“Invitation Au Silence” — on Stereolab frontwoman Laetitia Sadier’s second solo album “Silencio” — is a spooky spoken-word piece that she recorded in an echoey cathedral. It’s next to other electronic ruminations “There is a Price to Pay For Freedom (and it isn’t Security)” for good reason. “The song was inspired by silence I encountered in a Spanish church,” says the French-born Londoner. “And it was a moment of epiphany.”
“Silencio” is a very angry album. What do you see going wrong with modern society?
I just started reading Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States,” and already from the get-go, it’s based on genocide and cruelty, and then a system, on top of it all, that’s just there to put up barriers, exclude and exploit. So we know what’s wrong. And now it’s becoming more and more apparent. But I think it’s a good thing, because maybe awareness will rise and consciousness will awaken, and people will realize that they’re responsible for the future — they can’t just hand it over to a government, a religion or a family member.
The physicist James Lovelock says that humanity didn’t mean to, but it pulled the trigger on itself with the Industrial Revolution, and we’re done, almost extinct. Your take? We are all intrinsically responsible for our lives, as individuals and as a community on Earth. So I’m hoping that we’re eventually working towards that understanding. But it takes a lot for humans to learn their lesson. It takes them a hard ride. So perhaps that’s our fate — we have to hit rock bottom to then lay some new foundations. I don’t think things are over, but we have to be mindful of re-establishing a balance with nature and our deeper selves, our purpose.
But how can we fight back?
Well, it’s not because you refill your own water bottles or bring your own bags to the supermarket that you’re changing the world in any real way — it’s superficial. The changes have to be deeper, and that’s always problematic because people tend to fear change. But I am convinced that we can strike a balance — it’s just a question of visualizing, and then fighting for it, as well.
What are you, personally, doing to help?
I give interviews!