Sitting on the ground outside The Frequency, I watched as one eager fan after another knocked on the music venue’s door looking to be let inside. Each time a woman, after opening the door just wide enough to reveal her face, told the fan they were not ready for an audience yet. On one occasion she claimed perfection was still being made.
Eventually she opened the door and fans filed in one by one to get their hands stamped for the concert. The venue was quickly packed with people of all ages, excited for the innovative music of Son Lux to fill the room.
The DJ Photay, or Evan Shornstein, opened with original dance and electronic sounds before Xenia Rubinos took over as the second opener with extraordinary vocals. Her voice and energy overwhelmed the venue. As she grooved across the stage, her voice exuded a smoky goosebumps inducing sound.
After the two openers, Son Lux took the stage and, to a wave of applause, it opened with “Your Day Will Come.” From that first song onward Son Lux engaged the audience with its mesmerizing vocal and instrumental collaborations. Ryan Lott, founding member of Son Lux, projected his voice onto the audience with grace and precision. While most of the music came from the trio’s most recent full length album, Bones, it also pulled some fan favorites, including “Easy”, from its 2013 album Lanterns. Overall Son Lux produced a powerful performance.
Prior to the May 18 concert, I interviewed Lott to find out what pushed him toward a career in music and what continues to inspire him today.
Moda Magazine: When did you decide you wanted to pursue a career in music? Why?
Ryan Lott: I didn’t come from a musical family, and music wasn’t an important part of my life early on — the “oldies” station on road trips, that’s my only early memory of music. But it was a family rule for us kids to play the piano, as a matter of discipline, more than anything. It was one of the best things my parents have done for me, along with ignoring my years of protestation on the matter. But after a few years, I began to feel an urge to write my own music and change what was on the page. As soon as music became something that I could author, it came alive for me. Eventually, a life in music was my only option.
MM: Where do you draw inspiration from when making your music?
RL: There are different kinds of inspiration. Listening to music I like gives me a strong urge to make music. The impulse to create is intrinsically tied to the experience of listening, so listening is creating, in that sense. That said, particular technical ideas usually come to me while experiencing other art forms (mostly dance), or without warning while going about the average day.
MM:You have collaborated with a lot of other artists throughout your career— why do you choose to do so? Do you think collaboration is important in music?
RL: There is nothing like working alone in a laboratory. It can be a private & meditative, akin to a spiritual practice. But the act of sharing a process with someone is also beautiful. We can watch together as something magical takes shape from nothing. And ideally, that thing challenges our habits and laziness, and rewires our minds a bit.
MM: Ideally, where would you like to see your music career ten years from now?
RL: I’d like to see a greater impact from each of my efforts.
Photo by: Margaret Duffey