Updated: Dec 20, 2019
The music score for my first film TRINFECTA nearly wrote itself. Sometimes when I am in a particular/peculiar focused zone, I feel that the music is writing me instead of the other way around. I was setup for an artist residency in Barcelona, Spain during the winter of 2019. During this residency I brought quite a bit of electronic equipment to Spain and worked primarily in my tiny apartment in Poble-sec. — I loved that neighborhood. The setting of this particular area of Barcelona spoke to me in ways other cities do not. El Poble-sec is a little run down; tourists are nearly thwarted off and deterred from it. Locals drink and smoke in the street, even when it’s below 15 degrees Celsius. I walked those streets, often in the early mornings before the day started for many Catalans.
El Poble-sec is a blue-collar type of Catalan neighborhood. Positioned off a wharf, not too unlike fisherman’s wharf in San Francisco, it is primarily tailored to the working class, both women and men, younger and old. The smell is a bit rancid, but you get used to it. The cobblestone is different in Catalonia. Very Spanish, but also mixed with a French design, giving the impression that the whole city is stapled and plastered with art. It feels colonial and somewhat deprived of renovation. It’s old, cracked, and often risky to walk on if you drink too much Rioja, which was only often the case for myself. The food in Poble-sec is the best in the city, hands down! I spent a lot time in that little grid on the coast, listening to locals jam out their classical guitars, smoke weed, and break at least ten laws at a time, but the Policía just walk on by..
I was enamored by the city! I walked through many Catalan protests, which were in pursuit of breaking from Spanish government. They would rally in droves, through the streets, blocking bus lines and pedestrians trying to get to their next location. It sort of reminded me of the Google protests in both Berlin and San Francisco. Catalans are more peaceful; when the day turns to night, you can smell the party a mile away, even on the cold crisp nights.
The weather in Barcelona in the winter is very much like the autumn on the United States west coast. Cool desert nights while the lights feel more and more superimposed and parallaxed the further west you go up the hills, up to Gràcia. Often I would walk instead of taking the bus or riding a bike, the protests were easier to navigate that way. The Catalan flag was positioned on so many galleria balconies, and many passers-by flip the middle-finger while driving past the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, who’s home is located in Sant Gervasi - Galvany. Colau is a controversial spokeswoman for the city of Barcelona. She was originally against the referendum vote on October 1st, 2017, which later she backed up— in her own words she stated, “I’ve never been a nationalist or pro-independence.” However, later she stated, “A referendum could take place after sustained pressure from pro-independence ‘forces.’”
Even though the political spectrum is a bit in turmoil, Barcelona still prides itself as being one the most beautiful cities in the world. — and it is! I found the mood and mode of its people as confident, stoic, and often aloof, but not in an unapproachable demeanor, more like how Pete Segeer would proclaim, “Which side are you on, boys?” — a song that ‘earwormed’ me every time I approached a rally.
This environment potently inspired me to start writing the music for a film-story I had burned on my brain. I immediately started fantasizing the cast, the opening credits, the interpretation of the ‘dark political’ personas tangled with visceral and personal twists. The music is not meant to be eloquent or narrative, it’s not meant to lead the viewer, it just is, this is hard to explain. “INTRO(S)” was written in that tiny small apartment with a ukulele, an OP-Z and a synth I built in Max/MSP. This didn’t come into larger focus until I returned to my studio, RendezVU, in Portland Oregon, which is where this video was recorded.
This particular performance was captured live and telecasted for Bianca Tainish’s exhibition in Melbourne Australia, “Re-configuring the Meme Machine.” Bianca is a brilliant artist and what I would call a “true human activist.” Tanish’s work extrapolates exactly what Barcelona and its people ‘sang’ to me that winter. People have come a long way in that town and they are not about to stop for any government who tells them they are not allowed independence. I hope the message of this music underlines the characters in TRINFECTA, but also keeping the lives and plight of these Catalans in mind. The only way I can put it is that I reflected inward instead of outward while composing “INTRO(S)” for the first time ever in this particular artifice. — I really hope you like it.