Photo © Peter Tümmers
Laura Robles & Ale Hop
with Liza Alpízar Aguilar – dance
Cajón/percussion, electric guitar, electronics (2022, WP)
The Peruvian musicians Laura Robles and Alejandra Cárdenas (aka Ale Hop) – both based in Berlin – have long followed experimental approaches in their music and in various art formats. Their performance »Agua Dulce« (Sweet Water) is named for a popular beach in the district of Chorrillos (in Lima) where both Robles and Cárdenas spent time during their youth. Here – only a few houses away, yet without knowing one another – was where the two developed their musical world of experience. Their performance is also influenced by the Peruvian coast: as a point of departure, the two artists use »Afro-Peruvian Rhythms«, a catch-all term for the different musical developments of the last two centuries on the Pacific Coast. Together, the artists explore new sounds and rhythms with Robles’ hybrid Cajon for electronic and acoustic sounds, which Cárdenas, in turn, transforms with electronic effects and synthesis modules.
Laura Robles (*1981, Eswatini in Africa) is a composer and percussionist who was raised in Lima, Peru where she had access to the rich Afro-Peruvian musical tradition at a young age. She is widely regarded as an important player of the cajón, a box-shaped percussion instrument originally developed by slaves from West Africa. Robles founded several bands, including El Astrocombo and Stretch it to The Limit, as well as the social education initiative Parió Paula. In addition, she performs with theater and dance companies as well as with renowned folklore, jazz and rock musicians both in Peru and at international festivals. In 2012 she moved to Berlin and founded the Berlin version of her Astrocombo Band, which won the Studio Prize of the City of Berlin in 2014.