Anna Mastrolitto was born in Puglia and studied in Milan. She’s been living in Barcelona forever a decade, devoted to the music industry. There’s no festival in the city she hasn’t worked with, including Primavera Sound, Mecal, Mutek, and Loop Festival. Her personal project is LiveSoundtracks, to be launched in 2016. The festival’s been on for a few years intermittently although it’s always followed the same formula—recovering old films and giving them a soundtrack by a contemporary experimental and/or electronic music artist. The films include subtitles while the artist plays the piece in real time. In January we’ll see the premier of Poetry in the Darkness at the Hiroshima Cinema every third Thursday of the month.
Many of us learned about LiveSoundtracks a year ago, but it’s been celebrated for many more years. When did it all begin?
LiveSoundtracks was born in 2007 as a cycle of events. The first one was held at the Hesperia Hotel with Vladimir Delay. We did it with more artists afterwards including Carsten Nicolai, Lucrecia Dalt and Modernist in other places or in partnership with other festivals like Mutek and In-Edit. Although LiveSoundtracks has gone through different phases, the concept has always been the same: there’s a subtitled film and an artist playing the soundtrack. We also organize talks, Dj Sets and other artistic events around it.
Her personal project is LiveSoundtracks, to be launched in 2016
There’re always films from different directors…
It depends. I remember a few years ago at Mutek the cycle was dedicated to Passolini with musicians writing a new soundtrack.
Has LiveSoundtracks been held anywhere else?
Yes, we travelled to Cologne’s C/O Pop with Vladimir Delay, to Bari with Carsten Nicolai and also to La Coruña.
Has it ever stopped?
We stopped for 2 or three years because I wanted to think seriously about the direction I wanted for the festival to take. Then we took part in Movistar Artsy, a contest offering money to fund different projects. We won and organized a two-day event in 2015 at the CCCB, where we also included performances, talks, installations and DJ sessions. It worked very well and I decided to organize it yearly again.
However, the 2016 edition is coming later than expected. You’ve launching a series of monthly cycles in January…
Yes, the cycle will have five dates starting in January and will be held on the third Tuesday of each month, always with an international guest artist. The climax will be the Cinematic Dj Set. But that’s not all. There’ll also be workshops in which filmmakers and musicians are invited to compose soundtracks together. LiveSoundtracks will thus change slightly by introducing living directors; we also want the visuals and the sound to go together from the start. The best works in these workshops will be selected for the festival, to be held in November 2016.
LiveSoundtracks has been held in different stages. In 2015 it was the CCCB and now it goes back to Sala Hiroshima. Will it change location in future events?
I hope our current collaboration with Hiroshima lasts. It was inaugurated in the same month in which our 2015 edition was held, so it wasn’t possible to do it there, though their philosophy matches ours perfectly. We both love to takes risks in what we do.
What will we see in the 2016 edition?
This week Playmoss published a playlist in the Common People section with the five artists that make up the bill. You can try to figure out who they are by listening to it. I can also say they’ve never performed in Barcelona and that three of them are women. The artists are from Tunisia, Lebanon, the UK, Germany and Japan.
This cycle is called Poetry in the Darkness. What inspired it?
The playlist features the songs I’ve listened to endlessly this summer. That’s where I got the inspiration from the project. And also in several festivals I’ve attended this year: Sonar in Barcelona, Atonal in Berlin and Robot in Bologna.
You’ve always worked in cultural projects in Barcelona, how did your relationship with the city started?
I came to Barcelona because I had written a thesis on the Sonar Festival and other festivals in Italy. After visiting Cadaqués I decided I wanted to live near the town, in Barcelona, and enrolled a postgraduate in Music Industry Management. It’s been 10 years since then.
And when did you start working as a professional?
I started organizing audiovisual concerts at the Mecal, but the festival ended there and I decided to create LiveSoundtracks. I’ve been combining my work with articles on festivals for an Italian travel magazine, as well as with organizing conferences and seminars and working for other festivals such as Loop. In general, I’ve always worked in communication and cultural management. Right now, for example, I’m also doing consultancy work for an event agency to organize a festival.
Your favourite hotspots?
La Filomena (C/D’Aldana, 8), a bar where interesting things usually happen; Sala Hiroshima and my Barcelona festivals: Mutek, Primavera Sound and Sónar.
You can’t stop listening to…
As a dreamer, I imagine cities with only bikes and public transportation
Being a dreamer, however tiresome it is sometimes.
*Photos by Alessia Laudoni