The latest instalment of The Maker comes from Argentinian musician, composer and travel enthusiast, Francisco Sonur. Currently based in Austrlia, Fran’s approach to music making is raw and honest, drawing from a wide range of influences that include family life, growth, hope and nostalgia. Fran’s most recent album, ‘Kind of Happiness’, was released on RTR earlier this month; the album presents Fran’s storytelling compositions, focusing on the small details of family life. Before releasing on RTR, Fran’s music can be heard via Time Released Sound, Shimmering Moods Records, The Ambient Zone, and Bruma Del Sur.
In this feature, Fran talks about defying genre, music as therapy, favourite recent releases and trading magazine for cassettes while exploring new music during childhood.
How did you first get introduced to ambient/drone/experimental music?
I think I always tried to make music with what I had around me. When I lived in Argentina I always played in bands, but when I moved to Australia, even though I was alone, I felt the need to continue expressing myself through music. I don’t think of music in terms of genres, but let the songs find their own way. that’s why some tracks have percussion, others have acoustic guitars, others maybe just a field recording; whatever allows me to evoke what I need to express will be used.
What inspires you to create a new body of work?
Throughout my life I have used music as a therapy, without realising it. Although it sounds very general, I am constantly writing, practically every day I compose something. I don’t see it as a virtue, but as a necessary thing to keep my brain in order.
How do you approach working on a new release?
To be completely honest, there is no specific way. I keep writing until I feel that something is complete, then I start composing something new. This album was written at the same time as ‘Morning Trials’ (album I released in February through Time Released Sound) One day I felt ‘Morning Trials’ was ready and a few days later I started writing ‘Kind of happiness’.
Can you tell us about your favourite new release from the last 12 months?
I don’t know if it’s my favourite album, but I listened a lot when Mogwai’s last album came out, ‘As The Love Continues’. I was also listening a lot to ‘A small town in the mountains’, by Tomosala.
As RTR is a tape label, we have to ask: What attracts you to the cassette medium?
The cassette as a medium evokes very beautiful memories of my childhood, I have a special love for this format. For some reason I inherited a collection of valuable sports magazines in my country, and as we were very poor, I used to exchange them for cassettes recorded with trash metal records. When I started playing in bands, we would record rehearsals on an old tape recorder, and I loved to do the artwork with pen on old cassettes. Something of my childhood is there and I like to think it helps me not to forget who I am and where I come from.