Luis simões is the name that hides behind the musical heteronimous Saturnia.Francisco Rebelo(Cool Hipnoise) is the other beeing chained in the creative process.The Saturnia project is in its third stage with "Hydrophonic Gardening".Space infinity looks like a good principle in the foundations of the Saturnia sound.
For those who know the saturnian musical legacy, "Hydrophonic Gardening" is allready the third album in the projects`s career.
Luis Simões drew a brief retrospective"the idea of making Saturnia started when my musical life was in a sort of limbo.The electronic and dance music scene was allready lifting off.I started to experiment with computers, drum machines, samplers...without any sort of purpose.Without realizing, i felt that i was making something with a direction: the embryo of Saturnia.Basically it was electronic beats with psychedelia".
Clarified?If we think of ravi shankar sharing the same room with Pink floyd, the musical protesis of Saturnia starts to gain form.The project`s live space performances have been rare.The conceptualization rests on other paradigms.
"The genesis of the idea starts by recording at home.That is why we don`t play live a lot and are not a band in the orthodox sense".Explains the musician.
Not rejecting the idea of assembling a group for live presentations, Luis Simoes confirms equationing the suport band format "frequently"
Although Saturnia "have a very strong electronic vein-a characteristic rhythmic aspect of the band- one of the reasons that don`t let them be a "normal" band is the absence of a drummer.After years of playing with drummers i started performing with machines.Some years ago i started to miss a drummer.Although, in Saturnia, we use programing and loops, we used some jazz drums since the previous album.Obviously transforming Saturnia in a "regular" band has other logistical problems.the idea is to keep the project intimate.A sort of mushroom plantation you hide in your bedroom."
The magic mushrooms would take us to another level of interpretetion of the project.Thinking of the last cd, one feels that the smaller abundance of vocals has given place to a space where the music seems constructed in space or in an ethereal space.
"I agree.that happens in this record.Its a bit more daring.It doesent have itself much less voice than the previous one.But in terms of distribution of the piece it is natural that it becomes less prominent.Maybe because the record starts with two instrumentals, beeing the second two themes in one.I think the percentual balance between voice and instrumental is good". afirms Luis.
Evolution is suposed to be natural.And from the previous "The Glitter Odd" to the new work you feel the changes."beeing Saturnia a homegrown project things happen by themselves.Francisco Rebelo and i rarely sit down and say:"lets do music"It doesent happen that way.There is a certain dose of experimentalism and lots of improvisation."
The psychedelic component is a determining factor in the musical expression of Saturnia.With the strong rooting of the trance culture all around the world, it wouldn`t be absurd to think of a psychedelic trance meltdown.Luis doesen`t put the possibilitie aside."It depends on where the proposal would come from and the final result.Although our music has a realtime component, played by real musicicans, it also has the editing and mixing side because it also integrates electronic and dance music.We try to escape that because the project already incorporates that type of sound."
Imagery is deeply rooted in the Saturnia concept.We almost see a film by listening to the band`s sound.Would it be possible to have a saturnian soundtrack?"Of course, particularly if you consider the cinematic and visual nature of our music, wich originates, amongst other things, in the psychedelic roots of the project.In the begining, in our first demo, in 1996, the idea was to do a multimedia project, before dvd came up."
But it wont be ludicrous to think the other way round, that is, an image influenceing composing.
"Yes, lots of times.Not only in what refers to the music itself and its image.Its curious that you ask that in that way because the cinematic vein of Saturnia is present not only in traditional instrumental terms of played music but also in another way, with atmospherics.Saturniahave birds water, that type of fx that by themselves have a visual nature.
The time for creating an album of this breed seems to be quite atypical."It was diferent for each one.This one took about 11 months to record with a very comited schedule of work and experimentation and trying out everything.In some cases to realize things were allredy good."
"This also coincided with a phase of my life in wich i had time for everything.In 2002 i was submerged in meditation and contemplation.I stoped smoking and that reflected in the fact that it is a more conscious record.Much more optimized production.It is a more astral record.", he completes.
The international release of a project like this seemed inevitable."It happened.We dont have any sort of prejudice, however all the attemps we did to distribute or licence the record in Portugal didnt work due to lack of interest from both parts.The portuguese industry is is a microcosmos, a shut thing."
The contact with intenational labels happened with time.Luis describes the two labels Saturnia were in until now.
Cranium was a nice selling, undergroung, label, it had a catalogue with special things and thats why it was small.It was run by two people who grew their own food, a real hippie label with a well organized internet web.
On the other hand Mellow is a label with almost 500 titles that has been around since the nineties, it is a reference name, lots of people are interested in their releases before beeing iterested in the actual artists, Its more comercially agressive."He concludes.
Rocksound 02/2004 Pedro Trigueiro