‘Layered, surrealist, unapologetic’ | Interview with Claudio Olachea

It is lovely down here. Claudio Olachea’s debut solo work balances between atmospheric rock and film music. Its big bold melodic theme is simply mesmerising. Read our discussion with the artist below!

Describe your sound in 3 words

Layered, surrealist, unapologetic.

Tell us a few things about Down Here. What is the main idea behind it?

“Down Here” is the title track from my soon to be released EP, and in a lot of ways is a very personal piece of music for me. For the past few years I have felt a bit lost at sea in terms of what my musical voice was, and maybe even a bit confused as to where I was hoping it would take me. So when I wrote “Down Here”, I created a character in my head who was struggling to find his place in the world, and no matter how hard he tries, he continues to fall short and remains stuck in a relentless cycle of self doubt. If I am honest with myself, I think I am this character. It’s up for debate in the music if the character finds his own idea of success or not by the end, as I think the music could be interpreted either way in the outro. But like life, it’s the journey that’s important, not the destination.

How does this work differ from your previous projects you were involved in?

As a composer, almost all my musical creations are inspired by the subject matter I am trying to support on screen. For “Down Here”, I was forced to close my eyes and look within for inspiration. Ironically, what happened was that I found myself creating moving images in my head. So strangely, I ended up just scoring my own movies. Also, because of the nature of film composing, I am almost always in my studio on my own, relying primarily on myself to play as many instruments as possible. For “Down Here”, I included other human beings whenever I could. Luckily I am friends with some incredible musicians, and made some great new friends while recording the EP, so it truly felt like a communal effort bringing this music to life.

The track comes with a magnificent video. Who is the mind behind it?

It was a collaboration with my dear friend and director of the video, Omer Ben-Shachar. After having scored his thesis film, which won a student Academy Award, Omer and I had developed an amazingly supportive relationship where he would send me scripts he was working on, and I would play him music I was writing. And so when he heard that I had been working on a personal EP, he demanded that I play it for him (literally demanded haha). As soon as I pressed play, I could see his brain working and probably within a week he pitched me his first idea for a video. Ultimately, that first idea was scrapped once we realized his ambitions exceeded any sort of realistic budget. That’s when Omer suggested the idea of a masked world and I was immediately intrigued. What followed next was Omer and myself, building a story, brick by brick, obsessing over every little detail for the next 6 months and then after shooting, obsessing over every editorial possibility. The result is a story about self-discovery and questioning what it means to conform to societal expectations – a journey we had to admit we’ve both been on for a long time.

Artists and people that have influenced you?

Johnny Greenwood, John Adams, The Beatles, Beck, P.T. Anderson, Fiona Apple, Damon Albarn, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, St. Vincent, Danny Elfman, Micah Levi, Wes Anderson, John Williams, Maurice Ravel, Bela Bartok, Miles Davis, Jon Brion, Alexandre Desplat, Steven Spielberg, Joao Gilberto.

For which moment in your artistic career you are most proud of?

This one! I had been hoarding my music for such a long time that the idea of sharing my personal musical voice made me feel really vulnerable and so for the longest time I just avoided it. But now I can feel the floodgates opening and am excited to share. It feels good.

Which book should we read while listening to your music?

The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy.

What isn’t a crime but should be?

Eating one item on your plate in its entirety before moving on to the next one. A meal is about the combination.

Thank you!

Follow Claudio Olachea

Follow our Spotify Playlist Sonnets for the Big Screen feat. Claudio Olachea

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