Arca

Composition | Programmation - Musicien/ne - Production

Née au Venezuela, Doña Arca est une compositrice de musique expérimentale, chanteuse, productrice, ingénieure du son et DJ basée à Barcelone. Productrice en vogue, elle a notamment produit l’EP2 de FKA Twigs et Yeezus de Kanye West avant de collaborer étroitement avec Björk pour Vulnicura et Utopia.

Avec franchise et audace, la musique et les performances scéniques d’Arca s’emploient à déstabiliser de façon brutale et sincère la binarité des genres. Une troisième voie qui intègre à la fois l’euphorie et la sensibilité, un acte de résistance à toute catégorisation.

Travail avec Björk

À propos de leur rencontre

Pitchfork : You’ve also said you’re working with Björk on her next album. How did you meet ?
It was serendipitous. Three years ago, my manager asked me : “Who do you want to work with ?” The first person I named was Björk. I also said André 3000 and Missy [Elliott]. He was like, “OK, but we’re realistically not going to be able to do that.” And then, after &&&&& came out, he sent it to one of Björk’s collaborators without even telling me. In a very beautiful and graceful way, she reached out to say that she had appreciated it. I was walking through some marshes with [my boyfriend] Daniel and I got this email and I just cried. I couldn’t believe it.
Then we met in London. She’d just finished her tour and asked me if I knew anyone who might be interested in DJing an after party to celebrate. I just kind of rolled up my sleeves and, as humbly as I could, said I would love to.
Pitchfork : What does that collaboration sound like ?
It’s not really my music, so it’s difficult to answer. I’m just a tiny piece of the equation. But it’s been completely healing spending time and working with her ; listening to her music changed the way I write, since I was really young. It’s as simple as that. Imagine making a new friend that is into the same kind of music as you. It’s very innocent, you know ?

Arca, Pitchfork, Octobre 2014

Arca et Björk, backstage, Carnegie Hall, New York, 2015. Photo issue de l’album Vulnicura Live
Arca & Björk, Auditorium Parco della Musica - Rome, 2015 photo : Musacchio & Ianniello

eternal gratitude to the all around fertile Arca for being up for weaving together our missions for a bit .... thanks for those magical 3 shows !!! a history of musical touches .....warmthnesss , bjork

Facebook, juillet 2015

À propos de l’album Vulnicura

I DJ’ed at the last Biophilia show after-party, then there was an invitation to come to Iceland, to listen to stuff with no expectations or agenda. Those were the Vulnicura songs, most of which were already written, with string arrangements and lyrics. It was very powerful. I cried a lot ! She doesn’t work in a calculated way. It’s more step by step, listening to intuition. It was very polite, cautious and considerate, because the material was so tender. It was almost about the silences between the conversations.
It felt mutually healing. Listening to “Black Lake” a lot of times was like a test, as it was so affecting. Then there’s “Quicksand”, a celebration. There’s a complete spectrum of human emotion.
There was a sense of wellbeing around the record, a safe cocoon of comfort and taking care of one another. Maybe that’s what allowed her to go into that wound so deeply – because she had a very warm base. When you work with Björk, you enter a family.

Arca, Uncut - avril 2017

Björk à propos de leur collaboration sur Utopia

why did you work with arca ?
at the end of vulnicura i felt a deep musical connection with him, i felt guilty having dragged him through such a dramatic and difficult subject matter and that we had earned a lightness. and he had served my mission with such elegance and dignity, i wanted to find another point of view where we could have the ideal utopian musical collaboration without the baggage of my heartbreak, but there was also some sense of a deeper purpose neither of us even understand today. something about when 2 musicians that could both do albums on their own would still merge, looking at it afterwards now that it is done, we wanted to leave our defenses and egos behind, the patriarchy, hierarchies, everything, and travel into pure abandon where no one is a victim. he’s not oppressed by adapting to my songs like on vulnicura, i can merge with a male producer and not be paranoid about being typecast as just the vocalist and so on. like embrace all the weaknesses and make it into strengths. stay vulnerable. we managed to watch each other’s backs, making each other braver. maybe it was weirdly also about the timing of me having just talked during vulnicura about how little credit women get as producers. maybe exactly then it was gonna take the most courage to merge with another. and still keep your dignity as a musician. because like all justice battles, black rights are not about isolating black people but that they can live in a society with white people but still keep same strength. same with women. i’m not sure how much it helps to isolate. i think it is important now that everyone is more aware of the culprits of sexism, we should be able to embrace collaborations and guys don’t get all the credit.

W Magazine, octobre 2017

À propos de l’influence de Björk

We were in the car together and I had been singing for fun and she turned to me very casually and asked me if I’d ever considered singing on my music. I just dismissed it. But then I took her very seriously because I respect her so profoundly as a vocalist. She gave me so much guidance, so I really want to celebrate that when I talk about the record. It was a big deal. She was so nurturing throughout the whole process and I don’t know if I would’ve been so brave to do his without her as a friend.

I-D Mag, février 2017

“It’s like a dream, but underneath that, there’s so much purity making music with someone you love. I don’t want to overstate or understate it, but it was the most profound musical connection I’ve ever had. Rewarding, challenging, stimulating, energising, uplifting – all of those things. To do something only we can do together : that was our consensus from the beginning. Trying to make something out of experience and ways of seeing. She did the arrangements and lyrics on her own, but when I was involved, we liked to be in the same room. But really it was all over : London, Reykjavík, New York, all over. Sometimes we would listen in a hotel in Tokyo. Every song on that album means something to me. It’s a record with yin and yang, and it has sharp teeth when it needs to.”

Mixmag

Anecdote

Pitchfork a relevé une correspondance entre les paroles du refrain "Anoche te añoré / Aunque no te he conocido aún” (“Last night I missed you / Even though I haven’t met you yet”) et le titre « I miss you » de Björk « I miss you / But I haven’t met you yet ».

Vie personnelle

Arca a débuté une transition en juin 2019.

It took me a long time to embark on transitioning. I was thinking about it for years and the thought wouldn’t go away. I was like, well, I could just hope that it goes away for longer, or I could admit this thing… and it might make it hard to recognise myself in the mirror at some point. That was the scary part. But then I just embraced that.

Arca, i-d.vice, juin 2020

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