Norwegian-Mexican artist and producer Carmen Villain makes atmospheric music made up of tapestries of field-recordings, flute, piano, vocals, zither, programmed drums and synths, culminating in her own distinctive sound combining elements of fourth world, dub and ambient. Through an experimental approach to production and composition, the results are often a mixture of an abstract soundscape rich in detail, permeated with beautiful harmonies and melodies. Through a number of releases for labels such as Smalltown Supersound, Geographic North (USA) and Longform Editions (AUS), she has established herself as a distinctive name with a music-interested audience as well as with the critics. Two of the albums have been nominated for Spellemann, including ‘Both Lines Will Be Blue’ (2019) in the «electronic» category. Her latest release, “Perlita”, was released in January this year.
Villiain is performing at this Saturday’s Kiezsalon inside the beautiful Villa Elisabeth & St. Elisabeth Kirche along with Galya Bisengalieva and Maya Shenfield.
1. I live in Oslo with my 15 year old daughter Tindra.
2. I have a dog called Muttley.
3. My mother is Mexican and my father is Norwegian.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Exploring sound and learning new things.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I have been making and playing music (piano, clarinet, singing) since I was very little, but picked it up more seriously and learned to use Logic in my mid-twenties.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Alice Coltrane – Journey In Satchidananda
GZA – Liquid Swords
Jon Hassell – Aka / Darbari / Java
Bad Brains – Bad Brains
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
My sister, Rhythm&Sound, Hardwax, wide streets, good Korean food, summers in parks.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Be a teacher.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Karima F – Fief Fief
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Solange, Oslo 2017
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have three siblings – they all support it and they all also compose and play music; Victoria is a film composer, my brother Nils plays in a black metal band, and Madeleine plays piano and produces.
Photo © Signe Luksengard