Music producer and DJ Valesuchi [CL/BR] describes her friendship with João Meirelles, a Brazilian PhD student from the École Polytechnique Fédérale of Lausanne, as a short but potent one. “Our care for each other was mainly a response for us loving the same people. We had a potential friendship, that was already deeply intimate without actually having shared many experiences.”
In the time they spent together, mainly in Rio de Janeiro (where Chilian Valesuchi is based), they exchanged thoughts about the human and the divine, Buddhist practices, eastern philosophies, the mind, music, science, self-knowledge, discipline, life and death.
“His presence always moved me, João was a very powerful person. Our conversations were a direct, simple, present exchange. I never felt fear or insecurity being with him, despite accessing more and more intimate and vulnerable ideas, in a periodicity that alerted me to the silent setback that our meetings always had for me”, wrote the music producer.
In February 2020, just as she arrived home from a trip, she learned about her friend’s death, two years after he’d been diagnosed with cancer.
“The sentence of his illness made the quality of my presence even higher, more sincere, more affectionate, but without regret or sadness. We always seemed to return to the same conversation, one that always seemed to be just beginning. We would complement experiences, ideas, books, and references that hid an uncommon joy, it was a difficult subject to access with anyone. But João had a ‘je ne sais quoi’, like other masters I have had in my life.”
After João’s passing, Valesuchi set off on a research trip to Switzerland, a country she originally had not much contact with, to retrace João’s life there, where he studied dynamics of urban metabolism, at the EPFL, and attended, among others, the Buddhist monastery. “Through him, his research on metabolism in the city, our friendship, Lausanne and Rio de Janeiro, life and death, music and science, Zen and the party, his Spiritist family and my spiritual quest, he a man and I a woman, presence and absence, what continues to unite us through that power that time did not bring with him inside his body, the cancer he went through and my own issues to heal.”
The idea of the project, titled «2Human», was to delve into and register these relationships in order to make music; to generate creative mechanisms, to unwrap an album that talks about all these parallels that the friendship triggered in her. “Not to close, but to continue our interrupted conversation.”
The experience also led to a better understanding of Swiss socio-cultural history and current context, its richness and problematics (like the food and chocolate industry), and new collaborations, especially with Swiss-Colombian music producer Luca Durán, based in Zurich, and Céline Pugin, a Swiss DJ and interpreter for deaf people that also works with children.
After the trip, Valesuchi created a webpage recounting the journey and a playlist:
Valentina Montalvo Alé, aka Valesuchi, is a Chilian music producer and DJ based in Rio de Janeiro [BR]. Either in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night, she translates the vast mixture of her sonic research, embodied as a big list of questions that have grown through her music production and DJ craft, since she was 15 years old. She stitches and improvises a message, looking to blend each crowd’s shadow, expansive aliveness and sometimes a hidden sense of humour. By choosing people’s bodies as a limitless answer, Valesuchi rides the rhythm until there’s not much ice left to melt. The tools she has come from her background in Santiago’s gatherings and from the lessons learnt at the raves she’s played all over Brazil. She chose Rio de Janeiro as her home base in 2017, a place where techno, funk, desire, and danger coexist.