SPOT on: Blending cultures to compose unique tunes

SPOT Festival starts this Thursday with a packed programme featuring artists from across Scandinavia. However, Friday will see some Latin American and Spanish spice as musicians from Argentina and Spain team up with Danish artists to produce a unique one-time performance for SPOT.

by Ella Navarro

‘Días Nórdicos’, which began as an initiative by ROSA – The Danish Rock Council and SPOT Festival – back in 2010 as a way of promoting Nordic music in Spain and Latin America, is coming to SPOT this year. Last year, ‘Días Nordicos’ took place both in Uruguay and Argentina during the months of November and December, featuring musicians like Teitur and Liima for the South American audience.

The cultural exchange in both countries was a great success. “The Argentinian audience loved the Nordic musicians, not only because their music is incredible, but also because of what it means to encounter such different cultures. The audience had the opportunity to see each one separately and then working in pairs. I think that for both the musicians and the audience it was a singularly great experience, something unique and special,” says Lucio Mantel, one of the Argentine artists coming to Aarhus this week.

Mantel is excited to visit Denmark, as it is his first time in the country, but also to experience the Nordic culture he had the chance to taste last December when working with Teitur. “It was a beautiful experience for me. In particular I worked with Teitur; I liked a lot of his music and I learned his way of composing. We put together a couple of songs that I really like,” retells Mantel from the experience.

With apps like Spotify, in this globalised world music travels across the ocean as fast as lighting. Teitur generated a great thrill in Uruguay too, where curious youngsters stopped by to listen to his music and have a chat with him after the show. “It was magic to hear his music. And we were thrilled they came all the way to Uruguay. We talked to Teitur afterwards and he was super down to earth,” said Juliana, an attendee at the Centro Cultural in Montevideo.

Hoping to generate the same mix of culture, for this year’s festival they are bringing their music to Aarhus. The musicians will work together in a three-day workshop to compose new and unique songs for SPOT Festival, which they will perform on a joint concert on Friday 5th May at 16:30 in Godsbanen. There will be: four Argentinians including Axel Krygier, Lucio Mantel, Mariana Paraway and Diosque; two Spaniards including Le Parody and Ricardo Vicente; two from Denmark, including Ida Wenøe and Slow Train Soul; and Teitur, from the Faroe Islands.

It’s going to be quite the experience, and certainly an event that you don’t want to miss. Check out some of the Latin and Spanish artists that will perform on Friday below. They are sure to rock your Friday at SPOT!

Lucio Mantel

14572760_10157566487585444_709136907090804364_nFrom Argentina, Lucio Mantel never decided to be a musician; he simply felt like one. He recalls writing his first song when he was five years old. After that he never stopped playing and composing. He is currently touring around several countries presenting his latest album, Confin. Alongside this, he is currently in the process of composing new material, which he looks forward to recording this year.

Is this your first time in Denmark?
It is! I’m looking forward to knowing Denmark.

What are your expectations for the visit?
I think it will be a transformative experience for me and for all of us who participate. I am still not sure exactly what we are going to work on, but I guess we’re going to compose something new. We could also learn some songs from each other. Both experiences can be great!

Ricardo Vicente

ricardo vRicardo Vicente from Spain is ready to give the Danish audience a story that they would want to hear again and again. He became a musician 25 years ago, because “it was harder to fight it than to let it be”, and he is not stopping anytime soon. The inspiration for his music comes from his obsessions: those things that haunt his mind and that he can’t stop thinking about. From a book or a documentary, to a nice talk with a friend.

Is this your first time in Denmark?
It is not my first time in Denmark, but it has been so long since I last visited that it feels as if it is indeed my first time. I’ve only been to Copenhagen, so it’s a first in Aarhus. I expect to catch some of that hygge everybody keeps talking about! I’m looking forward to getting to know local artists and seeing how things are done here.

What are your expectations for the visit?
Besides getting to know all of the artists and creating something powerful with them, I’m interested in taking this opportunity to explore a bit more the concept of fate of the inhabitants of an adventurous and unknown Denmark as it appears in Vi, de druknede, by Carsten Jensen, which I’ve just read and became obsessed with. I expect my creations to be highly influenced by this.

Mariana Paraway

prensa verne y el faro 2 72dpiMariana Paraway is from Mendoza, Argentina, and she is ready to show the Danish audience something different to what they might be used to. With her ‘Charango’, an ancient instrument of the Argentine culture, she will introduce us to folklore rhythms with a different approach on vocals and electronic sounds, characteristic of her new album #LaFlecha, which was recorded mainly in Mexico. “My music is born from an urge, something inside that can’t be held in. Life, in all it’s ways, love, personality, music. The things in this world that have no explanation are the things that inspire me,” says Paraway.

Is this your first time in Denmark?
Yes, it is! So I’m really excited to go. To me it’s like going to the other side of the world, to a place that its so much different from where I live. I’ve seen a few pictures of Aarhus and it looks incredible.

What are your expectations for the visit?
I must confess that I was excited to be near Kategat because, yes, I’m a fan of the Vikings series. I love History, so I think this will be an incredible opportunity to know a little bit more of the beginnings of the world, of that part of the world, and of the process of the Nordic culture throughout the years, which is almost unknown to me. Also, besides a musician I’m a teacher too, so I’m quite intrigued by the Danish Education system and its different ways of teaching.

Le Parody

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Sole Parody, from Spain, known for her artistic name Le Parody, began her career back in 2012 with her first album Cásala, praised by critics as a revelation. She is looking forward to hitting the stage in Aarhus to show her style to the Danish audience, and she is passionate about creating new melodies and rhythms that didn’t exist before. Creating music is a pleasure she has enjoyed since she can remember. What inspires her the most are films, books and philosophical ideas. Most of her compositions are based on south-eastern folk: Spanish flamenco, Arabic music, Indian pop. “I love the aesthetic of those sounds, and the landscapes they bring to mind. I like to mix folklore and electronics, and play with pop structures and melodies to make the songs more accessible. The result is a fun, interesting mix,” she explains.

Is this your first time in Denmark?
Yes, it is my first time in Denmark. I don’t really know what to expect about Aarhus and I don’t think I’m going to have much free time to go sight-seeing. We have a very busy agenda at the music writing camp and later at SPOT Festival, with several gigs in only two days… So I will just take whatever Aarhus brings to me. Is Denmark one the happiest countries of the world? I had no idea! Well then, I hope this trip will show me why!

What are your expectations for the visit?
I’ve heard there’s a solid tradition of art and live music in Denmark, so I hope the audience will be easy to play for. I have no special plan to win them over. I’ve always defended the idea that a concert is an act made half by the musician, half by the audience. I’m going to do my best, and I hope you all will also do your best so we together create the fun.

‘Días Nordicos Latin-Nordic Lab’ is organised in collaboration with Días Nórdicos and Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires.

See the musicians’ one-time performance on Friday May 5th, 16:30 at Godsbanen – Åbne Scene.

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