Our First Ever LIVE "What's In My Bag?" Episode Features Juana Molina

Posted by Amoebite, May 15, 2019 12:07pm | Post a Comment

Juana Molina - What's In My Bag? Live

We were honored to have Argentinian electronic / experimental / folk artist Juana Molina play selections and share stories in our first ever LIVE What's In My Bag? interview. Filmed in front of an Ableton Loop audience at The Montalban Theatre in Hollywood and moderated by Alejandro Cohen of LA's Dublab internet radio station, Molina gave us an intimate peek into some of the records that mean the most to her.

Juana Molina is a Buenos Aires-based singer, songwriter, and actress known for her experimental folktronica sound. Born to Argentine tango singer Horacio Molina and actress Chunchuna VillafaƱe, she began playing guitar at age five and recorded a Mother's Day song with her father, which was released as a single. Molina's television career began in 1988 when she landed a role on La noticia rebelde and then on El mundo de Antonio Gasalla. As her reputation as a skilled sketch comedy artist grew, she launched her own TV show, Juana y sus hermanas, in 1991. By this time she was one of Argentina's most famous comics but, feeling that she had strayed too far from her lifelong dream of being a musician, Molina canceled the show in 1994.

Juana Molina HaloIn 1996, she released her debut LP, Rara. The album was not well-received in her home country, where fans expected and wanted her comedy persona to perform instead. In 1998, Molina relocated to Los Angeles and began working on a sophomore LP, Segundo; she would return to Buenos Aires to produce the album, which was released via Domino. The LP raised her profile internationally. David Byrne bought the album, became a fan, and invited Molina to open for him on tour. Molina released albums consistently over the course of the next two decades, winning acclaim in Argentina and around the world. Her most recent release is 2017's Halo.

Molina and Cohen began the episode with Radio-Activity by German electronic music legends Kraftwerk, whose music Molina described as "so round and so pure." She continued, "I love when music does that to you. You don't see the musicians, you don't see the instruments, you just see the final result, which is the abstract, pure music." 

Cohen continued in the electronic realm by asking Molina to talk about Raymond Scott. Though he was a Juana Molina - Haloclassically trained composer whose work was used in countless Looney Tunes cartoons, Scott was also an electronic music pioneer who built his own synthesizers. "The sound is so rich. You can't get synths with this sounds anymore," Molina told the audience as she and Cohen played a track off the collection Three Willow Park: Electronic Music From Inner Space, 1961–1971.

A particularly nostalgic pick for Molina was Maurice Ravel's opera L'enfant et les Sortileges, which her mother used to play for her and her sister when they were children. "This is a fundamental record in my life," she told the audience. "She played this record a hundred-trillion times. I have absorbed everything in this record."

Molina's mother factored into another selection, a Sergio Mendes album that was only played in the house before dinner parties. Molina demonstrated the ritual with an amusing impersonation of her mother smoking a cigarette and listening to Mendes while setting the table for dinner.

Watch our What's In My Bag? episode below to see all of Juana Molina's picks. Want more? Check out the full-length Ableton Loop interview.

Juana Molina - What's In My Bag?
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Ableton (1), Ableton Loop (1), Sergio Mendes (2), Maurice Ravel (2), Halo (2), Juana Molina (6), Amoeba Hollywood (876), What's In My Bag (381), The Montalban Theatre (1), Alejandro Cohen (1), Dublab (8), Kraftwerk (15), Synthesizer (2), Synth (5), Raymond Scott (2)