The Solitude of the Singing Artist

Pedro Carmona-Alvarez is a Chilean/Norwegian artist. He releases his music under the name Moonpedro And The Sinking Ship since 2007. He has released three records, Ed Wood (2007), Homegrown (2013) and this year Let´s, Pig (2016). He is also a well known writer of novels, poems and essays. His books are translated to several languages, such as English, German, Danish, Turkish. He is also translates from Spanish and English, and in 2015 he was handpicked by PJ Harvey to translate her book of book of poems (The Hollow of The Hand) to both Norwegian and Spanish. He was also the editor of Signaler (2003¬–09) and of the poetry anthology Verden finnes ikke på kartet (with Gunnar Wærness), which was awarded the Norwegian Critics Prize for best translation in 2010. He has also received the Cappelen prize (2004), the prestigious Hunger Prize (Sultprisen) (2005) and the Norwegian Poetry Society’s Prize (Den Norske Lyrikklubbens pris, 2005) and in 2013, Norwegian National Radio’s award for best novel for The Weather Changed, Summer Came and So On. Recently, the Seagull School of Publishing in association with NORLA presented PEDRO CARMONA-ALVAREZ,  in an interactive session at the Seagull Bookstore here in Kolkata. All are welcome.

What it was like to leave your homeland and live in exile? Do you remember Salvador Allende?

Leaving was strange, as I was just a kid, knowing nothing about politics. But I soon found out and that kind of pushing me into adulthood, maybe sooner that it should. I had to grow up really fast. Allende, I don’t remember as such, since he died when I was an infant, but of course his image and legacy and all the iconic imagery that the exile community exposed, that I remember. 

Could you talk about the poetry, novels and literature that have inspired your works?

Oh, that´s an infinite question; The Beatles, Mercedes Sosa´s singing, Pablo Neruda´s Residence on Earth (which he wrote i Rangoon), Leonard Cohen´s precision and Bob Dylan´s stealing, Hamlet, Macbeth, Eurypides, Sonic Youth, The Pixies, Roberto Bolaño, The Carter Family, Alejandra Pizarnik, Julio Cortazar, Jorge Luis Borges, Violeta Parra and so on and so on. 

What influences in today's world infuse your poetry and what do you think of today's Chile? 

Everything. My poetry is an open door to everything, from political and social issues with the most stupid, meaningless, private stuff. Chile, to me, looks more and more like a giant shopping center. 

Writing is solitary. How do you feed your creative work? What role, if any, does community play in sustaining and nurturing you as an artist?

I read, listen to music, think about what I’ve read, listened to. It´s simple, actually. I am very interested in these things, regardless of me being an artist. If I didn’t write, I probably would still have been a reader and a listener. 

When I play music, I do it with my friends, and that´s nice. To be with them. Make something happen together. Writing´s different. There´s a community there as well, but of some other kind. Like a community of ghosts. 

You are a musician as well as a novelist. Do the two creative impulses come from the same place?

Yes, it does. Same well. 

What is the most important message or experience you would like your audience to have or take away from your work?

No message. I hope they make it their own, whatever it is. 

How do you see a change in relationships in the world today because of the connectivity of people or do you eschew all the social media?

I´m sure it´s changed, yeah. I’m not too deep in that stream, though. I’m not too social. I wasn’t social before Facebook was invented either. That´s why I write, I like solitude. 

Are there any new projects you are working on?

Yes, I am finishing a novel these days, and it´s growing! I also work on music, constantly, I just released an album-Let’s Pig  and plan on doing some touring this year. 

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