See the video of the live performance for “La Lumière” release party and read below an unedited English version of Aurélie Ferrière’s interview originally published in HYMN when the video premiered. More info on the release party programme in our previous post.
How did CIKATRI$ start? What does the name CIKATRI$ mean?
“Cicatrice” means scar in French, then CIKATRI$ is spelled different because the band started as an accident. When I moved to Sweden I had that band where I was singing (in English), writing more produced songs and playing a cool Korg organ from the 70s. I really liked these songs but nothing was happening to them really. Then I had this accident and decided that I really couldn’t care about anything, so I wrote this bunch of very simple, short and fast songs (CIKATRI$’s first EP), in French because it was urgent to let out and it was just personal stuff so I didn’t need anyone here in Sweden to figure out the lyrics (though people google-translate apparently!), I guess it was the exact opposite of the band I had at that time.
Then I tried to figure out which instrument would be appropriate. I saw that plastic red thing on ebay and bought it from some guy in Germany (it’s getting expensive actually, honestly it’s not worth much for its electronics). When it came in the mail it only had a black plastic bag taped around it and I didn’t believe it would work. But it did, so I bought some batteries and later we pressed the first EP. We played the first couple of gigs together with my old band, so people would mix up the two (though they were like opposites, but whatever) so I thought I’d wear a wig with the new one so people wouldn’t recognize me. It was no kind of statement even though people sometimes seem to think I believe it sounds good and looks cool. Actually it was alright with me to wear a wig when playing keytar in public. That’s how French, wig and keytar got together.
When I still lived in France it would have been too embarrassing to sing in French, but just at that point I really didn’t care at all. Now it’s been a few records in French, as it’s my mother tongue it’s great in many ways, the lyrics get more precise and I can vary registers, play with quotes… Then it was really cool and unexpected when on tour by the Mexican border when people related to it via Spanish! But then I don’t feel bound to continue in French. I use voice as an instrument, not to send some kind of message. Music only, especially notes, matter to me.
How has CIKATRI$’ music evolved since the band started?
How would you say it’s changed? I think I wrote all these songs the same way. I’m interested in the notes, how they interact with each other during a period of time. I first write on paper, then it becomes a certain arrangement when I try to play it for the first time, depending on what I was thinking, how fast or slow the melodies works, etc. It was completely low-fi on the first record, but I needed more, so I went on to working very detailed on the songs like miniatures, which then got longer and deeper/larger.
How fast the song goes doesn’t matter much to me. But I’ve noticed people always hear a style first, a genre, that’s what they seem to be interested in… not as much in the notes unfortunately. I don’t feel I should write in a certain style, there’s tons of that already. I’d rather just create freely with tones and see where they take me.
Which is the best show you’ve played?
…definitely a gig from our US tour, that we planned around our SXSW booking last year. I don’t like traditional festivals with closed area, big stages, etc, too much shit when I grew up. At “branch” festivals there’s so much more to do and you’re bound to catch tons of artists you wanted to see in much better settings. Then playing at SXSW is another thing, it’s crazy logistics but I
really thought it was worth it with the opportunities that open up when you’re in the official programmation. It’s great to travel there and back also, many other bands take the same trip so that’s gigs to share on the way and people have way more time to listen to you then. It’s difficult to pick just one night from that US tour, it was two weeks of really varied gigs at clubs in bars, showcases, radio on-air, art galleries, record stores, hippie camp…always new
atmospheres, weird encounters and much inspiration for the next songs (our desert video premiered on Noisey here)
You’ve just released a 10″-single called “La Lumière”, and a video from the release party…
I felt I needed to put out that 10″ to present and let grow different sides of what I do. The song talks about when light beams bend, for example in mirages, when you see things that don’t actually exist exactly where you see them, or in that special light between sunset and dark night when everything looks so unsure, or when a memory starts to fade out and then disappears.
The artwork of the single is in several pieces to solve in a cinematic puzzle (in the limited edition – I won’t give the answer here). The B-side is an electronic remix (of the A-side) which I then mixed again in 3D-audio (audio in three dimensions, using all the space around the listener). On June 16th in the afternoon people could listen to the 3D version of the remix in a special
studio, and then in the evening at the release party a live performance of the song in a longer, more experimental form. Then I made a video where I freely mixed the live performance with parts of the artwork, the image being an illustration to the sound (not the other way around…). Check out this video here!
Any new music to be released this year? How ready is the new material?
I’m writing a lot right now! The next record was to come a while ago on a label in El Paso TX, but the 10″ release took me a lot of time (since I’m taking care of all music, recording and mixing, all graphic and video, and the releases). But a lot is written already and should be finished during residencies I’m planning to do this spring.
— Originally published by HYMN —