The following profile of French musician Laetitia Sadier might seem choppy and incomplete in some parts. That’s mainly because the phone interview we had with her – a Skype audio call – was choppy and incomplete as well. You kinda get the feeling that Sadier, the enigmatic singer/guitarist/keyboardist/trombonist best known for her years as the vocalist and co-founder of the avant-pop band Stereolab (which is on “indefinite hiatus”), wants it that way.
In the bits and pieces that came through, Sadier doesn’t divulge that much about her latest project, the Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble, which will be performing in Carrboro Tuesday. She does state that it is, in fact, a band.
“I do play solo, but I do play with a band,” says Sadier, 49, calling from her London home. Originally a trio, Sadier then added a keyboardist/vocalist into the mix. With all these people onboard, Sadier decided to turn this into a full-fledged collective. “And I felt, ‘OK, well now is the time to name ourselves, like, a real band name, rather than just my name,’ ” she says.
As for the name itself, Sadier says she wanted a name that reflected how we’ve become disconnected with each other and ourselves.
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“I wanted to kind of reconnect with the source – whatever that is,” she says. “It’s a mystery… We have to work together, so that was the idea behind the source ensemble.”
Even though she preaches the importance of working with others, Sadier still digs being an independent performer. She distributes her music not only on indie labels like Chicago-based Drag City (which released the Ensemble’s debut album, “Find Me Finding You,” earlier this year), but her own label Duophonic, which she started with her former Stereolab partner Tim Gane. “I think there is a tendency to standardize and formatize everything,” she says. “I like the singularity; I am a singular being. And that’s what I find interesting – not everything is like McDonald’s.”
Sadier prefers to do things herself, rather than let a corporate entity dictate how she makes and drops her music. “You are responsible for what you do and what you foster in this world,” she says. “For me, life is more exciting that way.”
With the Ensemble, Sadier continues to experiment and take chances musically. As reviews have already noted, there are a bevy of influences in her sounds. Sadier herself says a lot of things are embedded in the album’s DNA: Brazilian music, French music, Afropunk, even the music of Impressionist composer Claude Debussy.
“I’m a big music lover,” she says. “That is hopefully in my rendition of it all.”
Sadier will let her music mostly do the talking when she comes to perform next week, as she looks forward to making a connection with those willing to check her out.
“I view music as a connector,” she says. “I hope that they would connect – come out to the show, sing together with others and share something together. And that’s what makes it so powerful.”
Who: Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble, with Art Feynman
When: 8:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Cat’s Cradle, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro
Cost: $12 ($14 at the door)
Details: 919-967-9053 or catscradle.com