Foto: Carlos Nascimento @<a title="" target="_blank" href=""></a>
Foto: Carlos Nascimento

Margarida Garcia, The Leaden Echo

Margarida Garcia lives in Lisbon, plays bass and draws, always on the edge and looking for next. She describes her latest solo release, »The Leaden Echo«, as »Not conceptual. Not experimental. Not technical. Not clean. Not cold.« - Let's talk.

«Everywhere march your head» William S. Burroughs

Outdoors and insights: »I recorded while living in Brooklyn. The apartment was in Brighton Beach, and I mean right on it. Each time the sound of the waves were very present (something that is mirrored only by the hiss of the tape deck onto which I usually recorded everything). There was also fog, so that once in a while deep boat horns could be heard. Thinking back, that changed the way I played music then, for sure.«
Each path is a line made of many other lines, »I did a lot of recordings both in New York & Lisbon, but in the end, I found myself losing track of the initial feeling that I was going for. I came back to the beginning, the first tapes I did with these songs, it was short but it was all there and adding any other track seemed redundant. So I really had no choice but do it like this.«
Repetitions & Differences, »I’ve always thought of the bass as being full of soloist possibilities and not just a support. I wanted to speak about the inner instrument, and what that would touch, involve, and reveal. With the background hiss, which was somewhat accidental, it gave me and it an outer frame, a room with a window to the outside. But a solo is a journey inside, immersing and closing, a self heart opening, while your ghosts are watching … Right now I am mainly interested in having the most expression with the simplest and most basic material, but I suspect there is not really such a thing as a basic material, there is just another scale of intrinsicness, complexness.« Some early hours too, »I began playing music in college, around 1996, starting with guitar … never had any lessons (well that’s not exactly true). I learned with every musician I ever played with, and also with my favourite players and composers, listening again and again to their music, playing along with them, going to concerts, etc. In the beginning I was interested in all instruments or anything that made sound really, trying out different ways of approaching composition … but when I picked up the bass in 1998-99 or so that changed. I became more of an instrumentalist, I tried hard to give it full dedication, to learn the ?proper way?? to play it, hold it, and spent a lot of time with it everyday until I was able to hear something that sounded vaguely acceptable …« Daily thoughts, food for ears and hands, »I have been listening to the Dagar brothers. ZM Dagar just seems like he is singing his soul out. He plays a rudra veena, which is a sort of bass with huge frets for bending notes. It really strikes me how much meaning and weight there is in each note, it is like a whole thought or a whole picture. This is also present, the way I see it, in Loren Connors‘ work, with whom I was playing also by the time I recorded these tracks. His playing is so moving to me. Playing with him is like discovering another dimension in music, one that you feel only.«

the_leaden_echo2.jpgTaking us back to »The Leaden Echo«, friends-home(s)-friends: »This LP was released on Headlights, a label from Lisbon owned by guitarist Manuel Mota. We met in 1996 and started playing together shortly after that. Since then he has been a huge inspiration as a musician and a human being, a solid foundation and a driving force for me, but mostly a great friend and an incredible supporter. He had asked me to do a solo for his label some years ago, but my urge to do it only came much later. So when the possibility to make the record came up, he produced it and helped the editing process. Barry Weisblat did the mastering. It is great to work with people that know you for years, that you trust … In this case two wonderful people that really understand what I wanted without any talking or explanation. Mutual respect and much kindness are main ingredients put in from these men, in cooking up this record«. Simply saying that »I play because it is my way of connecting and relating to other people and myself. Also it’s my way of trying and wanting to give back what so many have given to me, since always.« Oh Yes.

Margarida Garcia «The Leaden Echo»
Headlights Recordings (LPH18) – one-sided LP (limited edition).


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