Resident Focus: brain soup w/ (a)
Fusing spoken word storytelling and archival recordings with ambient, soft club, reggaeton, or whatever takes her fancy, nomadic poet and artist (a) creates a space for an immersive kind of reflection where memory, history and emotion stew together. Lucas chatted to Angela about her practice, get to know a little more about (a) in this edition.
Tell us a little about yourself, where you are in the world, one fun fact about yourself.A
I’m Angela Ugarte Vertiz, originally from Peru. I've only recently gotten into making radio and performing but I have a background in visual arts and photography. I’m happily in between homes at the moment but used to be Bristol based. Anyone with a couch please let me know!
How are you spending your days at the moment?A
I’ve been spending my days cooking, reading, and floating around at my mum’s in Portugal. In a few days, I’ll be back in Peru with my grandparents where I hope to keep up the routine.
How did you get into doing radio?A
It all started with saffron, around 7 or eight months ago now. I did it after obsessing about it from afar for ages. My mentors were Tilly and Marley who were both so brilliant and supportive.
They just held the door open for me, and the whole course is all about telling you ‘you’re allowed’. You’re allowed to create, to share, to have these spaces. It was really an amazingly nourishing course. Tilly was the one that really loved brain soup as a name. I walked into one of the sessions feeling tired and I said my brain was feeling like soup and she was like ‘I love it ! That could be your name!’ and it just seemed to fit.
They do wonderful work so please consider donating to their fundraiser, it’d be such a loss to culture in Bristol if they weren't there.
You've been making shows on Noods for nearly 6 months now where you read poetry and create a whole soundworld around it. For those that don't know you or haven't heard your show, how would you describe it?A
They’re like a sonic bath. A mini world you can sink your head back into, a suggestion of a feeling that you can either take or leave. They’re stories of whatever I’ve been around for the past month. All the sounds, smells, encounters, memories, foods, and people I’ve encountered all threaded together. Almost like a diary log. Or a sort of sonic tapestry, trying to weave all these senses together.
But they’re not my stories, they’re more like fragments of experience, bits of life I stitch together in a kind of pastiche.
How do you approach your creative practice?A
A lot like you would approach a bath, I guess. I take more time preparing than doing the actual thing - collecting sound collages, taking notes from books, digging, snapping photos etc. I then take an evening to sit and sort through it all. I dip my head into all the sounds and try to make sense of them… From there all the poems, tracklists, and stories take off.
Three artists which you think are criminally underrated?A
What is inspiring you outside of music right now?A
Field recordings, good mangoes, cuddles.
Tell us about your work as a poet. How did you come to poetry and then how did that end up as part of your show?A
I’ve always written, but I never liked to read. Lately I’ve been writing more and more so it just made sense to incorporate it into music. That's how I experience music, imagining and speaking to myself about these different worlds based on the sounds I was hearing. It seemed natural to use poetry in the radio show if that’s how I experience music myself. In a way it was an experiment to see if anyone else resonated with it in the same way as I did, or do. And I think people do, even if they might not on the first listen.
I want it to be able to resonate with as many people as possible. It’s less about understanding it, more about the feelings beneath the music.
What song is playing at your funeral?A
Who is still dreaming? June11
Favourite thing to hear in nature?A
If you could have anyone around for dinner, who would it be (dead or alive) and what would you cook?A
Deleuze & Guattari. I’d cook them a massive pile of horribly tangled spaghetti and see how they manage with all this “everything is connected” business.
What do you have coming up in the future?A
More soups! More music! More words! Soon? Live? Who knows? Maybe me! Maybe you! Stay tuned.