Month: February 2020

Interview: Cielo Pordomingo

I was instantly captivated by the scenery and the sounds that were part of Argentina-born musician, Cielo Pordomingo’s music video for “Azule Delirio.” The desolation of the backdrop combined with the extreme colors and her haunting melody created something totally unique and new for me. The musician has been a resident of Mexico since 2003 and has been making waves musically for many years. She took the time to answer some questions about her career, her writing process and much more.

MFL:  Your music videos are so visually stimulating. I’m dying to know where you filmed “Azul Delirio” and what the idea behind both the track and video were. 

CP:  Thank you! The “Azul Delirio” video was filmed in a volcanic crater called El Rincón del Parangueo in Guanajuato, Méx. It´s an impressive place that looks like another planet!

Well, the song talks about a woman who lives in a kind of delirium. She tries to enter in a world to which she does not belong. And that place (in the video) is like a delirium too, when you enter there it is as if it were from another planet, very surreal.

MFL:  How did your life change when you moved from Argentina to Mexico in 2003? If you were already writing music at this time, how was that affected?

CP:  I came to Mexico for vacation, with no plan to stay, I really liked it. 

Back in that time, people that I met began to offer me several projects related to music, and I was testing, and I was staying, without realizing it.

Coming to Mexico made me stand out more the contrasts in my way of composing.

I am currently based in Querétaro, and I have found it very comfortable to create, play and travel. But I imagine living in Argentina again, at some point.

MFL:  When and how did music become an integral part of your life? 

CP:  It was gradual, after the first album (DFret), without planning it, every time I spent more time composing, producing, studying programs, preparing the sequences to play live, rehearse with musicians, until this last album (Moirai) where I realized that music is an integral part of my life.

MFL:  You mesh electronic and orchestral elements in your music. What is it about this mix that you find attractive?

CP:  I find it very attractive to combine real instruments with virtual instruments, it’s like living reality and fantasy at the same time in a song. And I think we live like this all the time.

MFL:  Is there a concept/story associated with your most recent album, Moirai? 

CP:  Yes, on this record, I changed the process or the way of composing (previously I started a song and until I had it almost finished I started with another one), now I was doing all the songs almost at the same time, it was a kind of sound collage where each one took its own path (destiny = moirai) and in the end still so different from each other they are still part of the same mural.

MFL:  Do you perform internationally often? If so, where are your largest fan bases?

CP:  I try to play outside the country at least once a year. I like to play in many cities, I would not know where most of my fans are, because I have a good reception in cities like Guadalajara in Mexico or in cities like Barcelona and London, and that makes me very happy.

MFL:  When you are not writing/recording music, what are you doing?

CP:  I enjoy the nature! I love going out to the forest or the river to drink mate! And I read and watch movies and series. I love the cinema, it always inspires me. Also, every time I can I’m always studying and practicing mixing and production.

MFL:  Finally, what does 2020 hold for you as a musician?

CP:  I hope to continue sharing my music! Thanks to spaces like yours and concerts touring Mexico, Argentina and the world!

On the agenda we have a tour abroad … hopefully it will be completed by mid-year. 

And I want to play in every festival I can!

Big thank you to Cielo for taking the time to offer insight into her musical magic and to Lily Yañez for connecting us! Follow her work on Spotify and Facebook.

Album Round Up: 2019 AND The Last Decade

Every year since the beginnings of Music For Lunch I have reached out to two of my most trusted and respected musical comrades, Mark Levy and Brian Haviland. This year I not only tasked them with picking their favorite five albums of 2019 but ALSO their top three albums of the last 10 years. After weeks of our own personal internal debates, we all came up with lists we are proud of. The challenge of reaching back in time to dig for music from the last ten years that shaped us, colored our memories with soundscapes was unsettling at times but in the end, satisfying!

In no particular order of preference, I reveal representative tracks from the top 5 albums and the lists themselves according to Mark Levy, myself and Brian Haviland. Followed by a playlist with representative tracks from our decade picks, a list and light discussion added by the musical curators themselves, all in the same order as above. Happy 2020 <3. May it bring you all love, joy and incredible music.

The Best of 2019

Mark’s Picks

  1. Good at Falling by The Japanese House
  2. Sunshine Rock by Bob Mould
  3. Kings and Queens/Knaves and Thieves by The Ocean Blue
  4. Modern Mirror by Drab Majest
  5. Old Star by Darkthrone

Deann’s Picks

  1. Assume For by James Blake
  2. Drastic Measures by Bayonne
  3. All Mirrors by Angel Olsen
  4. This is How You Smile by Helado Negro
  5. Triage by Methyl Ethyl

Brian’s Picks

  1. All Mirrors by Angel Olsen
  2. Ghosteen by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  3. Father of the Bride by Vampire Weekend
  4. On the Line by Jenny Lewis
  5. Not by Big Thief

The Decade’s Best

Mark’s Picks

  1. Mogwai’s Harcore Will Never Die But You Will came out early 2011. I was working at Big Sky that winter. My commute through the canyon was always around 7:30 am. This record will forever be the soundtrack to the following scene. The sun hitting fresh fallen snow while steam rises from the river. An Ansel Adams photograph comes to life.
  2. Rush is the worlds biggest cult band and I have been a member for forty years. I could write a book about my life and connections to their music. That said, they have always pushed themselves to create the best art as possible while remaining true to their form. Clockwork Angels (2012) is no exception.  As per the recent, devastating loss of drummer and lyricist Neil Peart, it shall be the last. I think this album is fantastic start to finish. The band will end on a high note.
  3. Growing up in New York, I’ve always enjoyed hardcore as a genre. I love bands from back in the day. Cro-Mags, Sick Of It All and Gorilla Biscuits to name a few. Turnstile is a band in the scene currently making great music. You can hear nods to the old school while keeping it fresh and interesting. Time & Space (2018) is hard and full of hooks. Can’t wait for more.

Deann’s Picks

  1. In Colour by Jamie xx somehow worked its way into my ears the year of its release in 2015. I believe it was the track “Loud Places” that first caught my attention. My best friend has this magical ability to sense what music I adore and she gifted me the record on vinyl for my 27th birthday. I think I partially blew out the speaker on my record player. I can’t remember a time since receiving that gift that I have been able to not listened to it from start to finish once I push ‘play’ on the top track, “Gosh.”
  2. I heard something very strange but extremely enticing in early 2012. It was “Fitzpleasure” by Alt-J. I became obsessed with how bizarre the sounds, lyrics, vocals, instruments…everything, was. The obsession grew with the release of their debut full length An Awesome Wave in 2012. I listened to it over and over again, dug into the lyrics to discover more than just complete oddities but an attractively eccentric logic I appreciated. Come spring 2013 and another music-loving friend and I drove ourselves to Seattle to see them perform, the album on repeat for all 7 hours.
  3. I cannot begin to describe what sort of feelings Future Islands conjure up within myself. This band has been a staple in my musical existence, a mainstay in my life the last 10 years. I find myself going back to their music always when I lose track of myself, when I become a version of myself that isn’t honest. It was challenging to pick one album of theirs as all but their debut were released in the last 10 years. I chose On the Water (2011) as it holds the highest density of my favorite tracks.

Brian’s Picks

  1. Brothers by The Black Keys (2010) –Without a doubt my Most listened to Album of the 2010s. Is that a fair comparison to make? After all, I had a full 10 years to listen to it as opposed to less than a year for an album released in 2019. Really, I just don’t listen to full albums like I used to. This might have been the last physical CD I purchased. Oh, and it’s damn good. Every song.
  2. Wild Onion by Twin Peaks (2015) – Five years ago I became worried I’d slip into a Classic Rock loop of contentedness, listening to the same music over and over. It’s an easy thing to do and hey, the music is good. So when I came across this gem I felt a renewed drive to keep digging up new music like I used to. Best Rock Album of the Decade and somehow still flying under the radar.
  3. Teens of Denial by Car Seat Headrest (2016) – I might dodge the question if you ask me what kind of music I listen to (Me: “Oh, I listen to everything” Humorless observer: “Everything? You listen to every single song ever released?” Me: “Yes”), but I prefer Indie Rock. I’m sure I’m not the first to make comparisons to one of the all time indie greats Pavement.