Shiro Schwarz is an audiovisual production and performance duo. On 2011, after working together in a variety of audiovisual performance projects together, Pammela Rojas & Rafael Marfil decided to explore the aesthetics of 80s disco, funk and boogie and produced an EP titled “Eye Of The Storm”. They performed a live set with visuals inspired by the 64bit video game console era, that set the basis of their style of their future works.
The duo has performed in events such as Festival Ceremonia, Festival NRMAL, OFFF Mexico. They have also performed as the opening act for Nicolas Jaar, Tesla Boy and Fritz Kalkbrenner.
How would you define your musical style?
80's inspired funk, boogie and new jack swing with a touch of futurism and a sexy mood.
Pammela, Rafael you are always in black and white. During live performances and daily life. Why?
In 2007 Rafael began to wear black while living in London after realizing that this color gave him more self-confidence. In 2009 we began working together on our first audiovisual project, Pammela liked the idea of monochrome for the project. The first election of Pammela was red but it became very intense, so she decided to give white color a chance, which at the very beginning she used to avoid at all costs. After a while we both decided to use this color only for our clothing. The project name comes from these monochromatic affinities and taste of each of two different cultures, Japanese and German. Shiro means white in Japanese and black Schwarz in German.
We believe that these colors depict and match our personalities.
What was your first technology encounter?
We both agree that our first encounters were the 8-bit video game consoles of the olden days. Atari, NES, Sega Genesis and SNES.
We have reached a time when music has become so easily attainable that anyone who has a computer can potentially become an overnight phenomenon. Much of this shift can be attributed to the digital age and its undeniable presence in the music world. How has the musical digital age impacted your career?
In a way, we think that these changes in the music industry have enabled us to learn, produce and promote music. We like the immediacy and the independence that come with these tools. Also having access to all these music and information can lead to finding very inspiring projects and learning about the immense offer of music that is available today. We think that the musical digital age has had a positive impact in our career as it has made our music available to a wider audience.
What was your first reaction to Machina’s MIDI Controller Jacket?
The first time we heard about MACHINA was when our friend Christian Melo from PaseaPerros told us about their project and showed us some garments and images of the MIDI Jacket prototypes at Common People Concept Store in Polanco. We couldn’t believe it and were super proud that this was happening in Mexico. He told us that he was going to introduce us to the MACHINA team and we were really hoping this would happen and that would give us the possibility to try the jackets.
A Musical instrument can provide a lifetime of enjoyment and friendship. Whether your goal is to play in a band, or you just want to perform privately in your home, or you want to develop your skills as a music composer or arranger, MIDI can help to make this happen. How has Machina’s MIDI Controller Jacket changed your performance?
For us one of the main advantages of Machina’s MIDI Jacket is that it comes with wireless technology, we like to believe that this development takes us one step closer to being able to control our setup with less equipment and more freedom. One of the things that we have found is that in a certain way theJacket has resemblance to traditional musical instruments like the piano, it is the fact that you can develop a technique for the MIDI Jacket and in using it to take advantage of muscular memory in your performances. For us it is unique that you can use a certain area of your body to control software. At the end, it is much larger than regular control surfaces.
Would you have ever imagined to be making music/visuals with your clothing?
Yes, in our wildest dreams.
We are living special times in Mexico; we are living an era of growing creative talents in all industries. What are your thought on ARCA Lab’slabor to promote and back these kind of projects?
It is simply amazing, we are very grateful that such an organization even exists. To our understanding this is essential to make it possible for all these great things to keep happening.
To know more about Shiro Shwarz tours dates, pictures and more: http://www.shiroschwarz.com
By: The Machina Team — @MachinaWT