Mabe Fratti is a composer born in Guatemala City. Her sound explorations have a wide range of approaches and styles, all founded on a curiosity to learn more ways to apply the artistic power of sound and to tell stories. She creates delicate and deeply intimate soundscapes using synthesiser, vocals, and cello.
1: I might be wrong
2: Everyone lies
3: Be wary of moral superiority
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
The possibility of combining sounds and to create “some” emotion is very inspiring to me: I seek some kind of balance with things that might sound disruptive to me with things that are comfortable. Harmony might be the short answer, but harmony in the broader sense of the word: meaning without any classical notion of “right” or “wrong” harmony, but rather the organization of sounds according to one’s intuition.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I started studying cello when I was a kid, but creating my own stuff happened during my teenage years. I started off being part of a really bad band, but now I think it was kind of convenient because as a teenager I was very impulsive about my creative decisions, and that let me gain confidence about my capabilities to create music, I guess. Now I overthink more.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Difficult question, this will not be the whole list, but the ones that come to my mind now, and I consider to be very important:
Laughing Stock – Talk Talk
Heaven Or Las Vegas – Cocteau Twins
Clics Modernos – Charly García
World of Echo – Arthur Russell
Hounds of Love – Kate Bush
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
The first thoughts that come to my mind are Turkish food (specially Kumpir), a fox I saw in the middle of a Park and a place I went to that for me, was one of the most beautiful venues I had seen, called Spektrum.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I really enjoy going to this venue called Bucareli 69, but actually, just walking around in neighbourhoods such as Santa Maria la Ribera, San Rafael o Centro is really entertaining. Also, a friend’s house with some beer is definitely one of my favourite places.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I think I’d try to be a writer, painter, or most probably, a biologist.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
‘Una Silueta Se Precipita a Arcadas’ by Rodrigo Ambriz, he works with vocals and tapes and this album is great. Also, ‘Anou Malane’ by Abdallah Oumbadougou: sounds from the Sahel region.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Jenny Hval, Eartheater, Juan Molina, Matana Roberts, Julianna Barwick, Ellen Fullman, Elysia Crampton, Grouper, Bill Callahan, Julia Holter!
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
It was a festival organized by Hole Records in Mexico City. The whole festival was very beautiful because we all were like a family of musicians and one of the bands actually was the organizer of the festival. So all concerts were great, and then when our show happened (I was playing with a band I’m part of called Amor Muere) and we were already very drunk but we played with such energy that even though there was a moment in which we had some technical issues, still the energy was so beautiful the violinist just lost her mind playing (I have the best video of her of that day), and we were all connecting with the music even with the feedback against us.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
I think there are different levels in which you can use technology, and for me it’s fundamental when it comes to “archiving” my creative process: most of the time I create, I record in any piece of “technology” (i.e. even my phone, which could be considered a piece of technology?). However, to produce sound itself, I also involve technology in order to create electro-acoustical music (which is something I do most of the time) and I’m always trying to balance out these two “powers”, how much of electric? How much acousticity?
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I feel their support actually. My brother for instance, he’s a designer and he made the design for the vinyl and some other physical releases I’ve made.