PRESENTS HER ALBUM "FIFTH
Interview conducted by Jorge Munnshe
first album, "Fifth Dimension", Dolores Castro, a formerly unknown
composer up to now, has caused a very good impression in the
specialized music press. And not only because, unfortunately, there are
few women making electronic music, but rather because she has proved to
possess an admirable ease as a composer. This fact, together with her
solid skill with the keyboards, provides her music with a great
"Fifth Dimension" (released on Dreaming / Musea Records, in France) can
be labelled between the most symphonic paths of
Ambient and the most electronic side of New Instrumental Music. The
themes possess well-defined melodies, with a romantic air often dyed
with a suggestive aura of mystery and melancholy touches. The rhythms,
basically between Pop and Techno, contribute the taste of adventure in
those tracks where they are fast, and reinforce the general approach in
those pieces where they flow at half-speed. The palette of sounds is
wealthy, sober, elegant and agile, with a predominance of majestic
tones, warm electronics, and diaphanous ambiences. The piano leads
several passages. The orchestrations and the arrangements are well
done, and a careful task can be appreciated behind every element of
How and when did you become interested in music? And
can you comment on your vocation as a composer?
Music has always been present in
my background. My grandfather used to play several instruments such as
the piano, the violin, which he loved, the accordion, the guitar. I
also used to listen to different types of electronic music thanks to my
older brother. But my vocation to compose began since one day, when I
was seven or eight years old, my father bought me a small electronic
keyboard. With this instrument I used to spend hours inventing songs.
Do you consider yourself as linked to some given label or musical style?
I don't like to get labelled
within any given style in electronic music. I believe that one must
keep being innovative. The idea of merging different styles and thus
achieving my own style is one of my future projects.
Do you feel that you have received musical influences that have somehow
shaped the way for your style?
My influences range
music by such renowned bands as Depeche Mode or Yazoo, one of my
favorites, to dance music with bands like Snap or even such artists as
Robert Miles. Within ChillOut, people like Uranus attract my attention
thanks to their delicate way of composing. Artists like Enya or Suzanne Ciani
have touched me in the sweetness of their compositions, which I
seldom find in male comoposers. Yet, what I have really followed are
soundtracks. Such composers as James Horner, John Williams or
Wojiech Kilar really impress me. I undoubtedly highlight
Vangelis, his electronic mergers within this world seem to me something
wonderful- In this sense I also like JM Jarre or Mike Oldfield a lot
within electronic new age music.
Which things inspire you when it comes to composing?
I don't get inspired by any
given thing when I sit before my keyboard. If there are melancholy
touches in my themes it is maybe due to the deep feelings that any
problem we see and live in our society daily, or personal situations,
arise in me. I can never predict or imagine what may cause me to
experience any sensation when it comes to composing.
Which is the process you usually follow to compose and record a piece?
As time went by I have built a
small homestudio. I listen to one of the endless samples I have
available, whether it is rhythmic or not; I give it effects or
distortions to achieve a different sound, one that I like, and then I
start to compose the first tracks. I don't have a common technique for
all of them, I sometimes start by setting a rhythmic basis and continue
creating, or just the other way round, I introduce the rhythmic basis
at the end. Yet, what is a common trait is the piano or some strings
shaping them in their purest possible form, without distortions.
Tell us about your album "Fifth Dimension". Did you
compose it in a given period of time or does it rather gather pieces
which you created in different occasions? Do the titles of the themes
reveal questions that inspired you when composing them?
"Fifth Dimension" was created
more or less a year ago, when I could add new equipment to my
homestudio. Only in the composition called "Peace" have I introduced a
melody that I created twelve years ago. I give the titles at the end of
each composition. providing a meaning for the feeling they cause in me
when I finish them.
Although luckily the situation is changing, it looks as if there still
are few women occupying prominent positions in the panorama of
electronic music in general, and in that of Ambient, Space Sequencer
Music and other related trends. Why is this presence so weak in your
I work in the computer world as
an engineer and there you can also notice this weak female
presence. I believe that sometimes they don't access the electronic
worlds due to an ignorance about it, or maybe they find it more
attractive to compose with acoustic instruments. I hope that in the
future this changes, we may see more composers before a keyboard.
Apart from the type
of music you have shaped in "Fifth
Dimension", do you compose or have you created music with different
I have composed several music
pieces, which I have partly recorded, whereas I commit to memory other
pieces and keep playing them. I think that my preference for symphonic
musics has shaped me, I have tried to get started. I have shaped a
small sample in the album with "ListenHearts".
Do you feel attracted to the electronic world mostly because of the
ease it allows you to control ever detail in the process of musical
creativity? Or do you prefer its capability to generate sounds
outside the range of acoustic instruments?
I value most the wide distortion
you can get from a sound.Yet what is obvious is the fact that the
electronic medium allows you to take control of all tha composition,
you are the conductor.
Do you have any preferences as to synthesizers or software?
Right now, from my modest
position I cannot give an opinion about the wide variety of
professional material existing today. The album is basically recorded
with the Reason. I think it has a great versatility, especially
when it comes to make masters like in the case of "Fifth Dimension".
Do you feel that your music reflects your personality, as if, in a way,
you would express things about you, through it? Or do you rather feel
it as a path where you invent musical stories?
I reflect all that surrounds me,
everything that enters through my senses and causes emotions in me. I
reckon something of me is affected when I compose and this comes to the
surface and appears in my compositions.
Do you wish to add something else?
I want to thank you for the
chance you offer me to make myself known to your readers with this
interview, I believe you and your team make an excellent work.
Thanks to you, Dolores.
Dolores Castro's website:
Previous Page (Articles/News)