Interview: Simona Zamboli

Simona Zamboli: “Discrimination is common in music industry and many women are having difficulties expressing their talent”

1. What kinds of music projects did you listen to as a kid?

When I was a kid I was very much affected by rock, grunge and  a lot of alternative rock. So I started playing the guitar when I was twelve and I was totally involved in that kind of music, genres and culture.

When I was a teenager I started to listen to some progressive rock music and so I was totally a fan of Soft Machine, the 70s prog rock music and a lot of electronic music like Kraftwerk. I started listening to electronic music when I was seventeen. 

2. How would you characterize your own music?

I think that my main inspiration is all my listening experience. Because, of course, I came from punk-rock, hard-rock music, prog rock, and so, I think that my music is something that is kind of an expression of all these rage movements, you can hear it in the structure of my tracks. There is no structure, it’s sort of free form because I like to improvise, to focus on sound processing . So I think that my music came from all these genres . And, of course, my main inspiration was Autechre. I think that IDM is sort of an art therapy for your ears and that’s what I love about this genre.

3. What are the advantages of working with Mille Plateaux?

I started working with Mille Plateaux this January and I simply sent them my demo album “Ethernity”, and step by step they gave me a lot of trust, because at the beginning it was sort of a weird album for this label, I think. Because it’s really heterogenic. It's not based on repetition of clicks and cuts. I started to collaborate with Achim and sent him a lot of ideas to promote my album in a lot of mixes, trance promotions through radio, through electronic platforms and it was something really spontaneous. I started to listen to electronic music of this label when I was 17, give or take. So it’s still like a dream for me and it’s an honour to collaborate with this label. And it’s amazing because they give me a lot of trust. So I’m happy about it.

4. What is your main priority while working on sound design?

You know, I was born as a sound engineer, and so I think that my main priority when I compose and when I do sound design is to be myself. What I mean is that when I start to play something, to write something, I have to destroy, to edit, to process the sound in its particular components, so I think that my priority is to play with sound, to decompose, to deconstruct what I have in my hands, to try and turn the sound into something that is in my head. 

5. What kind of future trajectory do you plan for your music? What kind of new experiments would you like to do?

At the moment, I’m trying to do a lot of life electronic practice so I’ve bought a new setup and I’m trying to put things together. I’m composing new music thanks to this live session, this home recording life session that gives me a chance to practice, to finally show my music live, and I hope, all around the world as soon as possible. I hope to express myself as soon as possible. Because I think that I could be more myself and I could show my personality to other people.

6. What would you like to accomplish as an artist?

I would like to communicate with people through my music. When they write me messages online, there is a mystical feeling, as if they could live the emotion in my music. I can feel like myself. I feel accomplished just because I manage to communicate without words, with my emotions, ideas and moods. I'd like to do more of this communication and self-expression.

7. How would you describe the current music industry situation? Do you like digital tendencies?

I can say that I managed to reveal myself thanks to social media, thanks to this digital  streaming. So, I’m okay with these tendencies. But of course, I can feel a lack of life and   human touch. I’m not against this phenomenon or this trend though. It’s just an instrument, A vehicle that allows you to expose your music to a wide range of people.

8. How do you feel in this male dominated music world?

That’s an interesting question because my music is sort of a scream about this situation, because I started doing things by myself. I studied to be a sound engineer and then I started composing music by myself without any aid and without any male help, and that’s so strange because the industry is so dominated by men. I feel tired of it and that’s why I’m trying to become a success on my own. That's the main field in which my music operates.

There are lots of women in this industry but discrimination is common and many women have problems expressing their art, their talent. I’m against this kind of discrimination and that’s why I’m trying to do something new and hopefully something revolutionary. 

9. Has the noise experiments of Luigi Russolo influenced you in any way?

Oh, yes! I’m Italian so he's sort of like a grandfather to me. In my music, there is a lot of noise and sometimes a lot of field recordings because I’m trying to reproduce reality. I love to sample ambience and noises from real life. And that’s why I think that in some ways Russolo or Schaeffer are my fathers in terms of composition, philosophy and aesthetic of my music.

10. If your musical creativity became an anthem for one single piece of art, which one would you choose?

I think, "The Happening" because I really love to be myself. I really love the practical concept of this kind of art, so "The Happening" and "The Performance" are the pieces of art that can represent my concept of music as an anthem.

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

I see myself in a house on a mountain, with a home recording studio, and I think I can imagine myself as a soundtrack composer so I can live happily by myself, just with my dog.'

Simona Zamboli's official website

Simona Zamboli on Bandcamp

Simona Zamboli's on SoundCloud

Questions: Ilya Kudrin