see: a selection made by them. Is, that there is nothing there without reason.
So I am thinking and talking about why this and that was inside and other possible things not inside this film.
For many things, for example the design of a television-news studio, the interesting things are made to work in a subtil way. So you have to look some time and oversee the speaker and overhear the news to find out, how in this special case, this studio works and than you can start to think about why they designed it that way and what the intension for this maybe was. To say it a little bit pathetic and with Public Enemy in mind: with an open view you might find out, what's "the game behind the game".
And, with the way the strings in lamé gold are looped - what kind of melody and the way they are looped - for me it is the same. I think it is a possibility to get an open view, here: an open hearing. To make listenable that there is always something behind what you hear first.
But I know, like the "open view" which sometimes only brings you to the point where everything before your eyes start to swim so you see nothing this could work in the absolutely other direction. But this danger is part of the work, or: part of the art.