Music meets art in an exciting new collaborative project which sees alternative rock duo, Para Lia partner with New York-based painter, Louis Renzoni to create an album that is intrinsically linked with the artist’s exploration of light and dark.
Growing up in Falkenberg in former East Germany, Para Lia’s Rene Methner dreamed of one day escaping his confines and getting his music to like-minded people in ‘The West’, but also working with them. With new album Gone With The Flow – recorded with his fellow band member and wife, Cindy – he has done just that, but now unexpectedly finds himself locked down again.
Despite the current constraints, the alternative rock duo has teamed up with New York visual artist, Louis Renzoni on a joint project that sees not only a new album from Para Lia, but also an art exhibition. The exhibition was slated to open in gallery space in New York before transferring to Berlin and then London, but now a bespoke online set up will circumvent the current situation and make the work available globally.
For Methner, collaborating with artists from different corners of the world is a dream come true:
“You have to imagine, I grew up in East Germany, so when I was a child I never dreamed I would come into contact with musicians from all over the word, or an artist from New York City,” he explains. “It just would not have seemed possible at that time – it’s very cool!”
Methner vividly remembers developing a strong passion for music from the age of 11, getting the musical bug after performing New Order’s Blue Monday on stage at a holiday camp – brandishing makeshift guitars made of paper. Getting his hands on a real guitar of his own when he was 16, and inspired by The Pixies, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and The Smashing Pumpkins, he hasn’t put it down since.
Methner met his now-wife in 2014, and he soon discovered that their voices perfectly complemented one another:
“If you want to light a fire, one spark is needed, and Cindy was the spark who came into my life,” he reminisces. “It was a few years until I asked her to sing into a mic though. I had this one song that I was working on and I wanted to try it out with her voice. From that moment on, Para Lia was born, because she was exactly what the song needed – and what the music needed. I also call her my muse; Cindy makes Para Lia complete and is the cherry on top of our music.”
Describing Para Lia as more of a studio band rather than a live one (for now, anyway), Methner says that the duo’s name takes its meaning from the greek word, Paralia – meaning beach or coastline.