Juana Molina Is Listening
Published Jan 01, 2006In a past life Juana Molina was an extrovert, famous for her comedy in her native Argentina, yet her mark in music is much more insular. Although she worked with a band for her debut, Segundo, Molina took a private turn on the follow-ups, like newly released Son, where, by herself, she recorded and produced everything at home. As Molina explains, "Since I started to play on my own and to record at home, everything changed. It became a very intimate and lonely world I enjoy very much. Instruments are my partners and they tell me what to play.
This natural, almost organic method to her music allows for much surprise and variation in her warped electro-folk. Notably, the constant revelations from the world around her played an integral part in Son. "Sounds in nature are what I listen to the most. I am drifted by the randomness of its behaviour. When I am in silence all day, I sit down and listen, and theres always something amazing, even the honk of a truck or the train becomes beautiful.
Of course, when it comes to the final product, these inspirations are expertly layered, and Molina provides a peek into her individual process. "When I find a piece to work on, I just work on it. I either play another instrument, sing a melody or play a rhythm. Its a bit like embroidering; you start with a piece of fabric and some lines you draw with the thread. You dont see the whole thing but as soon as you have one figure, it suggests another one to go with. Then you go with your thread and colours, drawing the pictures you see. From her ears to yours, Molinas vision is as original as the woman who toils by herself, spinning the music in her mind into aural gold.