By Andy Schiaffino
Ale Hop is an experimental creator from Peru, who produced, composed, recorded, and mixed her audiovisual album, PANGEA. Released August 26 of 2015, PANGEA was an effort put together by several directors, artists, designers, cinematographers, illustrators and animators. The series of short animations and videos are strung together by a collection of songs and presented in a continuous half-hour long video.
What inspires you musically?
Listening to music has always been a starting point. But in recent years, I find more inspiration outside of listening to music. I like to read biographies, and interviews of musicians, artists and producers that I admire.
What was the general inspiration behind creating PANGEA?
I wanted to make a conceptual album in narrative form; kind of a visual and musical journey. My first idea was to make an animated film structured by songs, so I started creating the songs with that idea until I realized that I did not have the resources, money or time to make a forty minute animated movie. So, while I was composing the album, I began to talk to friends that are in the audiovisual field, and I came up with the idea of making every song an audiovisual piece. Thus, each video artist made their own interpretation of a song, and at the end I had ten video components.
Why did you decide to make it a compilation, rather than just using your own music and animations?
I would not consider it a "compilation." It’s a music album, video-album, and a kind of experimental film. I have presented it in these three forms, and also a live act too, in concerts. It exists in several planes and media at the same time, and I don’t think that’s weird – many current creative proposals have this peculiarity, only that sometimes this quality goes unnoticed, perhaps by the familiarity of the consumers in front of the media. It seems to me that sometimes we create in the way that we consume. I grew up watching music videos and movies, and I always relate music with visual elements. We live in a visual culture; it’s almost an involuntary act.
What was the hardest part about acquiring each portion of PANGEA? What was your biggest obstacle within the project?
The hardest part was finishing it. It took me a year and a half to do everything. It is easy and exciting to start new projects, but it takes a lot of perseverance to finish them, especially when there is almost no budget.
What is it like being female in the music industry?
In my project, I do not exploit or sell my femininity in any way. I try not to be feminine on purpose, because I think that's what is expected of female musicians; to sell femininity, sexuality, beauty, and all that, and I hate it. The sexual revolution was good a few decades ago, but I think it is important now to break the stereotype that relates the woman to the body. For this reason the best answer I can give you is that I do not consider myself a woman in the male music industry.
What is the music scene in Lima like? Would you say there are many creative people who are more experimental with their creations, like you?
The experimental scene in Lima is rich and varied and has grown a lot in recent years, but there is no music industry to support it. It survives from the tenaciousness of the people who love what they do.
What would you say your biggest accomplishment has been since starting your creative ventures?
I would like to think that my greatest achievement is always living in the future. I’m quite excited for a new album that is about to be released, “The Way of Love”, that is a collaborative project between me and Ignacio Briceño, a great musician from Lima. It took us 2 years to do this work and it is in its last stage. I’m also thrilled for a performance I will be part of, something completely different from what I've done in the past – with dancers and other experimental musicians. The premiere is February 2017, in Berlin.