INTERVIEW SOPHIE ZHAMURELY (MUSICIAN FROM GEORGIA)
One of the positive things about being connected by internet, and thus being able to meet musicians from countries as far away from Chile as Sophie Zhamurely is, she comes from Georgia, a former country of the USSR, and makes an electronic techno with something of ritualistic music. I was interested in knowing about her and her country, that’s why I interviewed her, to bring people from Latin America closer to her music that has something very unique.
By Manuel Knwell
Sophie you are from Georgia, tell us, how does the music come to your life, when you were a girl and what were your first influences and instruments that you played?
I remember my particular connection to music from deep in my childhood as if it never has begun It always exists with me. They say that from the beginning I start singing instead of speaking in my childhood. I often used to sing my fictitious songs and later I looked for a place where a big echo could be derivate. These places were abandoned buildings, sellers, tunnels, entrance halls, wells (where people take the most delicious water from) and so on. Where I could spend hours observing on magical echo, as well as sounds of construction, metal and trains which were creating some rhythms in my perception. Plus city ambient, and when I began to express all of them, finally it came out techno, that’s exactly these instruments I touched being inspired.
How do you create your techno ambient project “Her Ra” ?, and what are your plans for the future ?, I see that you edited the EP: “False altars”, to what does the title allude?
All people around me get inspired by life events and in what way they form and develop in future, depending on circumstances. It is elastic and is directly proportionate to events. So I can’t do any prognosis.
As for my last EP, I think that people are going in the wrong direction, we have wrong priorities and shown up on many things around, even on the earth, what we threaten unrelenting interaction with everything. As if we are still children and we have many things to learn. That’s exactly the idea on which based my last album named “false alters”. It means exactly that.
I understand that you are recording an album with another project that is more oriented to Dark ambient, what can you tell us about this?
Saahiwa will be more oriented toward the dark ritual ambient, where music and imagery will be synthesized. Ritual character lives. And since photography is one of my hobbies and my photographic view is similar to Saahiwa’s character, I think I will combine it with music and totally I create a small space for my music, video, photo and live performances.
What role do emotions play in your music, and your condition of being depressed, helps channel this type of music better?
Maybe sometimes I write when I’m in depression, but this is not my choice to be in depression in order to write good music. I’d say, on the contrary – I write against everything that causes depression, such as they are social injustice, inequality, hating, violence and so on… I’d admit that I’m strong enough to work on depressive grounds, but I believe I would be far more productive if I were happy.
Why do you think that electronic and experimental music is so strong in countries of the former USSR and also in the current Russia?
I do not think that only post-Soviet space is strong in this regard. I can`t say so clearly. Georgia in its folk is impregnated with musical elements that are as the food of experimental techno and ambient. But even beyond this, I think it’s all in Georgian character. As regards the post-Soviet space and Russia, which has been under the censorship of the Soviet ideology, I think the changes in the pace, the internal contradictions, the internal energy that seeks to release, are more likely to be sublimated in the art and in particular, trying to make new ways to find new ways to express something that has more opportunities to express. This is how experimental music is born on this side of the planet.
Do you believe in God and how do you see the Orthodox Church, the roles it plays in your country?
The Orthodox Church, historically and now, has a great influence on the population, but unfortunately on the demureness side, it parts from the ideology which is based on it, It gives less than takes.
With the knowledge of the Gospel, people could move mountains by a strong belief. But I don’ think myself to be like that, unfortunately.
What role does sex play in your music?
As you ask me about a connection between sex and music, I have to recall Freud and his opinion, that all the energy (apart from destructive energy of violence, aggression and so on…) is coming out of sexual energy, which transforms into the culture. I mostly share this opinion and I see clearly from this part of the footsteps and character of sexual energy in the music of mine and others.
How do you see the current situation in Syria with respect to what affects Georgia because it is very close to that country?
For me, it would be difficult to say something new about the horrors of the war and I will not let it out. But as for the processes in Syria, I will tell you that I am not so much aware of foreign policy that I would talk about the direct link between Georgia and the Syrian war. It did not reflect on Georgian reality in everyday life, unlike the Russian aggression in the 1990s and 2008, but it is another wide topic…
What role does nature and animals play in your music and life?
Both worlds are one of the best ways of my discharge. Especially I love animals. I believe that the nature of each species is unique, has a special nature that has not yet been fully studied. It would be great for people of all the world to take care of nature and animals.
Do you feel that not having money and making music in a precarious way has led you to develop different methods to create your art?
Money is just a tool, I`m not sure if I need it. Most of the time I feel like I need some fancy machines, but as soon as I’d try to get deeply inspired all those thoughts just automatically deleting from my brain. I even feel sorry. For those who are dreaming of having lots of money. All my thoughts are concentrated to be creative as much as I can, that`s it.
How important is the darkness in your creative processes to see the light?
The more darkness, the more obviously seen even the least of light.
What have been your favorite movies throughout your life?
I well-defined would part Andrei Tarkovsky and his creation in cinematography! He puts questions through the films, whose perception and response is often given to viewers and the audience is taking part in this process. It helps you to think and provide the greatest spiritual food.
You could recommend some writers from your country.
We have a lot of good writers, but I would probably choose Konstantine Gamsakhurdia.
What could you tell people who do not know Georgia, to go to your country?
There are many things in Georgia that are interesting, but as a musician, I’d say that our country is full of folk music that I am sure is the source of great inspiration for many musicians. Apart from Folk, our country is one of the leading on the development of underground electronic music. A clear example of this is clubs like KHIDI and BASSIANI.
Do you feel discriminated against for being a woman and creating different music in your country?
In the field of art, I personally did not understand any of the discrimination against women and did not even feel it. The majority of Tbilisi clubs are the women owners and Georgian scene is always happily given to women artists. The current president of Georgia is also a woman. However, I can’t say there is not any discrimination against women in Georgia.
Some message that you want to give.
I know what you’re interested in 🙂