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Sonic Alchemy: Juana Molina@Sala Rosa 12/10

Posted by Omar / October 12, 2006

Sometimes music feels like alchemy, and when that is so, the world is a good and decent place. That's what I thought watching Juana Molina playing Sala Rosa a couple nights ago.

Sure, she's not the only one who has thought of mixing Brazilian folk with electronica - go into any Starbucks and all you hear is Bebel Gilberto over and over again. And that is not a good thing. After song number two, one falls into a coma of Perry Como proportions.

However, Ms. Molina takes to a whole other level. Juana is like a child resulting from an orgy featuring Tom Ze, Tom Waits, Leny Andrade, Kate Bush, Robert Fripp, Brian Eno, Lee Scratch Perry, the members of Broadcast and Stereolab, Astrud Gilberto, and Caetano Veloso. Channeling all those spirits, she took possession of the stage and wielded technology like a Argentinian circus magician.

The various keyboards, samplers, foot pedals, cables, mixers connected to little Juana and her peasant guitar created waves of complex sonic composition. Strangely, the experience felt very live and spontaneous and wholly unconnected to all that nerdish apparatus. All the sounds felt organically linked to Molina, as if she sculpted them out of thin air.

Juana is a comfortable performer (she used to be a comedian and sitcom star in Argentine - she's kind of like an Argentinian Tracy Ullman). She's also easy and engaging with her audience, and with a few simple words she transformed a room of people sitting, to a crowd hovering near the stage swaying to the music.

Juana Molina is a chanteuse, a witch, a performance artist and a con-artist all in one.

If that isn't kind of magical then what is, I ask?



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Roberto / February 4, 2015 at 04:47 am
I would definitely take this class. Juana is ftaanstic, and the class is very easy. She only grades on grammar, and you only have to write a 1 1/2 page paper once a week, plus larger papers and tests, though there are only a few. The movies are bizarre, but interesting to talk about. She requires everyone speak at least once a class, so be prepared for that, but it's not stressful. The only reason this class is 3 to 5 hours is because you have to watch a movie every week. Most of them are on Netflix though and she doesn't require you go to the screenings, so you can watch it on your own time.

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