Clarin – Interview 2009


An Argentine in Siberia

The composer spent time recording in the Russian tundra. While playing with Estelares, he released three original soundtracks.
By: Guillermo Zaccagnini


“I wanted to portray change, which is impossible to portray”. Sebastián Escofet released Siberiana -a sequel to Suite Patagónica-, an album based on the most abstract aspects of electronic music. Escofet travelled all the way to Chukotka in Siberia, the Asian region opposing Alaska, to register sounds of nature, textures & voices belonging to these lands, birthplace of the tribes that populated America thousands of years ago. “With that recollection of sounds & images I made an album & Carlos Casas made a film”.


“This is part of a project that illustrates solitude through different artistic disciplines”, explains Escofet. The main idea was to use the coast for the film & part of the tundra for a series of concerts. “I’d say that Siberia & Patagonia aren’t only connected by the weather: they’re linked by a lot of qualities that go beyond the cold”. Siberiana, therefore, expands upon an environment of solitude & cold, a resonant wind that just barely raises the temperature enough to allow one to hear the voice of a chukchi narrating an afternoon of hunting whales. “I would never want people to think I’m an intellectual!” explains Escofet.
Q: Recording sounds of nature leads one to believe that nothing can be left out.

A: There are parameters. When establishing an order, you must let inspiration guide your choices. Composing is about making decisions & it’s a kind of architecture. If you decide upon certain structures, you’re conditioning yourself but at the same time, this reveals the final form. You just have to follow that impulse. Otherwise it’s neurotic. It would be like calling a builder & saying “Put a window here” & then the next week, “Oh, actually, now I want a wall”. It would never end.

Q: I can’t think of your music dissociated from visuals.

A: It’s just that within language, one uses imagery to describe things. I remember reading an article where George Martin talked about something Lennon had said to him during the recording of Revolver: “This song has to sound like the texture of an orange peel”. I don’t know what that means, but we’re constantly resorting to images in an attempt to describe music.

In addition, Escofet alternates his abstract profile with working on film scores (see information), composing music for children’s theatre & playing with Estelares as a permanent guest musician. “They say I’m their spiritual producer now. Who knows what that that is”. Manuel Moretti wanted to officially make him a member of the band but Sebastián Escofet showed resistance. “He says I’m the fifth Estelar. But I won’t join the group. Not because I dislike what they do -I love it- but because the rock & roll routine bores me. If you’re a creative guy you want to be doing new stuff constantly & nowadays, rock is the most conservative thing in existence”.

Can Siberiana be played live?

Technically it’s impossible. That’s what the series of concerts in Europe & Brazil were for. Carlos & I would process what the other one was playing without knowing what he was doing. There are two ways to do things: one is real & the other is an imitation. I’ve seen many guys play at festivals. Some get on stage & they’re not really doing anything. We all know they’re on the laptop emailing their aunt.