Puerto-Rican born composer Angélica Negrón endeavors to capture and sample fleeting, often over-looked moments of beauty in daily life, and channel them into a style that is wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative. Listen to Q2 all this week as we feature the music of this Greenpoint, Brooklyn resident including that from a recent Circles & Lines concert at (Le) Poisson Rouge. For next week only, you can also download her 'Watercolor Clouds' (above) as performed by Arturo en el Barco. Join us in welcoming Angélica Negrón to the Q2 family.
I’m interested in the micro and the minuscule, not to be confused with the cute and the charming; in the sounds that happen right before a word comes out, in the little noises music boxes make right before pitches emerge, in the gestures immediately preceding the actions and in the gaps between spaces.
Music for me is about the fantasy in everyday things. In my work, I often explore the sometimes-overlooked magic in the seemingly insignificant, the domestic and the quotidian. Through the use of found sounds and the process of recontextualization, I intend to create a personal microcosm of recollections through sound.
I like pretty sounds covered in layers and layers of dust so that to find the beauty in them you have to wipe the lenses of your glasses. When I first started working on electronic music, the only medium I had to record sounds was a cassette tape recorder, and I instantly fell in love with the lo-fi quality from the very beginning. Background noises, inadvertent chatter and accidental distortion are all things that make clean sounds much more appealing to me.
My approach to electro-acoustic composition is very raw and intuitive. I collect sounds from different places and usually record them purposely at a relatively poor quality. Then I manipulate them and organize them in a way that feels natural to me. I’m not really interested in sounds that are generated electronically but mostly in acoustic/found sounds that I can make my own through processing. I often also incorporate in my work micro-samples from my previous pieces, which directly responds to my interest in capturing, retaining and evoking different moments in time through my music.
I like writing for traditional instruments and ensembles but also for diminutive toy instruments that are not necessarily thought of as “professional” music makers. I’m attracted to not only their innate playfulness but also to their quirkiness and odd tuning. Always being inclined towards escapist tendencies, there’s also something particularly attractive for me in having the ability to revisit moments from my childhood through something that is still relevant to my immediate reality. Though I enjoy some things occurring real-time, I often want to be in a previous moment, and the use of toy instruments brings me closer to moments and spaces that are either gone or faraway from me.
My work with very young children (from eight months to four year olds) guiding them through their first creative encounters with sound has also greatly influenced my music. Extracting the simplicity out of more complex things, even when the process is later reversed, allows me to approach music making from an instinctual manner, which opens up the possibilities of textures, shapes and sounds.
Lately, I’ve been incorporating voices in most of my pieces, even when they’re instrumental, exploring neologisms as an alternative to the issue of deciding between English or Spanish and as an attempt to escape from the attribution of meaning in language. I’m interested in the precise moment where nonsense syllables start to create some sort of significance in the listener resonating in especially personal ways. More importantly, I’m particularly interested and constantly searching for those beautiful moments when you realize that what you thought was nothing actually is “something”, and that this new “something” exists in a place you want to visit for the rest of your days.
La Aldea (for voice, charango, electronics and live visuals) as recorded live at (Le) Poisson Rouge (Jose Olivares):
I Can Still Hear You (for accordion and electronics):