Saturday, April 19, 2014

Luis Lopes 13 questions

photo by Nuno Martins

Luís Lopes is a Portuguese guitar player, he plays mostly with jazz artist, as Rodrigo Amado, Sei Miguel, Stefan González, Adam Lane, Igal Foni amongst others, he is also involved in noise and improvisational music. Some of his projects are the Humanization 4tet which he leads, Afterfall, Big Bold Back Bone (feat. Marco Von Orelli, Sheldon Suter and Travassos), and Lisbon Berlin Trio (with Christian Lillinger and Robert Landfermann). In 2013 created is own label LPZ to self-release some of his recordings. 

Benefitting from growing international recognition and visibility, Luís Lopes has built a singular and well-defined path, characterised by a unique voice, free from constraints and mannerisms regarding strict stylistic implications. Coming from a rock and blues background, he studied jazz, opting then to explore the universe of concrete improvisation and experimental music, without disregarding his fascination with distortion and guitar feedback, expressed in different incursions into noise music, while also channeling his energy towards projects where he can develop his composing abilities. 

He has recorded with artists Rodrigo Amado, Aaron Gonzalez, Stefan Gonzalez, Adam Lane, Igal Foni, Joe Giardullo, Harvey Sorgen, Benjamin Duboc, Sei Miguel, Christian Lillinger, Robert Landfermann, Jean-Luc Guionnet, and played with many others like Phill Niblock, Alfred Hart, Daniel Levin, Daniel Carter, Dennis Gonzalez, Elliot Levin, Reuben Radding, Jeb Bishop, Josh Abrams, Ernesto Rodrigues, Paulo Curado, Hernâni Faustino, Samuel Blaser, Boris Hauf, Evan Parker...

What's your fetish device in the sound chain?

mistery... chaos... trip... marshland... fetish

Which was the last record you bought with your own money?

Jeemel Moondoc Sextet "Konstanze's Delight"

Luís Lopes - guitar Hernani Faustino - double bass José Bruno Parrinha - saxophone

What do you expect from music?

Truly, I don't know exactly! I just know that I want to do it, and it is inevitably continue to do it!!!
maybe to discover myself, who I am, and what a fuck I'm doing here. This mistery.....I mean, existence!

Which work of your own are you most proud of, and why?

I never think about it that way. Yes, I think about my music and this construction. But always as a whole. I'm complex, so, everything can happen. A singularity of a moment? Well, I'm in the meaddle of a trip, with a certain time, on a certain time.

Luis Lopes electric guitar Joe Giardullo soprano sax  Sei Miguel pocket trumpet 
Benjamin Duboc doublebass Harvey Sorgen drums

What's the importance of technique in music, in your opinion?

What kind of technique? The technique you need to produce a sound, or a sequence of sounds? It depends of what you want to do. And what you want to do is the important, right? Sometimes it is dificult to execute technically that idea that you have in your head. What you wanna do? to give it up, or work on the way to get it? This is in fact a very simple conversation. You need technique even to breath, right? But, to control your breathing when you are swimming, you will need to improve your breathing technique. Or, forget it, and go by boat :-)

What quality do you admire most in an artist?
the one that realises that he is not him, he is US... he is only the vehicle... a kind of an exoteric thing :-) but his Art could be enough for me, if makes me happy. The question is: Why I'm happy? Because I know that singularity of a certain being? or, I discovered by him more about me and ourselfs, and what we are? You know, the individuality doesn't interest me at all! I don't like at all that idea of "the chosen ones". I venerate the word "share". Anyway, I venerate legends too. Its a mess.

What’s the difference between a good guitar and a bad guitar?

its you, its not the guitar. And, for instance, what do you wish to do with a guitar? criativity is creativity! Anyway, to do a expecific thing you will need a specific guitar too. Its like to drive a Mercedes or a Cinquecento. Of course you will not go untill 200km/hour with a Cinquecento. But if you have a Cinquecento, like me, you can use your imagination, and fly....

playing at The Stone New York, July 3rd, during our U.S. tour 2011. "Bush Baby" by Arthur Blythe". 
video By Scott Friedlander.

What are the challenges and benefits of today's digital music scene?

its the same benefits of the electric guitar invention. Its the inevitable evolution, we can not stop it. Exists! Its here! And, you know, you're right: New challenges! New tools, new solutions. New problems too, it has been always like that. But, you know, I love evolution. I love electric guitars, and computers, and internet. Its much more easyer to do a lot of things. Like for example studio work, send files, etc. Can you imagine, how easy it is now to ask someone in U.S. or Japan to do a mix or a master for you? Or the studio missing and editing. Or to share your music? All that. Anyway.... problems? Of Course! But, Don't worry, for now, we still need to see live performances! The guys playing in front of you.

Define the sound you're still looking for.

I don't know what i'm looking for. But I'm still  looking...

Luis Lopes - Electric guitar, Adam Lane - doublebass, Igal Foni - drums

Why do you love the guitar?

I love to play guitar! I want to have the chance to play it always. For ever! I start to play the guitar when I was 14. It was a singularity in the Universe. I don't know. Like our existence. Its a mistery. I just know that by chance I'm here, and fortunately I started to play guitar somewhere in this live. And it is perfect for me. I really love it. Even to listen to it, all the kinds of guitars, and guitarrists. With good ideas, of course :-)

One thing do you have learned with effort in the guitar?

I understand your question. Its about work, and all the effort to get things, right? I always think about the objective. The efford, you must find a way to it with pleasure. Without pleasure it will not work. At least for me! I'm prepared always to work, all the efford and even to fight hard for something I really desire. And sometimes you need patience, lots of patience with things not so interesting for you just to get THAT ONE. For instance, if you wish to know Fernando Pessoa's world, you have to read it. Without that, forget it! Anyway, Fernando Pessoa is always a pleasure ;-)

A valuable advice that someone has gifted to you in the past?

Yes, some, like these examples: "seize the talent you have for drawing" (letter from my primary school when I left that school at 9 years old, at that time I was doing nice drawings); or "you are what you wanna be and what you wanna do, if you give orders to your deepest yourself to act you'll get everything, you're free and responsible" (letter from a highschool Psychology Professor); or: "learn" (written on one of the first books offered by my uncle when I was a child, he gave me always a lot!); or: "Never give up" (from Peter Brotzman to all the young musicians).

What’s your next project about?

I have lots of projects to develop. Some are in my head, some are in my dreams, and some are currently ongoing.  Essentially currently ongoing for the very near future I'm trying to develop a new concept for the new record of my Lisbon-Berlin Trio with Christian Liilinger and Robert Landfermann that we are thinking to do in Cologne next May. Its very important for me because I really wish to concretize this idea with this specific direccion that I have in my head for a power trio guitar-drums-bass; Working on the music of my duo with Jean-luc Guionnet, full improvised stuff to put out this year; And a new record in duo with Jari Marjamaki (electronics) to try to put out this year. Electro-acoustic stuff that I really think it is very interesting. Out of Jazz. Out of free improv. Out of experimental. Even Out of Electronic and dance music, from where Jari cames. But, with all that in, mixed on a diferent way, naturally! Lisbon night. This vertigo. This mistery!

Luis Lopes - guitarra eléctrica, Helena Espvall - violoncelo, Jerry The Cat - electrónicas


2008 Luís Lopes Humanization 4tet Humanization 4tet 
Clean Feed 
2009 Luís Lopes - Adam Lane - Igal Foni - What Is When ‎
Clean Feed 
 2013 Luís Lopes / Hernani Faustino / José Bruno Parrinha
2010 Afterfall  
Benjamin Duboc, Harvey Sorgen, Joe Giardullo, Luís Lopes, Sei Miguel
Clean Feed 

2010 Luís Lopes Humanization 4tet Electricity 
Ayler Records 
2011 Luís Lopes Lisbon Berlin Trio
Clean Feed    
2013 Noise Solo At ZDB Lisbon 
2013 Big Bold Back Bone Clouds Clue
Wide Ear Records 

2013 Luís Lopes Humanization 4tet Live In Madison
Ayler Records     
2014 Luís Lopes & Noël Akchoté - Variety
Noël Akchoté Downloads        
2014 Luís Lopes Lisbon Berlin Trio The Line
Clean Feed        
2015 Luís Lopes / Jean-Luc Guionnet - Live At Culturgest Clean Feed

2015 Lisbon Connection