SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Fernandez, Claudio

Claudio Fernandez Sini

  • artist biography
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    Interview: 10 questions

    1. When did you start making music, what is/was your motivation to do

    I can’t remember exactly what inspired me to make music. But I have some faint memories of being a child and drumming on all kinds of things like pots, doors, tables and so on.

    2. Tell me something about your living environment and the musical

    I remember my mother singing operettas in the house. She studied singing and like all Italians she liked singing. Besides that she was an Italian pop music singer in Santiago de Chile in the 60ies.

    Mi father collected used records when we were living in Panama. Due to the treaty between the presidents Torrijos and Carter the Panama channel was handed over 100% to Panama. As a result, the North Americans who were then living in Panama because of their work in the Panama channel began to leave and move to the United States. It was then that my father used to visit the garage sales on the weekends where the gringos sold directly from their homes everything that they didn’t want to take back. In those garage sales one could find good records collections.

    On the other hand, Panama is a very vibrant city, the music is everywhere. In every house, in the buses, in the taxis, in the shops, on the radios, thousands of birds’ singing, insects humming and other animals like howling monkeys, parrots, etc…It’s so extreme that the horn of a normal bus can be like a small keyboard so that the driver can play a melody. This can be a way to call somebody’s attention who is getting into the buses’ way. Or they simply use it to attract the attention of a “gial” (girl) who they’ve made out. I remember that on the bus stops, the people made comments that they would use a specific bus (in Panama all buses have names) simply because it had a better sound system o better music. That way the buses became famous.

    When I was living in Italy, I went for some time to a percussion school.

    3. Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music nowadays?

    No, it’s not my profession but I am tied to sound in various ways. I work with audiovisual techniques and for me the sound makes 50%, the image being the other 50%. Besides that I work for the radio where I run a 60 minute programme every week.

    At the moment I don’t belong to any band that comes together with a certain frequency to practise. That means, I don’t practise music regularly nor play any instrument. However, anything can become an instrument. I often use any kind of object that is near to me to accompany the music or a sound that I hear. It’s more a kind of improvisation than dominating an instrument.

    4. How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain
    principles, use certain styles etc?

    Recently my way of creating or composing music or sound is very close to collage. That means I’m using sounds that I come across and which have been appropriated and fairly eclectic. Sometimes I manipulate them, other times I don’t. Together with other sounds they make new types of music or sound. This is something that happens again and again and forms part of my musical development. It’s based on my past experiences where I’ve always been exposed to different sources and styles of music.

    5. Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?

    At the moment I’m working with the computer. The radio programme that I conduct is being recorded that means it’s not alive and I work a lot on the post production. Normally I use an audiovisual edition software to edit the radio programme. For the creation I use different software with which I manipulate the recorded or appropriated sounds. Sometimes I use programmes like “coagula” and other commercial ones for the manipulation of sounds. I also use anything ranging from toys that sound to a portable tape recorder which I use as a kind of sampler.

    6. What are the chances of New Media for the music production in

    The new media is easy accessible for the people. It is and is going to become an easy tool to work with, pretty friendly. I think one can create, produce and distribute using the new media.

    and you personally?
    Personally, for example, I do not listen lately any of my vinyl’s, tapes or cds, now I listen music in my computer, this is downloaded of Internet to my computer directly and listened to, that it is its support, it seems to me incredible that some net labels insist on creating a cover page so that one can download it and prints it, to make the CD
    Also I listen a lot radio through Internet, definitively computer and Internet change the forms of creation and distribution of music.

    7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

    As I said, these new tools bring the production nearer to the person. If you have a computer at home, you can set up your own production right there. All the rest depends on what you want to do, or in other words: you are the one who sets the limits. It’s similar to the “tape culture” when you could record your own tape’s, make a front cover for it, copy it and distribute it amongst your friends. Now it’s more or less the same but in a more extended way.

    8. Do you work individually as a musician/soundartist or in a group or collaborative?

    Recently I have been working on my own but there’s always the opportunity to work with other people, either to improvise or create something or simply to organize an exposition.

    Working as a musician/soundartist or in a group are two different ways of working, they cannot be compared. For that reason, I can’t prefer one of them. Sometimes, when I haven’t come together with other people to make or create music for a long time, I begin to miss it and try to set up something.

    9. Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting
    influence on making music?

    If one listens to many things, there is a lot of external impact. So I have a very long list of who has a lasting influence on my work.

    10. What are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist or musician?

    My future plans are to continue developing these ways of making, producing and distributing sound or music. My dream is to play at one point again in a type of band or group.