Name: Auriga (SP)
Occupation: Producer, DJ
Current release: Auriga's Underneath EP is out via IAMT.
Recommendations: I would recommend the book: The Incredible Power of Emotions by Esther and Jerry Hicks. And Banksy's Street Art
If you enjoyed this interview with Auriga, visit her on Instagram, Facebook, and Soundcloud.
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
I started producing music shortly after learning to DJ. I had always been attracted to knowing how the music I liked the most was made. I had studied piano at the Oviedo Conservatory of Music and already had knowledge in music theory. It was about finding my sound and translating my ideas into music.
My influences were the 2000s old school techno that I grew up with, Joey Beltram, Dave Clarke, Birmingham techno James Ruskin, Surgeon, British Murder Boys ...
For most artists, originality is preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you: How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice?
Without a doubt, it takes a while until you know how to express the ideas that you have inside. I think you never finish learning and that's what keeps me motivated. You evolve over time and what you liked or what fulfilled you a while ago is not what fulfills you now.
It is the beauty of art and musical expression that changes with time and with yourself. With every work you learn technically and get to know yourself more.
How do you feel your sense of identity influences your creativity?
I think that sometimes we are not aware of our influences or how you name the sense of identity. This conforms to the years, everything we hear, see and feel remains within us - and without a doubt when we make music it comes out in one way or another.
What were your main creative challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time?
My main challenge has always been to be able to express what I have inside. At the beginning we have the handicap of technology, learning Ableton or any DAW as well as the techniques to sound properly. Then there is the creative part that I believe begins to flow when we have already reached a knowledge of technology.
As creative goals and technical abilities change, so does the need for different tools of expression, be it instruments, software tools or recording equipment. Can you describe this path for you, starting from your first studio/first instrument? What motivated some of the choices you made in terms of instruments/tools/equipment over the years?
Sure, I started producing with plugins, for example, the Arturia emulations of some of the most legendary synthesizers.
My first hardware synthesizer was Arturia's Minibrute S2. I chose this synthesizer as it is semi-modular and has great expandability with a modular rack, something I hope to do in the future. Later I got a TR8S for composing grooves, a Moog sub37 for melodies and bass, and a Behringer TD3 for Acid lines.
You never just set up the studio, you always want more machines and more possibilities to grow your creativity.
Have there been technologies or instruments which have profoundly changed or even questioned the way you make music?
Yes, of course. The introduction to modular synthesis with my Arturia Minibrute S2 synthesizer. I realized the amount of possible configurations and possibilities that there are to generate sound, being able to follow many different paths and not only those preset by traditional synthesizers.
I think modular synthesizers teach you a lot about sound production and all the creative possibilities.
Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?
I have many producer friends and we share knowledge and techniques. When you have a passion for something you like to share it and learn from other producers and their work. It is very enriching to share and discuss techniques and other aspects of music.
Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please. Do you have a fixed schedule? How do music and other aspects of your life feed back into each other - do you separate them or instead try to make them blend seamlessly?
I have a more or less fixed schedule. I try to get up early, around 8 am in the morning, that's when I am most creative and my mind is clear.
I try to learn something new every day, experiment with my machines and watch tutorials, online courses etc. I like to be constantly learning.
Can you talk about a breakthrough work, event or performance in your career? Why does it feel special to you? When, why and how did you start working on it, what were some of the motivations and ideas behind it?
I would name one of my last tracks "This Is Our World" that was released on one of my reference labels "Second State" (Pan Pot’s label).
For me it was a great step in my career, I was inspired by the music of British Murder Boys that had marked me so much when I discovered techno in the 2000s.
There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you? What supports this ideal state of mind and what are distractions? Are there strategies to enter into this state more easily?
For me that ideal state of mind has to be relaxed, not be in a rush to finish a track, be rested and good with myself. To do this, I try to eat well, exercise and sleep the recommended hours, although sometimes it’s difficult on the weekends because of my gigs.
Music and sounds can heal, but they can also hurt. Do you personally have experiences with either or both of these? Where do you personally see the biggest need and potential for music as a tool for healing?
I see music as a tool for healing and disconnection. Music transports you, accompanies you and induces you to states of happiness and euphoria.
There is a fine line between cultural exchange and appropriation. What are your thoughts on the limits of copying, using cultural signs and symbols and the cultural/social/gender specificity of art?
Music is art and as such we must express it as it comes to us. I think that the use of samples, for example, is justified if it is the starting point for creating new ideas and not copying for the sake of copying.
Our sense of hearing shares intriguing connections to other senses. From your experience, what are some of the most inspiring overlaps between different senses - and what do they tell us about the way our senses work?
Certainly all the senses are connected. I really value the lights and visuals of a club in conjunction with the music, I think it can draw you deeper into the show.
Sometimes I come up with ideas to produce music when I am in places that inspire me, the smell of the sea, views in nature or in industrial or decadent places ...
Art can be a purpose in its own right, but it can also directly feed back into everyday life, take on a social and political role and lead to more engagement. Can you describe your approach to art and being an artist?
Art can be very claiming. We can express our ideas for or against the established order and thus be a means of protest. With music I think that freedom and union of society is expressed. I see music as something that unites us and a means to escape the problems of everyday life.
What can music express about life and death which words alone may not?
Music is infinite and infinite are the emotions it can represent. Words however are finite and there can only be a limited number of emotions and feelings you can express with them. I think that's the magic of music and art in general.