Pierce with Arrow is the new collaborative project of U.S. electronic music producer Troy Pierce and Colombian audiovisual artist Natalia Escobar, aka Poison Arrow. Born of a shared love for deeply melancholic musical moments more suited to a candle lit living room than a dance floor, they eventually went into the studio with a larger project in mind.
The duo’s shared interest in a spatial and cinematic approach to music informed their first project, Shatter, a multi-faceted endeavor inspired by the Greek myth of Echo and Narcissus. They first created a collection of shadowy surrealist videos as content for their live performances, and then wrote music inspired by these vignettes. Later, a scent was created in collaboration with the perfumer Mark Buxton as an olfactive translation of the music and videos. These three elements come together to form a unique cross-sensoryexperience.
Musically Shatter is a diverse offering, full of slowly revealing, dreamy soundscapes and sluggish off kilter beats that lead the listener through mysterious terrain. Individually, each artist has a range of experiences that dutifully lend themselves to this more expansive work.
Escobar’s interdisciplinary output invokes moods of haunting melancholy, inspired by the dark side of love and desire. Her musical alter ego Poison Arrow uses hypnotic rhythms paired with provocative vocals in an interpretation of traditional Colombian cultural tropes. Her first EP under this moniker ‘If You Don’t Love me (I’ll Cut Your Face)’ was released on dBridge’s Pleasure District Label. Natalia also remixed Mathew Jonson’s seminal track Decompression, released on his Freedom Engine label.
Troy Pierce is best known for his minimal techno productions in the early 2000’s, which include three studio albums, ten e.p.’s, and more than twenty remixes for artists including Depeche Mode, Juan Atkins, and The Knife. He was a co-founder of the label Items & Things, along with fellow artists Magda and Marc Houle, and is one half of the experimental techno duo Louderbach, alongside Gibby Miller.
With their debut album on Dais records, an ongoing olfactory collaboration with Folie A Plusieurs, and a live show in the works, Pierce with Arrow represents the duo’s attempt to expand the very nature of how music is consumed to create something as immersive as a harrowing dream or an illicit love affair.
《 Pierce with Arrow》是美国电子音乐制作人Troy Pierce和哥伦比亚视听艺术家NataliaEscobar（又名Poison Arrow）的新合作项目。他们深爱忧郁的音乐时光，而不是舞池，更适合烛光起居室，因此他们最终带着更大的项目进入录音室。
特洛伊·皮尔斯（Troy Pierce）以其在2000年代初期的极简技术作品而闻名，其中包括三张录音室专辑，十张e.p.专辑，以及二十多张为DepecheMode，Juan Atkins和The Knife等艺术家创作的混音。他与艺术家Magda和MarcHoule是品牌Items＆Things的共同创始人，是实验性技术二人组Louderbach的一半，与Gibby Miller在一起。
凭借在Dais唱片上的首张专辑，与Folie A Plusieurs的持续嗅觉合作以及作品中的现场表演，Pierce with Arrow代表了二人试图扩大音乐消费本质的尝试，以创造出令人着迷的沉浸感梦想或非法恋爱
We reached out to Troy and Natalia to get to know more about their latest collaboration.
Let’s begin with the story behind how you two got involved in the project… Where did it start? How long have you known each other? You definitely didn’t start the traditional way… Did you plan the whole concept at once or did it evolve with time? What made you decide to start a new project this way ?
PwA: We met each other in 2004, and we started our collaboration around 2009 doing sound pieces for Natalia’s installations and videos, these projects laid the groundwork for Shatter. The initial idea was to make a short film and write the score to it, we ended up making ten vignettes inspired by the Greek myth of Narcissus & Echo and scored them.
The score became our album Shatter. We used a lot of field recordings and textures from the videos to make the music, we also used the visuals as the guide for our arrangements revisiting them to find inspiration. These films became the basis for the music videos as well as the visuals for our live show. The project has evolved from its original concept while the themes that formed the foundation are still very present.
The collection of shadowy surrealist videos definitely make this release a powerful one. And the music matches perfectly with the cinematography. Natalia you were the art director and editor of the videos, did you have an idea of what the sounds would be like in your head to be able to create the visuals? The palette of colours is very dreamy and a bit post-apocalyptic in some parts, and it has this feeling that you are entering a different zone. What inspired you to create such a world?
I wasn’t creating the visuals based on the sounds in my head, but while filming there was a multitude of feelings and moods that instigated sounds in my head for sure, also I could really hear the locations where we shot. My inspiration to create such a world was an attempt to escape, I was going through a strange period at that time, a very painful heartbreak, living a tormented yearning, loss, rejection… I wanted to find a door in the forest and run away to a parallel dimension, so I literally took a door to the forest and did it.
我并不是根据我脑海中的声音来创造视觉效果，但在拍摄时，有许多感觉和情绪在我脑海中煽动声音，这是肯定的，我也能真正听到我们拍摄地点的声音。 我创造这样一个世界的灵感是为了逃避，当时我正在经历一个奇怪的时期，一个非常痛苦的心碎，生活在煎熬的渴望中，失去，被拒绝…… 我想在森林里找到一扇门，然后跑到一个平行空间，所以我真的拿了一扇门到森林里去做了。
Working in new ways has always opened the possibility of people to not like it, but you got amazing results with your innovation, starting with videos. Did the current times, constantly pushing us into digitalism, speed up the success? What was the biggest impact on your project? Was it related to the current worldwide pandemic situation ?
We had all the filming done a long time ago, so the current situation didn’t really affect the production of the videos. The COVID-19 crisis gave us a glimpse into a future world, one in which digital has become central to every interaction, which sounds a little sad and scary. I am not sure if this speed anything for us, on the contrary, we had to postpone the release of the album, there was so much uncertainty and confusion of how the pandemic would play out. After a lot of back and forth with Dais we finally decided to postpone the release until March 2021 which seemed so far away at the time. On a positive note, this delay allowed us to work on a collaboration with Folie à Pluiseurs’ perfumer Mark Buxton. He did an olfactive translation of the album and videos, this was developed as an incense paper by the Japanese incense house Hako. The incense paper comes as a black leaf, intended to be burned while listening to the album. In the temporary reality we were living during the first lockdown, we were looking to create a new connection to music that wasn’t only digital. Through this synesthetic marriage, we wanted to remap the sensory listening experience and form a deeper emotional relationship to the sonic narrative, and expand the very nature of how music is consumed.
我们很久以前就完成了所有的拍摄工作，所以目前的情况并没有真正影响到视频的制作。COVID-19危机让我们看到了一个未来的世界，在这个世界里，数字已经成为每一次互动的核心，这听起来有点悲哀和可怕。我不确定这对我们来说是否有什么速度，相反，我们不得不推迟专辑的发行，有太多的不确定性和混乱，不知道这种大流行病会如何发展。在与Dais来回讨论后，我们最终决定将发行时间推迟到2021年3月，这在当时看来是非常遥远的 在一个积极的方面，这种延迟使我们能够与Folie à Pluiseurs的调香师Mark Buxton合作。他对专辑和视频进行了嗅觉上的翻译，这是由日本香坊Hako开发的香纸。这张香纸是一片黑色的叶子，打算在听专辑的时候燃烧。 在第一次封锁期间我们所处的临时现实中，我们希望创造一种与音乐的新联系，而不仅仅是数字。通过这种协同作用的结合，我们希望重新规划感官听觉体验，并与声音叙事形成更深的情感关系，并扩大音乐消费的本质。
Tell us a bit about what it was like collaborating with techno producer Konrad Black and drum n bass institution dBridge, who also appeared in your release. What was the process of you two working together? Were they also involved at the beginning when you started to produce videos?
They were not involved at the very beginning, we started the collaboration with them two years ago. At that point we already had a rough edit of the videos and the music, so we sent each of them a song/video, which they then finished the score for, added some foley sounds, and overall put a lot of feeling and drama to them. Those two songs ended up having some of the most beautiful, obscure, and intense moments on the album.
告诉我们一些与技术派制作人Konrad Black和drum n bass机构dBridge合作的情况，他们也出现在你们的发行中。你们两个合作的过程是怎样的？当你开始制作视频的时候，他们也参与了吗？
Our magazine is connected with Asian culture, and it’s also translated into Chinese. Have you ever considered working on a tour there? Which cities would be your must-visit and why?
N: To go to Asia and tour seems so far away, but let’s imagine we can go to China, and we can do shows again. I am obviously very curious about all the rich cultural and philosophical traditions, I would love to go to Beijing, I would like to experience the underground scene of Shanghai, I love spicy food, so I would love to go to Sichuan of course, Guilin looks insanely beautiful, and I heard the art and music scene in Xiamen is fascinating, I would love to go there too.
T: I have actually played in China before, a few years ago I did some shows in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. I really enjoyed the experience there and the gigs were great! It would be amazing to somehow bring our live show to China. I would love to revisit both Beijing and Shanghai, each city has such an intriguing history and my stay was too short last time.
What’s next on the horizon for two of you?
PwA: We are meeting in the Sonoran Desert soon to get in the studio, rehearse for live shows and start working on something new. There is a multi-sensorial live show we have planned, and we are trying to find a way to make it happen.
N: I have been living and working in a farm in Santuario, Colombia for the past 3 months with a group of artists, farmers, and some members of a community of trans indigenous women from the Embera tribes.
We just finished an intense and emotional month filming with them. It was such a beautiful and surreal experience, I had to unlearn everything I thought I knew and surrender to a new language of life.
I am now working on the post-production of the film and the music for it, the idea is to create an album and an immersive audiovisual installation, shifting the focus from white, western and urban designs of gender identity to post-colonial, non-western, and rural concepts of queerness.
T: I am wrapping up a few remixes now, and I am also starting to work on a new A/V project with my wife Cornelia Thonhauser inspired by sacred American Indian sites in Arizona and New Mexico.
Artist : Troy Pierce & Poison Arrow
Interview 作者： Grzegorz Bacinski
Translation 翻译: Emi
Photos照片: Cornelia Thonhauser
Label : Dais Records