Alma Laprida is creating a futuristic sound with medieval tools


Final 12 months, as Alma Laprida ready to relocate from Buenos Aires to Bethesda, the packing wasn’t simple. She gave away some furnishings, requested associates to carry on to her books, and offered off a set of synthesizers that she’d been utilizing as an improviser and composer within the Buenos Aires sound-art scene. Then Laprida got here throughout a chunk of drugs that had been sitting untouched in her closet for years. It was her custom-made trumpet marine: a stringed medieval instrument that, when bowed, generates an historical sigh.

She remembered studying to play it when she was 19, and the way “it completely resonated with my physique,” Laprida, now 37, says — a lot in order that at any time when she wasn’t taking part in the instrument in a medieval music ensemble, she’d be bowing it at dwelling as a method of meditation. On varied nights spent navigating the Buenos Aires efficiency artwork world, Laprida discovered herself toting her trumpet marine in all places, from museums to discos, sometimes taking part in it on her head. “There was one efficiency the place I performed it dressed up like a nun, however [the habit] was all white, and I used to be carrying Kiss make-up,” she says. “There are not any photos. I’m so sorry about that.”

All of these adventures felt important to Laprida, so when her husband accepted a brand new job in Washington final 12 months, she introduced her trumpet marine alongside — a choice that has since turn out to be central to her music making. “My context has modified radically, and it makes you [ask] numerous questions on your self,” she says. “In Buenos Aires, I knew who I used to be as an artist. After I acquired right here, I didn’t know who I used to be anymore. So it was [good to have] one thing that was mine.”

Fortunately, Laprida shortly discovered her strategy to Rhizome — a venue that routinely hosts the realm’s most adventurous musicians and audiences — and she or he’s appeared there semi-regularly since, performing each composed and improvised items on her trumpet marine, typically working its two-stringed sound by means of amplifiers and results pedals, studying what it may do in actual time. “I don’t wish to dominate the instrument,” she says. “I wish to have a dialogue with it. That’s why I play in a really minimalistic means. I’m attempting to play as little as I can and let the instrument do its factor. … Generally, I attempt to not management what I’m doing in any respect. Simply let your arm go a little bit unfastened and these harmonics will seem.”

Seems, studying this instrument by experimenting with it’s considerably of a necessity. There aren’t many trumpet marine stars on the market to idolize. However Laprida says that dynamic speaks the instrument’s attraction, too. It’s able to creating an age-old sound with nearly zero pedagogical baggage. “So Jimi Hendrix is an affect,” she says. “I’m not evaluating myself there. However he invented a means of taking part in. And there’s at all times new methods of doing issues, I feel. I like that. I additionally like recovering tales that appear misplaced in time.”

Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. at Rhizome, 6950 Maple St. NW. $10-$20.

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