Kraków-based artist Martyna Basta’s diaristic sound shapes a delicate atmosphere that balances lush and haunting. Classically trained in guitar, the Polish composer escaped academia at the age of 18, replacing her native instrument with a synth. She soon developed a unique way of composing, involving modulated voice, electronics, and field recordings.
This radical transformation was captured on her first album Making Eye Contact with Solitude released on the Slovak label Warm Winters, which introduced her as part of a new wave in the European experimental scene. After the release of her debut, she reached back for acoustic instruments like guitar and zither, establishing her unique electro-acoustic tone. Martyna makes her Berlin debut at our Kiezsalon along Cucina Povera and Laila Sakini on Saturday, 8 July at Brücke-Museum.
1: I am a classically trained guitarist.
2: I used to sing in a choir for many years.
3: I treat music as a capsule for my memories.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Every sound out there that feels too boring and yet has the potential to be transformed into a miracle. The fact that you can make something meaningful out of seemingly nothing. That it often comes as a surprise, even to yourself.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I went to music school when I was 7 and stayed there for twelve years. Even though I didn’t make music for the first time until years after graduating. I had been dreaming about it for so long before I tried it, and I always thought it would remain a dream.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time? (yes we know it is difficult).
HTRK, Venus in Leo
Annelies Monsere, Happiness is Within Sight
Maxwell Sterling, Turn Of Phrase
LEYA, Angel Lust
Cocteau Twins, Treasure
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
That I went there alone a few years ago to look after my friend’s cat and that I didn’t feel lonely at all.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Anywhere that makes me no longer hear the bustle of the city. Somewhere too well-known. The bakery that I go to, the paths that I cross every day when I take my dog for a walk.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I would probably continue with photography, which I gave up because of my commitment to music. It turns out that I can only devote myself fully to one. Although the gallery on my mobile phone is always overloaded.
7. What was the last record/music you bought or listen?
Bianca Scout’s The Heart of the Anchors on repeat during the long night train.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Lucky me, because they are all on their way!
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Playing in the middle of a small forest on a wonderful sound system with about 15 speakers hidden in wooden membranes. The sound couldn’t feel more organic.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
It wasn’t until last year that I became more and more fascinated by the possibilities of electronic manipulation of field recordings, which now very often serve as the main basis for my pieces. I remember discovering it and being so excited I couldn’t sleep.
11. What can we expect from your Kiezsalon show in Berlin?
Just let me guide you.