Lauren Ritter and Justin Marchacos
Parties4Peace hosts a special evening at Contact Tokyo in celebration of their 15 Year Anniversary on Friday, Sept 8th featuring two of New York City's finest artists from the underground music scene. Since its inception in 2002, Parties 4 Peace has organized events in Tokyo, South America and more recently New York and Miami, inviting artists from around the world to create a culture of peace through music and dance. For this round of events in Japan, we will introduce the New York sound of producers Lauren Ritter from the ReSolute label and Justin Marchacos from Cityfox/Ebb+Flow, alongside Tokyo-based artists Stefano Lotti, Jay Zimmerman and Matsunami !
( For Japanese click here )
Exclusive Interview with Parties4Peace :
Q.Parties4Peace is organizing their 15 year anniversary party at CONTACT Tokyo on Sept 8th and you will be playing for them as a special guest. What motivates you to play for Parties4Peace ?
A: Lauren )
Emilie McGlone's long-standing commitment to using music as a tool to initiate social change is admirable, and this is what inspires me to play for her. Whether it's in New York, Tokyo, Chile, or on the Peace Boat, she's constantly exploring new ways to bridge musical cultures, and I'm thrilled to have been invited to celebrate this milestone anniversary with her.
I am beyond excited to play for Parties4Peace in Tokyo! This is an organization that is making a real, measurable difference around the world. Issues like sustainability, equality, education, and protecting the oceans are extremely important to me personally, and it is a pleasure to be involved and share my music with people who dedicate their lives to these types of causes.
Q.How would you say that the Music & Art Peace Academy project to educate youth can contribute to creating a culture of peace in the world ?
A: Lauren )
Learning an instrument at a young age has so many positive benefits. As an individual, it cultivates a strong work ethic & a deep sense of self worth. Playing with other musicians (orchestra, band, choir, etc) teaches you to respect & value the talent of others. More importantly, playing music exposes you to other cultures & teaches you about their role in the history of music. Realizing that you’re a part of a tradition that spans back centuries and across continents humbles you and puts your own place in the world into perspective.
As cliche as it sounds, music IS absolutely a universal language... it transcends borders without the need for translation, music is something that you feel. Helping kids to learn music helps them to communicate feelings to anyone on this planet... in doing so we are teaching kids to understand our similarities on this earth, what makes us the same rather than what separates us.
Q.What inspired you to start playing music at a young age and what inspires you now ?
A: Lauren )
Funnily enough, I only wanted to join my school’s orchestra because all my friends were joining too. I was in first grade, very curious, and wanted to be involved in as many creative group projects as humanly possible. Most of my friends quit within the first month but I had already fallen in love with being on stage & playing the violin and it soon became the most important thing in my life. I played throughout college, picking up viola (my true musical love) and piano along the way.
Now I draw inspiration from different sources, from the music I hear out in Brooklyn warehouses, to subways musicians, to the fashion design projects I'm involved in, and sometimes still from the classical music I grew up with.
I began producing music something like 13 years ago when I was really into hip hop. I was fascinated by the idea that you could produce music without the need for a full live band. From that point I began getting more and more into different types of electronic music, as well as film score. It was maybe 4 or 5 years ago when I discovered the cinematic, melancholic sounds that some producers and DJ's like Lee Burridge were making and playing. I was really drawn to these sounds and felt like with my experience and some hard work, it was something I could be involved with too. Over these past few years my sound has evolved quite a bit, and I am really happy with the direction I am going.
Q.Lauren, ell us about your experience in Berlin. How did it shape your musical style ?
A: Lauren )
I moved to Berlin right after I finished school, so it was a period of personal freedom, exploration, and risk-taking. I chopped off all my hair, traveled around Europe, and tried to soak up as much of the electronic music scene as I could. Experiencing the club culture in Berlin made me want to bring some of that aesthetic to Brooklyn, which was the spark I needed to move back and to seek out working with a collective like ReSolute.
Q. Justin, tell us about your studio and production style.
A: Justin )
My music studio is a combination of computers and software, as well as some outboard hardware synthesizers and drum machines. I also have a few traditional and acoustic instruments like guitars, a bass, some drums and auxiliary percussion as well. For synths, I have a Moog Voyager, a Roland Juno 106, and a Novation Bass Station 2. I've got a couple drum machines, a Roland TR-8 (this is a modern take on the classic 808 and 909 machines of years past) and a Dave Smith Tempest. My studio is based around two different computer set ups. One is for production only, it's a Mac Pro with Logic as the main software. My other set up is basically my live performance rig on a MacBook Pro with Ableton as the software. I use an AKAI APC 40 MK2 to control Ableton, I have an LPD drum pad for playing one-shot drums, and it also has some knobs which I assign to different effects. I use the TR-8 drum machine when I play live, as well as my Novation Bass station. These two studio set ups make it so I can produce new music and then immediately practice how I might perform that music live, all in the same room.
Q.What excites you about playing in Japan for the first time ?
A: Lauren )
It's been a dream of mine to visit Tokyo (and all of Japan!) since I was a child, so I'm excited to experience the music, art, fashion, architecture, and food that make it such a unique city.
I am so excited to perform in Japan! I've heard so many incredible stories of this amazing and unique country. I'm really interested in experiencing what the crowd and music scene is like on the opposite side of the world in such a culturally different place. Really excited to be able to destroy the language barrier with music and share smiles with lots of new friends.
Q.What would you like to share with the audience in Tokyo ?
A: Lauren )
l'd like to share some of the music that excites me, some of my own new productions, & some of the flavor of the Brooklyn underground.
I can't wait to share my MUSIC with the audience in Tokyo! I play 100% my own productions, and I try to create a cohesive journey during my performance. Unlike many DJ sets, you will hear some recurring sounds throughout the set which help to make it feel like one big story with continuity, and where the parts often relate to one another...kind of like a film!
Q.Any upcoming releases coming out this year ? What can we expect for 2018 ?
A: Lauren )
Right now I’m working on my first-ever remix, which is for a neoclassical/drone album... the process of bridging my classical upbringing with my current electronic influences is an exciting challenge. I’m also working on another EP for early 2018.
I have some really interesting new releases coming very soon, including a remix of a Sam Jaspersohn track on Tenampa Recordings, and a Jay Tripwire remix on Cenote Records. Also keep an eye out for collaborations with Tim Green and Midas 104. There are a few other big labels that are currently going through lots and lots of my new work, so stay tuned! In 2018 I plan to play quite a bit more outside the USA, and really look forward to a lot more collaboration with other artists, as well innovation in both my productions and as part of my live performance.
Q. Fill in the blank : “ To me, Peace is______ “
Peace is respecting and loving others, which starts with respecting and loving yourself.
For me personally, peace means what happens after there is a lack of violence, fear, and negative energy surrounding a person or group. Peace is the ability to move forward with aspects of one's life that lead to self-actualization, satisfaction, and a feeling of self-worth. Until a person or group overcomes the basic need for safety, and can feel comfortable within themselves...it's almost impossible to find meaning or explore creative avenues that lead to a more fulfilling life!