Picture: Alvidrez by Kylie Shaffer
Picture: Alvidrez by Kylie Shaffer

Alvidrez

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Alvidrez is a composer & writer from California, now based in Glasgow, making immaculate, dreamlike experimental pop formed from piano, organ, voice & reconstrued traditional church music.

Exploring their evangelical upbringing, Alvidrez draws from their origins in the church, yet is predominantly inspired by the religious renunciation they expressed during their time at university. Shaped by this transformative event, the project is an outlet for music inspired by everyday revelations, and the solace Alvidrez has found in DIY / underground music, poetry, and live performance.

FACTS

1. I am a terrible surfer.

2. I can turn my feet backwards.

3. I have an incredible stamina to watch horrendous reality TV.

1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?

My feelings. Insert the tiny violins. I would like to describe them as a carousel where all of the horses are real and desperate to get off the ride.

2. How and when did you get into making music?

I started piano lessons when I was about five and was trained in theory and sightreading – mostly classical and hymns. My first memories of playing music in front of people were always in front of a congregation. Once, I auditioned to sing a solo for our churchís annual Christmas show – and the worship leader ended up giving it to another girl because I missed one of the choir practices. I was absolutely devastated. I never really had any plans to play live or be in a band until one day this blonde-haired girl showed up at my apartment with a guitar. Started a band from there and never looked back.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?

Brian Eno & Cluser – Cluster & Eno
Perfume Genius – Set My Heart On Fire Immediately
Drop Nineteens – Delaware
Ennio Morricone – Once Upon a Time in the West (Score)
The Books – Lost and Safe

4. What do you associate with Berlin?

The first time I ever visited Berlin, I remember getting the fattest kebab Iíve ever seen in my life for 3 euros. Itís ingrained in my memory. That, and Joseph Beuys.

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?

Glasgow Film Theatre. When I first moved here, I would spend countless evenings a bit drunk on cheap red wine taking a gamble at whatever film was on. Itís my solace! My life! My love!

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?

I could be a fishmonger, maybe a cattle rancher, I could have 15 dogs in a cottage somewhere, maybe a mountain climber, or a cult leader (though I donít think I have the charisma for that). The options are endlessÖ

7. What was the last record/music you bought or listen?

Lion and the Cobra by Sinead O’Connor. I just got stuck on listening to Just Like U Said It Would Be. But lately, I haven’t been listening to much else other than movie scores. Right now, There Will Be Blood and Oppenheimer are in heavy rotation.

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Vera Ellen. Brian Eno. My answer to this never changes ha ha.

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?

The last gig I played was at a chapel in Glasgow. I spent a few months orchestrating the whole thing – asking my favorite artists in Glasgow to play. The acoustics were absolutely unreal. Kind of a reckoning with my past to play my own music in a place like that.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?

Absolutely necessary. I write everything directly to logic and edit from there. If my computer eventually dies, Iím fucked.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your music?

I think only two out of five of them like it…But so far good reviews…

12. Please tell us what it was like to work on a soundtrack?

Score? Well, itís been a bananas experience. Iíve been working with a script that Iíve known very intimately for the last 6 years. To see it change and grow with the years has been a gratifying experience. Itís much different than writing music for yourself. I have to actively get into someone elseís head for a change ñ which is actually really nice, but difficult. I have to understand what the characters are feeling, listen to the music I think they would like, and read the scenes on repeat and ask myself what are they actually saying? Instead of asking what would I do in this situation, I have to ask what would the character do. Itís an exercise in empathy I guess.

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