Everything continues without you

By John Clay

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Your press release ends on the line ‘Everything continues without you.’ I wish that was a line in the song! Tell me more about the lyrics of ‘Resting in Murder.’

Sofia: The whole song revisits one of my sleep paralysis episodes and my grandmother’s death. How life seemed cruel by continuing its movements, its noises, its everything when your world has stopped. Everything continued without me. Life, and with life, I mean the nature of things – is cruel in essence. We’re in a constant Darwinistic mode as a result. I must say it’s never easy to combine these types of lyrics with heavy guitars. That was always my struggle with Starsha Lee for some reason. There’s a Scott Walker album that I absolutely adore called ‘The Drift’ that is the type of backing that I imagine for these lyrics.

What problems did you find in the lyrics not working with heavy guitars? How did you resolve this struggle?

Sofia: All imagery has an emotional connotation to the writer, and one aims to translate it correctly. This “properly” means that we feel some mediums better than others. If this makes sense, these lyrics are different in color and sound from a heavy guitar. I try to resolve this incompatibility by writing with some humor. The first album is tragically humorous. For years now, I’ve been tired of the rock n roll sound – I know, I must be joking, right? When I started Starsha Lee, I was putting out something in a residual state already.

Would you say then that your communication is better suited to your use of polaroids?

Sofia: No, Polaroids are silent. There’s potential noise in them, but they represent tactile moments in silence. Unfortunately, or maybe not, I don’t know. I need body language to achieve a specific type of translation. I spent years with all this fury, this body language fury, locked inside me. I have to put it out somehow, and if rock n roll is my only chance, I will do it. This is why I always said I’m not a musician. What I care about most are body grammar and words. I’m going to do more Butoh classes in the future. That’s something I’m very interested in.

In conclusion, I want to grasp a plural language. I want to feel and translate everything I can without limitations. Concepts like being a singer, a painter, dressing in a certain way have revealed themselves as limited to me. I think human beings suffer from definitions too much. It seems that sensitivity is fluid, eternal, flowing, and can grasp anything, any medium. I’m going to say something unpopular – plurality is individuality.

I must say I thought being in a band would be a place of freedom, but it turns out to be just another random cage.

Keen to know why you consider plurality being synonymous with individuality to be an unpopular statement?

Sofia: Apart from the music scene, I’m friends with other types of artists like poets, photographers, and so on. And I keep seeing this post-modern tendency to assume that an artist is someone like no one else. No one has to be careful about explaining this! I’m not saying their sensitivity is not their own. Funny, I remember years ago a poet I know got very irritated with me when I told her about the human faculty of creating art. I told her that all humans have the capacity for aesthetical feelings, as Kant explains very well. She thought I was saying her poetry was like any other poet’s poetry (a threat to her individualism). Immediately she replied to me with a hierarchy of artists, trying to keep her status safe. Now, we all know that some artists were more socially relevant than others, but that’s a different question. What I’m saying is, in very simplistic terms (and broken English!), I think that a lot of art results from the stigma of being unique. That point of view started to take shape in the Renaissance times and led to what we perceive nowadays. In reality, it seems to be just another territorial pissing. Culture is a funny thing. I will leave this question as I don’t want to be unpleasant to anybody.

By plurality, I mean that our spirit has the capacity of dialogue and be many identities. We see this in Butoh dance, for example. There’s an attempt to be everything in Butoh or any other form of subconscious performance. Therefore, the identity seems like fiction. We are everything. The work of Kazuo Ohno comes to mind.

Writers talk about the crowd of voices they have in their head waiting to come to life, actors to bring people to life, painters that paint states of mind… it’s all about manifesting something.

Hearing an artist debunk or demystify what you rightly pointed out as a legacy of the renaissance period is so refreshing. For some artists, it’s as if Warhol never happened. In closing, you describe yourself as a ‘Womb victim, no disclaimer.’ Was there any hesitation in writing a line that appears to reduce the lives in question?

Sofia: I write in English, which is always a disadvantage. I have a natural tendency to write in a very compact, short way. I think my lyrics always suggest that something is unsaid, but it’s that untold state of things that the listener can glue their own meaning to.

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