Picture: Crespo by Jonathan Finlayson
Picture: Crespo by Jonathan Finlayson

Isabel Crespo Pardo

Isabel Crespo Pardo (they/them) is a NYC-based latinx vocalist, improviser-composer, and interdisciplinary artist. Their work actively entangles music, visual art, text and performance, always evolving to reflect the intra/interpersonal spaces they inhabit.

Reveling in soft chaos, they embrace openness and specificity to create poetic work(s). For Crespo, art is a place to gather, to exercise intuition, rigor and delight. They are deeply invested in building generative structures and intentionally inviting others into focused explorations. Crespo’s main compositional vehicle is sinonó, a poemsong trio featuring themself (voice), Lester St. Louis (cello), Henry Fraser (bass).

Their affinity for melody, metaphor and abstraction draws them into familiar yet surprising environments, crackling with aliveness. sinonó will release their debut album, la espalda y su punto radiante via Subtext Recordings on March 1, 2024.


1: Baby sand tiger sharks engage in intrauterine cannibalism in order to achieve exponential growth.

2: When hermit crabs outgrow their shells, they all line up and trade, in a process called the vacancy chain.

3: Roosters tilt their heads backwards to crow, covering their ear canals and preventing them from going deaf.


1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?

The sun, the sea, the wind, and the ever-shifting distance between me and my loved ones.

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

At 14, I enrolled in a conservatory in costa rica with hopes of becoming a visual artist, but
was pushed towards music. now i’d like to do it all.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums/compositions of all time? (yes we know it is difficult).

Ben Lamar Gay: Open Arms to Open Us
Reiko Kudo: Rice Field Silently Riping In The Night
Dawuna: Glass Lit Dream
Elza Soares: A mulher do fim do mundo Ryuichi Sakamoto: async
Omara Portuondo & Chucho Valdés: Desafīos

4. What do you associate with Berlin?

Mysterious intrigue, underground art, clouds.

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

Not sure if this is cheating, but i love going to the Brooklyn botanical garden’s tropical pavilion because it makes me feel like I’m in costa rica.

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

There are always things to make, to learn and to share. i think i’d be alright if i had to shift mediums.

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

I’ve been listening to my friend, Gabriel Milliet’s “UM” (2023). Incredible songwriting, sweet sound, beautiful human.

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Björk, Juana Molina, Milton Nascimento, Arca, Laurel Halo, Svitlana Nianio.

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

Hard to choose just one. I saw D’Angelo in Dallas in 2015 and swooned and sang and wept. I saw Serpentwithfeet in Brooklyn in 2023 and was screaming the entire time. Unreal.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?

Technology is one of those nebulous concepts that I never fully understand. But it’s undoubtedly an enormous influence on me and my work, despite my acoustic tendencies.

11. Please tell us a bit more about the making of your new album.

This collection of compositions is the first i wrote after understanding myself as non-binary. In general, they reflect a deep turning point in my life, full of overwhelmingly beautiful and devastating moments. They were difficult to write and difficult to share, but I set them up to always center openness, patience and truth. And so from performance to performance, they change as much as we do.