No bullshit talk with Rodrigo Gallardo

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Interview by MIA LUNIS

Rodrigo Gallardo is a Chilean musician, composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer. He started his journey in music from a very young age, along with the charango and the zampoña.

His career includes being one of the managers of the Matanza group, with whom he developed – for almost ten years – compositions loaded with influences from folklore and electronics. He has several published record productions, which are part of the global organic electronic movement, where collaborations with several brothers and colleagues from the route were born.

Currently presents a format LIVE with 4 musicians on stage, where they interpret songs of his authorship. The origin of his sonority is in Andean music and Latin American roots, impregnated with the modernity of samples, electronic beats and deep bass capable of commanding this journey through songs, reeds, charangos and guitars, combined with lyrics that seek awareness, collective and ancestral connection.

 First of all, thank you so much for this interview, Rodrigo. A great pleasure to have you on Planet Ibiza.
Thank you for giving the space of diffusion to independent music.

1 – You started very young, what was inspiring you to start to play music?

From a very young age, there was always been played Latin American music in my house, from Chilean, Peruvian, Bolivian, and Argentinian groups, among others. Andean music is one of those that culturally unites these countries. I was always struck by those sounds, the melodies, their instruments, and the messages of those deep lyrics. Some examples are Violeta Parra, Victor Jara, Atahualpa Yupanqui, Los Kjarkas, to name a few.

I began to study these folk rhythms through the charango as my first instrument when I was 6 years old.

2 – There are many legends around the Charango, the instrument you started playing with, some say it was built with armadillo bark because there was no technology needed at the time and others say that the natives built it small so that it could be easily hidden between the garments. How do you relate your creations in the electronic music scene to the Andean musical history?

On the one hand, Folk music is the narrative of our history, in South America and in all countries. it is something like our compass as cultural beings and inhabitants of these soils.
On the other hand, today, we are a generation that has grown up with technology at the same time, from electronic devices to instruments and musical genres that have emerged as a result of this technological advance.

I find it very interesting to be able to combine these two things, which are and will be part of our history. in a way it is bringing the old to the new, merging them, and rescuing those thoughts and feelings of our ancestors, and combining them with fresh sounds of these times.

3 – You recently launched your new album “Indomita”. Can you talk a bit about your inspiration to create it?

indómita is an album that was born in quarantine, between creative moments and times of reflection. Indómita talks about this feminine energy that has resurfaced in recent years, which is reflected in the struggle of women today, but which also talks about the relationship with mother earth, with the respect and care it deserves.

It is the understanding that it is a force superior to us, that it is indomitable. We cannot control, buy or manipulate. It is important to take this into account in order to live in harmony with everything that surrounds us, our environment, both natural and social.

4 – Talking about feminine sacred which is the theme of your album, how do you find yourself teaching other men nowadays about the importance of the energies, elements implied in the context of feminine sacred, and its importance in the patriarchal society we live in? How do you think the music scene can create a safe space for women?

I believe that the example is the best tool, and I try to exercise it through my actions and my art. it is inborn respect that we must have towards them or other genders that may exist. If we manage to understand the importance of each person who lives around us, we can understand that everything is made to live in balance and harmony, each gender and person has something special to contribute in this plane that we have to travel now. Men have believed for years that they are superior beings, even more than nature, and now it is time to realize that this path leads nowhere. Music has the ability to deliver a message, and perhaps make us reflect on certain issues. in this case, we are talking about respect, which is one of the things that is lacking most these days. To respect ourselves, and all beings around us.

5 – What are your expectations for your tour in Mexico?

Mexico is always a good place to play! The public in Mexico is very loving, respectful, and faithful to their tastes. They know very well how to value the work of artists in general. Hopefully, soon we can resume touring as normal, and we can continue to travel on the roads and meeting people from other cultures.

6 – How do you see the changes in the music scene after the pandemic?

I think the pandemic came with a lot of changes under its belt. Regarding the music scene: On the one hand, it gave some time and space for creation, reflection, research.

On the other hand, it temporarily took away the opportunity of the ritual that is live music, which in my opinion is irreplaceable. Beyond the fact that technology today allows us to perform streaming concerts and continue to maintain contact with the public, it will never be the same as being all together in the same place, feeling and vibrating to the sound of music. This is a ritual, a ceremony, that from my point of view has no replacement, and that somehow we are all waiting for them to return.

7 – What is your advice for new artists starting their path in electronic music?

I am not to give much advice, I simply want to say to them to look and investigate what really moves them and to go for it. There is a lot of music going around, a lot! There is something for all tastes. It only remains to find what fills each one and makes sense for them, cheer up, and go for that!

8 – Can you say a few words for your audience?

Love, respect, and consume art!

Thanks a lot Rodrigo!

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