LCAO (Linear Combination of Atomic Orbitals) is is a solo project inspired by the writer Primo Levi and, above all, by his work “The Periodic Table”. LCAO is an electro music piece which becomes its own language made from rock guitars, flutes, jazz elements, choirs, timpani, blues roots, harpsichords, songwriters, remixes, violins, David Sylvian, soul phrasings.
CDR caught up with LCAO…
When and where did you first attend CDR? How do you recall feeling? What was the night like?
It happened in Berlin, May 2016. I was in town since not so many days and now, as then, I can surely say I’m still taking the advantage of the sensations I experienced that night, among the most solid pretexts for leading my life in Berlin.
Tracks of my project LCAO had been formerly played elsewhere, but I got a special viewpoint there: observing the Dj handling my piece within meters and participants following the beat/variations simultaneously with their own bodies (and everyone in its own way) gave to me, for the very first time, an actual mirror image of my solitary compositional world, at that juncture no longer solitary.
Tell us about your music, and how you go about making it? Any tips or tricks for managing to keep making music?
I like the idea that sentiments resulting from any sphere of my everyday life, and placed inside me, make the shape of a certain rhythmic pattern or, more often, contribute to determine the song’s harmony from time to time.
When this first enigmatic stage is jaded, my aesthetic sense turns up; at this point I can rationally wrap the track, the remix, or the mix.
Tracks go hand in hand with my emotional states so they result in much different scenarios.
This diversification is evident not only in LCAO’s two official releases (both in 2015 and for the portuguese/german label Container Music), but also in being presented into music environments rather heterogenous: from ambient music compilations to Jazzanova’s radio shows, till podcasts by Rui Vargas). However, what combines my tracks is the forma mentis coming from my scientific studies background (in Chemistry, in the matter in question); it often generates music/auditory passages starting from mere treatment of softwares’ sections like a mathematical model in which I decide the rules each time (for example engendering symmetrical drawing of automations or calculate randomness of sound effects). Based on my experience I’d say that to stay strong in making-spreading music is essential to seize awareness of doing something connected with your own pursuit of happiness.
Going through several music environments and genres is necessary for acquiring various “alphabets” and I think it helps to keep the necessary curiosity alive, even about sides concerns what gravitates toward the music beyond your passion.
Accepting every day the responsibility of choosing the art as instrument is also an indispensable achievement.
When and how did you get in to making music?
When I was a teen, I perceived that playing a music instrument (and doing it whenever some important thing was happening to me) was the most exhaustive way I had for expressing myself. I assert it even now, indeed always more. I found myself enthusiastic (to the core) about music albums also extremely distant from each other, it was a key factor I couldn’t neglect. Over the last few years I’ve been succeeded (with not a few effort) to “move” myself toward more creative contexts, in order to achieve a potential, different, routine: I’ve studied modern guitar first, then sound engineering and, slowly, I’ve abandoned the laboratories in which I was working as chemist.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Exploring the working principles of the nature by way of my studies in Chemistry has inevitably freed many conceptual visions in me: LCAO makes full use of those visions.
A music video directed by Mozukin and released on the occasion of my EP “Allowed Transitions” express acutely the starting from unreal worlds made by scientific postulates as well as the visionary arrivals inside observable material worlds, commonly known.
Musically, I draw inspirations from what passes through my headphones, which changes rapidly.
I consider the electronic music just as a style of synthesis I’ve chosen (with devotion, of course); beyond producers/mixes which I evaluate splendidly contemporary and advanced, I have my own certainties among songwriters and pianists (these last two from any era). Sometimes I’ve found myself at a jazz concert or rather to listening to some film soundtrack on youtube at 3am. I can’t avoid to be inspired by places I use to live in (potent in this regard was the high sea when I worked on cruise ships and the industrial unstable dusks of Berlin-Lichtenberg currently).
I capture signals from who become attached to my music works, grabbing the details with dedication: along these lines I’ve found in Container Music a fabulous open-minded family (I owe to them a lot of enthusiasms) and, in recent collaborations, interesting new point of views.
It has happened, for example, with “Onebeat”: my participation in their “SampleSlam” in Berlin was for sure among the most thrilling events.
Talk us through your setup…
I’m not mad about hardware (but who knows in the future). Conception and realization are digital entirely (except for midi keyboards which I employ for building the harmonic matrix of tracks, which is an unavoidable step for me). I work with Pro Tools and Reason; my habitual plug-ins are from Native Instruments and Waves. During live performances I take up a guitar when possible, in addition to drive Ableton Live by controllers (specially Akai, at least 25 keys since I can’t abstain from playing chords and riffs).
Recently I’m becoming acquainted with fresh and powerful products from Imaginando (full control of Ableton Live by mobile devices, to say the least)
Has your practice change over time?
Opening operations have never changed: deciding and recording the harmony of songs (once again, the most charming aspect into any music creation for me). However, in the past I obtained them by a guitar, now I get it by a midi keyboard (usually 49 keys).
Around 6 years ago, I started my path as sound engineer and I could say that, from that moment on, the manner for adding supplemental elements was well-defined.
The inclination to work with midi parts rather than audio files hasn’t changed a lot, but still it could happen something unexpected (particularly when I do remixes and mixes).
Professionally, what’s your goal?
I’d say to lay a hand on releases of other musicians. I love identify with new productions and analyze how they gain access in existing music structures inside me. I like the idea of manipulate other people’s tracks according to my music culture and thoughts about what embody our times (or even better about what could design new trajectories).
Any projects or tracks you’re working on at the moment that you’d like to let us know about?
At moment I feel a curious necessity to put a bit of club culture’s suggestions into my tracks, in a more explicit way. I’m involving in a collaboration with a young label – UK based – and in another with a web radio. Moreover, new stuff addressed to Container Music and new remixes are coming…
Where can we see/hear you in the next couple of months?
I’ll perform as DJ at “Fête de la Musique” in Bruxelles (end of June). Until then, for sure there will be some occasions for displaying LCAO in Berlin.
Finally, have you any advice or words of warning for producers/musicians developing musical works in progress to play at CDR?
Bpm, hi-hat patterns and tempo are only a way for describing an energy, it doesn’t exist a correct method to mix them up. You have endless solutions and the audience/insiders will sense your poetics if you’ve composed obeying urgent exigences instead of norms.