Name: Geoastra aka Juan Lucio
Occupation: DJ, music producer, sound engineer
Current Release: The new Geoastra album Age of Robots 01 is out July 23rd on G89.
1. Facundo Cabral - No estás deprimido, estás distraido.
2. Salvador Dalí - Galatea of the Spheres
If you enjoyed this interview with Geoastra, visit him on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with his unique sound work. Or head over the website and soundcloud page of his label g89 for more music.
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
I started playing with FL Studio DAW approximately at the age of 13 years old (in the year 2007), since then I've been trying to learn a bit more each day.
I was born in a family with many musical influences. My father is a singer and had a musical group for many years, so I've had the chance to explore various musical genres while growing up.
What drew me into electronic music specifically was the influence of my elder brother Chris a.k.a. 'Chris Lucsan' (we have a duo together called 'Beyond Humans') and my cousin Jose. As a little kid, I remember they shared with me trance mixes like the "In Search of Sunrise" series from DJ Tiesto, and music from Paul Van Dyk, John Digweed, among others, that was my entry point into the rabbit hole.
Just closing my eyes and lay down while listening to that music for hours filled my heart and soul, so many feelings I couldn't describe with words even now.
For most artists, originality is preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you: How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice?
Interesting statement, in my personal experience, mostly emulating others I would say. I perceive it as a fundamental part of human nature.
The brain is a magnificent tool, I'm not quite informed about the science behind creativity but I think there's a connection between your roots and your learning experiences, so that with the passing of time, you gradually construct your own voice.
Originality itself is something more subjective to me and also related to the time we're living in. What was original at a certain time to some people is not exciting for the newer generations. That's the beauty of it, music is always in constant evolution.
How do you feel your sense of identity influences your creativity?
After analyzing this question and trying to look at it from a macro perspective, I could say that when I'm creating, I feel like I'm detaching myself from a part of my own sense of identity. I mean, I just get caught into the flow and become one with the process, so it's hard to tell exactly how it influences my creativity. But at a subconscious general level, I think it definitely does.
What were your main creative challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time?
Procrastination and lack of discipline. They haven't changed too much over time.
As creative goals and technical abilities change, so does the need for different tools of expression, be it instruments, software tools or recording equipment. Can you describe this path for you, starting from your first studio/first instrument? What motivated some of the choices you made in terms of instruments/tools/equipment over the years?
Yes sure, initially I had a computer running FL studio DAW accompanied by a pair of little speakers. The creations I made at that time came 100% from the digital domain, using internal sample libraries and VST plugins.
Since then my brother and me (we've practically always shared our studio) have been adding and/or renovating gear, little by little with our savings. From midi controllers to analogue sequencers and synths like the Akai Rhythm Wolf, Korg Volca Bass, among others, always with the intention to learning more and improving our audio quality.
Have there been technologies or instruments which have profoundly changed or even questioned the way you make music?
Totally. Last year, the technologies involved in the development of immersive audio in general like Dolby Atmos, Sennheiser / Dear Reality 'Dear VR' and Unity sound for video games, inspired me to create my recent album Age of Robots 01.
I think music changes in parallel with technology through time and I dare to say that something like immersive audio (also called spatial audio) is here to stay. It may suddenly become the standard for sound consumption, the same way stereo replaced mono a few decades ago.
Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?
While producing Age of Robots 01 I didn't collaborate with any other specific artist. But I have to recognize that nothing would've been possible without the anonymous work of all the people behind the development of software as tools for creators, some of them expecting nothing in return. Take for example, 'Paul's Extreme Sound Stretch', 'Spitfire Labs', 'Surge', 'Ribs' and many other awesome projects, some even open source. Also the recording engineers for sample libraries and virtual instruments in general.
I produced my album at home during quarantine with a pair of headphones and a PC. So I used most of the tools mentioned above besides some old samples of my own.
Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please. Do you have a fixed schedule? How do music and other aspects of your life feed back into each other - do you separate them or instead try to make them blend seamlessly?
Well since the pandemic, my days aren't particularly exciting, but I've found the necessary time to observe my thoughts and behaviour as a learning experience.
Before all this happened I had a very meticulous schedule, nowadays I'm trying to flow with the day, prioritizing my sleep hours and doing what I love most first, spending time with my wife and studying a lot of new stuff that I find interesting.
Life is a gift so you have to enjoy it, I'm extremely grateful for every new day I have.
Can you talk about a breakthrough work, event or performance in your career? Why does it feel special to you? When, why and how did you start working on it, what were some of the motivations and ideas behind it?
My project 'Geoastra' is quite new so for the moment I couldn't tell. I hope people like my recent album, I really enjoyed working on it. Maybe I can talk about a recent podcast my brother and I made for 'Monument' as 'Beyond Humans' it gained a lot of attention, it's really nice when people seem to enjoy what you do.
There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you? What supports this ideal state of mind and what are distractions? Are there strategies to enter into this state more easily?
Personally I just try to sit down and work.
For me there aren't special moments or specific states of mind required to create, I just try to show up every day and do something. Eventually, ideas will come.
I cannot deny that there are some magical moments when you are "in the zone" and everything flows smoothly, but you don't feel it before taking action. Only by doing something can you increase the possibility of getting there.
About distractions, I understand our mind is like a radio constantly searching for different signals and stimulus. So I just observe and let go, that's pretty much it.
Music and sounds can heal, but they can also hurt. Do you personally have experiences with either or both of these? Where do you personally see the biggest need and potential for music as a tool for healing?
Since I was a child and while growing up I've experienced rough moments of anxiety and panic attacks. Music for me has been a way of healing, it gives me direction and keeps me in the present moment. Some music does a silent effective job, spreading love and kind energies throughout the universe, it's really important.
Today's mainstream music is mostly intended to satisfy social needs. The mainstream music of the future will be intended to satisfy spiritual and mental needs.
There is a fine line between cultural exchange and appropriation. What are your thoughts on the limits of copying, using cultural signs and symbols and the cultural/social/gender specificity of art?
I think we need to be very perceptive and careful with all we say, write or claim both within our art, and in everyday interactions. But we as a collective mind cannot forget that we are all part of the human race. No one chooses to be born here or there, all cultures are lent to us the moment we arrive here, so they don't really belong to us. When you are aware of that, nothing can really be taken from you.
So in front of unscrupulous people, I invite everyone reading this, to act first with love, kindness and compassion.
Our sense of hearing shares intriguing connections to other senses. From your experience, what are some of the most inspiring overlaps between different senses - and what do they tell us about the way our senses work?
Unfortunately I don't remember ever having had such an experience so far, but it would be very cool. What I've experienced is like individual senses connected to deep memories of specific moments in my life, both with sound and smell, individually. It's something really special!
Sadly, it rarely happens and when it does, it lasts for a few seconds only.
Art can be a purpose in its own right, but it can also directly feed back into everyday life, take on a social and political role and lead to more engagement. Can you describe your approach to art and being an artist?
Spread love to the universe.
What can music express about life and death which words alone may not?
I believe you may find the answer within the question itself.