Samaquias Lorta

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Samaquias Lorta has developed a vision of challenging performance techniques through a nomadic lifestyle and submersion into interdisciplinary art. Due to his influences – living in a highland mountain desert, being raised in a small Mexican immigrant town, and traveling abroad within nature-influenced communities – there is a folktronica influence to his performances. There is a strong understanding of harmonic control and development in the ambiance that he creates which enables him to bring tension, anger, beauty, spirituality and a vast array of emotions while keeping field recording and sampling at the forefront of the sonic experience.

Samaquias is part of the Amplify Berlin creative development programme for emerging musicians at ACUD MACHT NEU and will be mentored by Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten) during October 2020.

FACTS:

1: I puked multiple times climbing my first mountain because I carried a litre of cranberry juice and books thinking it was going to be a picnic – Patterson Peak in the Sawtooth Mountains at 3314m elevation

2: I’ve never learned how to drive though I’ve traveled in 12 different countries and 4 continents

3: I love making homemade tortillas

QUESTIONS:

1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Resilience and perseverance. I’ve always been attracted to musicians and artists fighting through the darkest of times. Stories of overcoming trauma, abuse, racial inequality. Similar conflicts have plagued my life and music has always helped me walk out strong. I’ll always be drawn to creative work seeking to enable the underdogs.

2. How and when did you get into making music?
I had recently acquired my own radio/cassette player around 9 years of age. I was alone for hours exploring the radio frequencies when I stumbled upon Lalo’s ‘Cello Concerto in E Flat Minor’, the first movement. I found myself passionately rolling around the floor completely captivated by this very intense and dark orchestral work. It filled up my soul in a way I had never felt before. It was beyond my comprehension yet I understood every second of it. I grew up in an R&B and Hip Hop household so it was foreign and completely inspiring. I sold my soul to the cello that very day.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Isao Tomita -The Planets
Jon Hopkins – Singularity
Lady Gaga – Born This Way
Marconi Union – Weightless
Róisín Murphy – Mi Senti

4. What do you associate with Berlin?
DIY aesthetics. Endless creativity. Despondent winters.

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
The Greenbelt is a path along a river going through the city of Boise, Idaho. I could bike for hours going through epic terrain and gorgeous parks listening to music or letting my mind get lost in creativity. Aside from the geese traffic, it felt like an oasis.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I would say dancer but if there was no music it wouldn’t be as attractive. I’d hope to be a conservationist, studying forestry, fighting to preserve animals, and our planet.

7. What was the last record/music you bought?
‘Into the Darkness’ by EMME – a cosmic beauty!

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Yves Tumor, Ben Frost – it is too hard to decide!

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I did a live set in an underground furniture store in Lichtenburg arranged with diverse artists. The whole evening had performance art, a gallery, installations, dance, pop, etc. – It was a small crowd but everything felt genuine and authentic. I lost myself in my set, creating a complex cello looping work that I miraculously pulled off seamlessly. After finishing I opened my eyes to see my friends, it really solidified my love for Berlin. Everything was DIY, we made magic with very minimal resources, no external recognition but an endless drive to do what we love most.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?
I’m a huge tech nerd and I’m completely attracted to multimedia productions. PureData, Touchdesigner, VCV Rack, Sound Particles are some examples of visual programming/software I use to either realize my projects or develop my knowledge further in audio synthesis. My roots are in acoustic and orchestral music but I didn’t own a computer until 25 so technology is sill new/fresh to me.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have 5 other incredible siblings. Love them all to death. They’ve always been supportive and never critiquing my choices to be creative. I don’t know if they actually listen to my music but they’ve always believed in my ability to create. I’ll always be grateful for that.


Samaquias Lorta has developed a vision of challenging performance techniques through a nomadic lifestyle and submersion into interdisciplinary art. Starting at age 10 with cello studies within public schools, Lorta has continuously engaged in diverse ensembles such as jazz bands, orchestra, musical theatre, colour guard, choirs, and chamber ensembles competing in orchestral environments in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Samaquias continues to engage music with an academic approach influenced by his young start to a professional career as a teacher of cello, music composition, and dance in countries such as the US, Nicaragua, Colombia, Austria, and Germany. This translates directly to his goal of combining traditional music and electronic music during a performance setting.

Due to his influences – living in a highland mountain desert, being raised in a small Mexican immigrant town, and traveling abroad within nature-influenced communities – there is a folktronica influence to his performances. There is a strong understanding of harmonic control and development in the ambiance that he creates which enables him to bring tension, anger, beauty, spirituality and a vast array of emotions while keeping field recording and sampling at the forefront of the sonic experience. Samaquias is part of the Amplify Berlin creative development program for emerging musicians at ACUD MACHT NEU and will be mentored by Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten) during October 2020.

Photo © Oiia

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