With a background in classical music, having been tutored on the violin from a young age, Álvaro Suárez often plays live to his own electronic rhythms and tech-infused beats to create an amalgamation of classical and electronic.
A master of melding classical and electronic music, Álvaro Suárez reflects on bibliomancy, the environment, and more.
What inspired you to do what you're doing?
I guess in the beginning, inspiration came from my family. Thanks to them, music has been a huge part of my life as long as I can remember. Afterwards, the sources of inspiration change overtime—through life experiences, travels, people I’ve encountered along the way, and so on.
Do you think you'll ever change direction?
Anything could happen. Some years ago,I used to play and produce other styles of music. I like to think of art as something that should flow, that doesn’t get stuck or boxed in in any way. In the studio, I always make the kind of sound I feel at that moment, so, I guess over the years my sound will continue developing. I hope so, at least.
What advice would you give your younger self today?
Be patient and enjoy the process.
Do you consider your work a luxury or a necessity?
I consider art to be a necessity of the human being. I wouldn’t narrow it down only to music, but expressing and transmitting feelings is, in my opinion, somehow tied in to our animal instincts.
Who/what was the last thing that made a significant impact on your creative processes?
Spending time with fellow artists. I am in contact with MoM and Holed Coin almost on an everyday basis, and they have inspired me to try some new things lately.
How do you keep yourself inspired?
As I said, contact with other people does a lot for me. But I must say that it can be anything. I also like to create music around ideas from books or text I read, visual art, and anything that brings a new idea to my mind. Some months ago, I read a book called Sapiens:A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari which really hit me, so I wrote two new tracks around ideas from the book in less than a week.
What do you want people to take from your work?
I think every different track brings a different idea, but if I see something common in the music I do now I’d say I always share a message of unity. I love to think of music as a tool for making people with many different life backgrounds get together and experience the same feelings at a specific moment. These shared experiences can break social boundaries of any kind, so sharing my vision of internationalism, multiculturalism, and unity is always in my mind.
What are you currently listening to, reading, or watching?
I listen to many different kinds of music every day, but if I have to pick some names from the last weeks I’d say Hermanos Gutierrez and Poranguí. With books, right now I’m reading TheTao of Health, Sex, and Longevity by Daniel Reid.
Is silence important in music?
As much as the music itself in my opinion. Sounds need silence around them to start with, and it is only playing with these silences and spaces in a track that you can give more importance and character to certain sounds.
What are your thoughts on boredom?
Uh… I’d need to write too long an answer for this. I think I’m pretty random in my mind in boredom and I sometimes go to really strange mazes to describe in just a couple of lines.
Do you create more than you consume or vice versa?
I consume more than I create. I listen to so much music that I would have to be really, really productive to balance it out.
If you had to half the amount of technical gear you travel with, how would your creative processes change?
Avoiding live instruments, I guess. No…I like that part too much.
Is your craft democratic?
Yes and no. Because people listen to what they like, but you also need certain opportunities and some business mind to be able to bring music to many people.
What's the oldest thing you own?
My acoustic violin.
What's the most enjoyable thing in life?
I have to say music without any doubt.
What was the last law you broke?
Breaking laws? I don’t do that kind of thing.
Do you read books made of paper or books on digital devices? Why?
Digital devices, only in the last year due to heavy travelling. It was a great decision.
Do you read more fiction or nonfiction?
Much more non-fiction than fiction.
As a musician, do you feel any obligations during this global pandemic?
I think these are times of change and uncertainty for many of us. In my opinion, the environmental crisis we are living, with global warming and the extinction of so many species in the last years, has caused many to re-think their lifestyles—realising what we could improve on, learning to be more respectful with our home and with the other living beings. Consumerism is not going to bring us to any good point as humankind. I consider it an obligation for the arts community to share our own opinions on this matter. It needs to be debate on a larger scale, with a louder voice, and more solid than ever before.
What do you think something like a global pandemic does to collective/individual creativity?
Difficult times have always boosted new styles and art movements, so I hope we will see some beautiful creations coming from these days.
Did the isolation influence your creative process?
It did a lot. Travelling was a big source of inspiration last year so I had to search for new origins for that.Also, the lack of dance floor time has brought me to create less music focused on that.
Name three records that help you through crisis times.
Guayaquil by Hermanos Gutierrez; 2nd Movement of the Symphony No.7 in A Major, Op. 92 by Ludwig vanBeethoven and Born to be Alive by Patrick Hernandez.