in the Category: music
As you dissolve into the oneiric tranquility of Laryssa Kim’s sonic dreamscapes, your dormant soul awakens from spiritual slumber, only to abandon the physical confines of the body and journey outwards into the cosmic wilderness, in pursuit of inner harmony and peace. As a singer-slash-composer, Laryssa Kim strives to create hypnotic oases of serenity, wherein one’s mind disconnects from the deafening roar of daily thoughts and enters a meditative state of uninterrupted silence, opening a pathway to self-knowledge and awareness. With the release of Kim’s long-awaited debut EP, we called her for a chat to hear more about her personal philosophy and years of sonic exploration.
Interview by Silvija Daniunaite
Photos by Pauline Colleu, shot in Brussels
Dress by Nora Somer
You just released your first EP, Lov’em All, a result of six years of experimentation. How does it feel to finally have it out?
It’s truly amazing! I always felt like I had to do this – not because I’m finished with what I’ve been doing before, but because I want to go further. I’ve been experimenting for years and this project felt a bit like trying to understand what I can propose to the public.
You’ve called yourself an experimentalist. Have you ever had cold feet about putting yourself out there that way?
Constantly! I had a secure way of life in Italy – a house, a boyfriend, a stable job, money – yet something didn’t feel right. It’s like you’re fixing yourself into a life because it’s convenient. I couldn’t sleep with the idea of giving up before I ever tried. So I exchanged security for insecurity, and it was hell at first. You come with a lot of childish illusions. I thought I’d present myself to the Conservatory of Amsterdam and they’d say, ‘Yes! We’ve been waiting for you!’ Instead, I heard, ‘You’re not good enough,’ for more than four and a half years. I was lost, because my dreams were broken, but I’ve learnt to face difficulties. It’s about how much you’re willing to give for what you love. There’s nothing that comes easy in life and you better fight for the right thing. For over 11 years now, I’ve been walking the path of uncertainty. I got used to the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing. My spiritual path helps me a lot.
I exchanged security for insecurity, and it was hell at first
There’s an element of spiritual transcendence in your music, too. Not in the religious sense but speaking to the idea of being one with yourself and your surroundings. You’ve emphasised the importance of conscious listening as a way for people to get in touch with themselves. Do you feel that we’ve lost that inner connection?
I think that not being focused and centered is typical of our society. Personally, I feel this need to reconnect with myself. People are starting to question this idea of being awake, but technology brings us further from finding the answer. There are so many things distracting us from what’s at our core. From sitting with yourself in silence and trying to connect with something metaphysical. You do it not because you want something in exchange, but just to be. I see my music as a means to take people to a space where they can dance with themselves. The idea is not that you’re in adoration of who’s performing, but that you connect with yourself because of the beauty you encounter.
Does that have something to do with you describing your music as a ‘ritual’?
I was thinking about how to create a space where people can reach a state of silence and connect with themselves as part of something bigger. How do you reach a moment in which only serenity and beauty of what you perceive exists, in unison with others? I wanted to bring us in touch with the here and now and to remind us why we’re alive, to create an experience which positively stimulates our soul and intellect, regenerates us and gives us new ways to face the struggles of daily life. The idea of a ‘ritual’ as talking magic and being together while doing that.
I wanted to remind us why we’re alive
You work with acousmatic music and vocal looping. Can you tell us what that is and how it allows you to realise your philosophy through sound?
Acousmatic music is really sophisticated. There aren’t any live instruments or performers; the music consists of fixed media audio recordings. During shows, sound is then diffused with speakers through a console. You learn how to cut it, transform it, move it through space, how to create a structure that guides listening. It’s about creating a composition that tells something, abstract or concrete. The creation isn’t guided by rhythm, melody or harmony, but by other parameters. It’s like travelling inside the sound. For the public, it’s an intense full-body experience, because there’s nothing to see. It’s very meditative because it obliges us for once to just shut up and listen. This is full immersion in sound, so it can be quite overwhelming because we aren’t used to just sitting down and listening to music. It’s always in the background.
Schiev Day 3: Laryssa Kim + Acte Bonté + Ben Bertrand
17 Nov - Beursschouwburg, Brussels
Free for members
Babylon Bar: Beverly Glenn-Copeland + Laryssa Kim
22 Nov - STUK, Leuven
Free for members
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