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Dom La Nena

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Brazilian born cellist and vocalist Dom La Nena released her debut album, Ela, on Six Degrees Records in January, 2013. Ela is a stunningly intricate and understated collection of thirteen original compositions, sung in Portuguese and Spanish. Dom’s delicate vocals and multi-tracked cello on the album are supported by spare, minimal arrangements by co-producer and label mate Piers Faccini.

Since its release, Ela has been raved about in publications such as the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Dom has been featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition, as well as appearing on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic program. In addition, Dom has toured the globe and was recently given the “Prix Miroir” award for World & Folk Music by The Festival d’été de Québec.

Dom La Nena, born Dominique Pinto, moved to France at age eight while her father pursued his doctorate. Five years later, upon moving back to Brazil, Dom began to write letters to acclaimed American cellist Christine Walevska. At age thirteen, Dom moved to Argentina with her parents’ consent and studied with Walevska for several years before returning to Paris at eighteen.

In 2009, Dom was performing as a cellist with English actress and singer Jane Birkin. Upon returning from an international tour with Birkin, she set about writing and recording her first album. The writing process initially proved challenging, but after a period of reflection, she focused on the work at hand and the songs began to flow. Dom has also accompanied French stars Jeanne Moreau, Camille and Etienne Daho.

Dom, who draws influence from contemporary artists such as Cat Power, Lhasa de Sela and Juana Molina, first met co-prodcuer Faccini through her husband Jeremiah, a director and photographer who made videos for Faccini, REM, Camille, Stephan Eicher, among others. For Dom, meeting Piers Faccini was the catalyst for the creation of Ela. A longtime fan of Faccini’s music, Dom found him to be the perfect partner to co-produce, arrange and record Ela.

After she met Faccini and expressed her frustration with trying to record her solo material, he suggested that she use his home studio in the Cevennes Mountains of France and demonstrated the basics of recording. Inspired by the relaxed vibe, Dom recorded almost all of her parts in one week. After hearing the results, Faccini wanted in, and set to work on the songs while Dom returned to Brazil. “First he sent me what he had done with my song ‘No Meu Pais’ and I was overwhelmed with joy and so impressed with the way he’d really understood my music…straight off, there was quickly a really strong sense of complicity: we made music in the same way, and didn’t even have to explain things to each other.”

In the wake of Ela’s success, Dom has recently gone back into the studio to self produce a new EP consisting of one new original track, “Golondrina”, also the EP’s title, as well as an eclectic collection of three cover songs that speak to the diversity of her influences.

“I just wanted to record this collection of songs in the closest possible way to the arrangements I use when performing live. That is why I recorded these tracks all alone, without other musicians, only with my cello and my voice, as I do with most of my shows. I wanted the recording process to be spontaneous and immediate, keeping the freshness of the live performance, and the imperfection of the moment.“

The EP features Dom’s first recording in English, a cover of The National’s “Start A War.” While listening to Boxer by The National, Dom says, “I immediately had arrangement ideas that I wanted to explore for “Start A War”. While working on the song with my loop pedal, it became one of those covers that immediately felt right, it was perfectly suitable for what I do.”

In Spanish, “Golondrina” means “swallow”, a metaphor that this EP is a swallow passing between Ela and Dom’s next studio album in gestation. Dom La Nena’s Golondrina EP will be released on October 22, her debut full length album, Ela is available worldwide.

 

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