“…a show that will never be reproduced.” – Orquesta
Little more than a year after Orquesta’s Dona Sandra EP first appeared online, and with the dreamy, star-studded follow-up Kokomo still doing the rounds on applicable social networks, the Latin-influenced Irish producer is ready to make his live debut.
This Friday, the 23-year-old globetrotter and his band of merry noisemakers take to the stage in Dublin’s Grand Social for a truly unique live show that frankly, makes my head spin just thinking about it.
The trailer below has the facts and figures.
Coming to us from London-via-Berlin, the man behind Orquesta, a knowledgeable young chap called Lan, has promised an entirely individual performance every time he takes to the stage. This means that whenever you see Orquesta (live) on a bill, each of the songs have been completely reinvented with a different arrangement and with a whole new band lineup.
Intrigued by his intimidatingly ambitious plans, I tracked Lan down for a chat about the show, and to find out precisely how he’s going to pull it off…
The Orquesta project seems fairly new but I know you’ve been DJing for a while. How did it all come about?
I’ve been DJing for about 6 years, but I’ve been playing in bands since I was a young kid so I’ve always been into making and performing music in different ways. I played in a band for a couple of years when I was around 18 and I first learnt how to produce a bit through that. Then I started doing it more seriously, putting together whole tracks digitally and I decided to call the project Orquesta because when I first started with it, I was planning on making more heavily Latin influenced stuff, but I guess it evolved then into what I’m making now.
What made you decide to create an alternative live show to the man-with-laptop set-up?
Well, to be honest I’ve heard so many negative comments about man-with-laptop sets (even though I’ve never really seen one) that even if I could I wouldn’t do one. I think that live performance should be more than that anyway. You can really bond with a band you haven’t spoken to by watching them on stage. It’s such a personal experience between the crowd and the band. Also, a live performance really displays and adds character and if you are just in front of a computer then no one can really see what you are about.
Changing the arrangements for each show sounds like an incredibly scary task; have you run into any problems so far?
It’s actually okay this time. For this one I’ve kept it pretty simple, I’ve just beefed up most of the songs. They have more rhythm to the recorded versions so that they will come across better in the club-like setting of The Grand Social. I want each show to be in a different space and the songs will be arranged in accordance to the space. So, for example, if I did one in some sort of hall maybe I would take out the rhythm and play with a strings section. There are a lot of possibilities and I’ll only be playing about once a year so I have a lot of time to prepare for each one. I’d say once I get about 10 gigs deep I might start getting stuck for what to do though.
What’s the thinking behind changing the musicians each time?
Well, if I’m arranging all the songs differently, I would have to change the instrumentation too. We are only on the first cycle so it’s really my first pick of bandmates. I have Brendan from Cloud Castle Lake on guitar, then two of my great friends Cait on the synth and Ben on percussion. Kathi and Katie Kim are joining us for three songs to cover vocals too. The band is made up of my close friends so it’s really so fun practicing. I’m just sort of sad that after Friday I will be working towards the next show with an entirely different line-up, although it will be great too.
How did you get involved with A/V duo CLU and what can you tell us about what they have planned for the show?
Well, I’d just know CLU from around the place. I’ve seen them play once and they were great and I love the tracks that they’ve put out. I don’t really know what they have planned for the show because Sean has been in New York all summer. I’m sure it will be great though.
The idea of each live show being different reminds me a bit of Brian Eno’s generative music concept. Do you reckon audiences are just getting too impatient for hearing/seeing the same thing over and over again?
Well, as I was saying, I used to play in a band, but we would play maybe once every couple of weeks in Dublin and it got to the stage that people just weren’t willing to come and see us because they’d seen us the time before and then when there was a show that really counted, they just wouldn’t come. It’s like, why would you be pushed to see a band you could just watch in a couple of weeks?This way it will be a show that will never be reproduced, different music, different band, different venue. I want it to be a totally different and special experience each time.
Orquesta live comes to the Grand Social, Dublin this Friday, August 24 from 9pm. You can also catch the Orquesta DJ set at Electric Picnic on Saturday, September 1.