Canciones para conversar con la muerte
This is a tribute to death. Or to use the words of its author, the Chilean composer, producer and singer Pablo Ilabaca, "a tribute to all my dead – those relatives and friends who left". If you’re familiar with his previous work, you will instantly feel that “Canciones para conversar con la muerte'' is a very different album, not in line with either Chancho en Piedra or Jaco Sánchez, the main alter ego through whom the musician has published his own music until now. The message, the art, the music – nothing resembles any other work that the musician has done before. This is an album which can be understood in various ways: a detachment from the current state of musical affairs, an homage to those people and stories that marked his life, a descent into his intimate realms, or an eclectic statement of the multiplicity of influences and identities. But most of all, this was Ilabaca’s first solo album and his most personal one.
So our first intention was pretty clear – giving prominence to Pablo as an individual, to the person over the artist, and transmitting the atmospheres and pathos of the album. As a way to feel intimately close – almost face to face with him – the vinyl cover features the artist's physically fragmented real-life portrait. The disembodied portrait was inspired by Family Game, an old board game from the 1930s in which players had to put together faces like a puzzle, using mouths, eyes, ears, noses as puzzle pieces.
A mesmerizing, grotesque portrayal of the artist – a bit cartoonish, somewhat creepy, very straightforward and yet fragmented and cut-and-pasted-together – represented perfectly the diverse narratives that we wanted to convey: a solo debut, an obscure theme, a picaresque approach, an intimate, revealing work which the artist devoted “to my muertos. If they like it, then it’s good. And hopefully it will also be liked by those still alive”.