Monday, January 26, 2015

Santiago Fradejas Tune Hear

Welcome to Tune Hear!

This is a weekly series to be hosted by Prepared Guitar. It is my hope that the following information would not only highlight the artist, their techniques, and their musical endeavors, but also cause others to reach for their own goals in a realistic way. It is my hope that this will be an international site where guitarists worldwide would not only have the opportunity to listen but also be motivated and inspired to follow their dreams.

Let me introduce

Santiago Fradejas is a composer, instrumentalist, texturalist and a vocalist from Buenos Aires who relocated to France.

Active in various experimental fields between noise, jazz, rock and contemporary classical music, he founded the Layma Azur Ensemble in 2005 and the Santiago Fradejas Trio with the Chamber Works 2011.

Layma Azur recorded and self released the double album "Bride" in 2005 and "Omniabsent" in 2011, co-produced by Eva Inmacao. Currently working on their new material while still working as a solo artist, Santiago also expanded his experience and autodidactic skills by engineering and mixing "Hostile Land" album by A.M Ferrari Fradejas.

What led you to choose the guitar for your own musical expression?

The sheer of beauty of it. I can't see the guitar just as an "instrument" or a mean to create sounds. The first time I saw a guitar, I became a fetishist, I fell in love with the object and its history.

Using another instrument was never an option. I am always looking for the next Great Guitar. About 20 years ago, I started using effects, pedals… And that was it for me.

Was there a particular guitarist, other musician, movie, art, sound, life event that caused you to hear music differently?

Well, I could give you an endless list of influences, but I realised that when we talk about this, we name the people we like, our favourite artists (Ducret, Ribot, Takashi Mizutani, etc…) and they are are not necessarily an influence.

There have been distinctive moments that gave the vocabulary I use today: experiencing "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover"; listening to Diamanda Galas for the first time; discovering Francis Bacon
I am sure they were unconscious movements that I can not register but probably had even more impact on me.

What specifically about that appealed to you?

On one hand, the obscure and grotesque imagery they used to denounce the ugliness inside us; on the other hand, their unorthodox way to express it, they always seemed to be aiming for an awkward, personal truth instead of pleasing the crowd.

As you were trying to find your way, were there particular sounds or gear that helped you to achieve your sound?

Yes, definitely. Everything changed when I acquired a Memory Man, a looper and a Foxx Tone Machine.

I change my gear all the time so the list would be too long… but lately I have been playing and recording with a PLL fuzz, and a couple of "oscillating" fuzzes, dual looping, and a sequencer/ ring mod.

Also, I've been making up some symmetrical scales to further upset the ring mod and the HOG… and trying to write music pieces with it, go and figure…


Can you give an example of your work where it (pedal or technique) is being utilized?
How have you been able to build upon those early experiences to what you’re doing now?

While in the past I was a songwriter interested in sound design, today the songs evade me. Over the years, I became obsessed with sound and "soundscapes" and I started an ongoing research which led me to change my whole rig every 3 or 4 months, working with it for many hours everyday until I developed new techniques to make sense of it. The result is usually a new album…. Today, with Layma Azur, the ensemble I founded in 2005, we are trying to combine songwriting and soundscapes.

Let’s take a moment to highlight some of your current work.

Is there a sound you’re still trying to achieve or are you satisfied with where you are now sonically?

I am still hearing harsh, unpleasant sounds in my head and I am working on it! I also hear beautiful and complex chord progressions which I am not able to play, in the meantime I work and work…

What can we expect to hear from you in the future?

There is a new Layma Azur album coming out soon. This album is less songs oriented than with its predecessors, we wanted to experiment with longer instrumental passages and make a hybrid of songs, noise, and "modular synth" played on guitar.

Q: If readers are interested in checking out your work further, where can we direct them?

This is my WebpageFacebook and Bandcamp Channel

Thank you very much for your time and participation in Tune Hear.

In closing, one final fun question:
If you had an opportunity to ask any guitar player a question, who would it be and what would you ask?

David Torn, Would you like to record some duet with me?

We look forward to an international partnership where music, especially guitar oriented, is shared and enjoyed by a wider audience.

So TUNE HEAR for your sonic journey!!