by Kevin Vaughn
Not too long ago I was perusing through the interview section of IndieHearts and came across a name I had never heard before, Luciana Tagliapietra, a singer from Tucumán who´d recently released her second LP, Diagramas de Ben. She was making a rare southern trek down to Buenos Aires to perform a short series of concerts with El mató a un policia motorizado, Rosario Blefari and 107 Faunos – and I had missed her, by one day.
Diagramas de Ben has become a choice soundtrack for these chilly autumn mornings. As I prepare my morning coffee and heat up the laptop, the soft echoing vibraphone that begins the disc´s first track “Trompetas” is the initial flicker of a slow and melodic sizzle of songs. Ben, recorded and edited by Juan Cruz Palacio for the Tucumán based-label YoConVoz, and a team of musician friends (and a sister), is a light and youthful album that will make every morning feel like Sunday.
It helps that Tagliaprieta´s voice is immediately likeable, her gentle tones complemented by subtly used drums and guitar, as well as a synth, castanuelas, bells, and horn instruments that paint a dreamy, at times epic, ode to love and longing.
Can you tell me a little bit about YOCONVOZ, how did you all meet?
I met Juan Cruz Palacio [founder and producer of YoConVoz) in 2005 or 2006, at the time he had a band called “Proyecto Conzelmann” and he invited me to play keyboard. Juan lived in a studio where all of his friends went to record on his computer. That’s where we made Monoambiente I, which is a compilation with basically all of the people that later began recording with Juan. Yoconvoz is Juan Cruz. He is a machine that never stops recording. He never stops inventing music together with the label’s artists. There are already 25 discs, which I consider myself to be a total fanatic of. Of course no one can talk better about Yoconvoz but Juan, but if I had to tell you something, it’s that there is talent and creativity everywhere, and they always get what they need to do it right, it’s a really great studio with some excellent musicians, I won’t even go out to a bar because there is nothing better in Tucuman than being there.
Who are the local musicians (from Tucuman capital) worth getting to know ?
All the artists on our catalogue.
What do you dedicate yourself to in Tucumán ?
I have a job that I don’t dedicate myself to at all! The rest of the time is mine; I spend it mostly at home.
How were you received in Buenos Aires ?
Really well, we loved playing with Rosario Blefari, Javi Punga, El mató a un policía motorizado, y con Violeta Castillo, who was also presenting her album, recorded here in Tucuman in our studio. We had really fantastic audiences, I hope we can return soon.
Have you guys thought about returning ?
Right now we are planning a tour through various provinces around the country, the idea is to get all the way to Chile.
What did you listen to when you were a girl ? Do you come from a musical family ?
Yeah, my uncles and my parents had two sort of emblematic cafes in Tucuman that always had concerts, that’s how I grew up. At home we were always listening to all sorts of music. My dad had me listening to the Beatles. My first CDs were the Best of Maria Elena Walsh, El amor despues del amor, Yellow Submarine, those are the ones I remember most. Ah ! Silvio and Causas y azahares by Silvio Rodriguez, and the tape by Negro Fontova, those really got me.
How do you compare your first experience recording with the second ? What have you learned ?
With Los Domingos it was just two of us, with lots of things to fix over here and balance over there, it some ways it felt very forced. With Diagrama de Ben, we recorded with a band in sessions, quickly and fluently, not only that but there was a lot of love floating around the studio. Both processes were wonderful, but I think that with this last one I finished convinced that I want to continue recording until I´m an old lady, recording with grandchildren.
With Diagrama de Ben, the album sounds more complete, it seems like you have developed your own sound, how do you describe your music ? Your sound ?
I get the question but honestly I don´t have the slightest idea what it means to have a sound. I think that there is something deeper [in Diagramas]. The guys that worked on production were Juan Cruz and Federico Orio. They were really precise about picking out the instrumentals, the clarinet, the castañuelas, the bells, the vibraphone, and it came out beautiful. In that sense, I don´t know if it’s a sound that represents me as if it was some road that I would follow and identify myself with, but that sound was really representative of the songs on the album. Someone said that Diagrama de Ben is an album for child drug addicts, and they are right! That´s how I´d describe our music.
What do we have to look forward to?
We really want to do tours, and try to get all over the country, I talk about it like a dream because we don’t actually know if it’s going to happen, we’re just hoping that the gasoline appears and we’ll be on our way (laughs). There are songs for a new album, but you never know how it’s going to turn out. Right now I’m messing around with a microkorg but thanks to god and music it’s still a total mystery.