Italian DJ and producer Francesca Lombardo talks about hearing Laurie Anderson’s O Superman and how the US artist’s open-minded and uncompromising vision has inspired her.
Francesca Lombardo has made a name for herself as a DJ, touring the world with Crosstown Rebels and spinning sets every summer in Ibiza and at various international festivals. But over the past decade, Lombardo, who also runs the techno label Echolette, designing all the artwork and graphics for each release, has been injecting her sets with live elements, bringing her voice and multi-instrumental talents into the mix. As well as producing straight-up techno burners, Lombardo has used these live forays as a launchpad for a series of dreamy, hypnotic, string-laden techno compositions that draw on her classically-trained, multi-disciplinary art background. As her unique vision of electronic music comes into focus, it seems that Lombardo is increasingly following the lead of her hero – avant-garde polymath Laurie Anderson. Scroll down to read why Anderson is such a big inspiration to Lombardo.
“The first track I heard of hers was O Superman. My uncle introduced me to electronic music. We used to drive from Italy to Germany a lot because my family had restaurants there and he would put all of this electronic music on. Laurie Anderson’s O Superman was one of his favourites and it’s been one of mine since before I even really knew who she was.”
“I was so impressed by the originality of her music. I liked the fact that she was talking over music as well as singing. Her voice was so haunting and sexy. I just wanted to listen to what she was saying, even though I didn’t understand what she was singing about because I was just an Italian kid. Then I started to research her and found out she built her own equipment and instruments, like her own electric violins and things. She knew exactly what she wanted and wasn’t following any etiquette.”
“I saw her play live last year with Philip Glass at the Barbican in London. Philip Glass played piano and Anderson was playing violin and singing and talking and acting. She was telling the whole story of her life through her performance. She talked about Lou Reed and how he died and how she then lost her dog. She always takes the things that have happened to her and puts them into art. I love that. And I love the way she dresses. She’s very masculine in the way she dresses – this tiny girl with this sexy voice. She hasn’t sold her soul to anyone.”
Find out more about Laurie Anderson in her RBMA lecture:
“She has this strength in her music and that’s what I like to have. It’s always been a dream of mine to have electronic music with strings. Which Laurie Anderson does, too. She’s kept her integrity throughout her career. It’s taken me so long to get my album out – and it’s going to come out this year – because I also kept the integrity of it. I didn’t agree to change anything. I just did it the way I wanted. Whether it’s going to be successful or not, it doesn’t matter. It’s the way I want it. When I look back at my album, and everything that around it – the music, the pictures, the graphics – I’ll remember that it’s a project that I did with integrity. She’s definitely influenced that part of me.”
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