Lotta Irene - OPTICON 2

I am a music junkie so I listen to music most of the time. I dance a lot so music is obviously crucial for that. On the go it is perfect to keep me in a serene state of mind - even in the middle of a noisy city - and music often gives me energy and inspiration to work.

Name: Lotta Irene

Country: Finland

Instagram handle@lottairene

Speakers: DALI OPTICON 2

Music: Lotta Irene's playlist (on Tidal)


Line of work:
I used to pursue a career in Life Sciences, but understood a while ago that it is not for me. I am not sure what will be the future direction. Right now I am just concentrating in the joy of doing, understanding and cultivating creativity and exploring my passions.

How do you listen to music in your everyday life?
I am a music junkie, so I listen to music most of the time. I dance a lot so music is obviously crucial for that. On the go it is perfect to keep me in a serene state of mind - even in the middle of a noisy city - and music often gives me energy and inspiration to work.

When/how did your interest for hi-fi begin?
Basically, I guess I was just spoiled. My parents didn’t listen to music much, and music wasn’t a big thing in my childhood home, but for some reason we always had decent speakers, and I learned to take advantage of them at a relatively early age. Soon after leaving home, I moved together with my ex, and he was into DJ’ing and producing music, so of course he had proper speakers too. After I started living on my own, I lived with a small and unfulfilling mono speaker for 1½ years. Then one spring evening, I was chilling out at my friend’s house and being totally jealous of her awesome speakers. Then it occurred that, hey, I could also get proper speakers. It just wasn’t something that had occurred to me before. Then I decided my budget and started to research what kind of setup I might get with that price range.

Do you prefer: CD, vinyl or digital?
Digital. I try to keep stuff at a minimum and any kind of physical collection takes up a lot of space. It is just easy and practical.

OPTICON 2 stereo setup home at Lotta Irene

Why do you think that there isn’t that many women represented in the audiophile world?
As many things in this world, I think it comes down to gender roles. As a girl you are not supposed to be interested in technical things, and I guess to me the word 'hi-fi' does give a mental image of guys arguing over minor technical details. For me hi-fi is about what it adds to the joyfulness of my environment, both in an auditive and visual sense. Also as a girl, you should be responsible and practical and not use money in frivolous things like hi-fi speakers. Last but not the least, it is a generally recognized fact that women are under-represented in all fronts of the music world. But I think that too is slowly changing.

Which track will always wake a feeling in you?
A more relevant question would be, which track doesn’t wake a feeling in me! For me, feelings and music are very close to each other.

How/where do you discover new music and artists?
I tend to be a bit lazy about finding music. I usually get into something and stay obsessed about it for a while, before moving to the next thing. I find a lot of things on the internet (surprise), and I often get recommendations from friends. I also go to clubs and festivals, and often pick up something new and interesting from there.

The last two records that you have bought?
Such a difficult question! I started to use streaming services already back in 2008, but I guess I have bought some vinyls in the past. Well, Joanna Newsom’s “Have One on Me” I've bought for sure, so I am going to answer that. But that was a while ago.

Is there an artist, genre or period that you are particularly fond of?
At the moment, I am really into Sebastian Mullaert. He does both solo work and collaborations, but whatever he touches seems to have this ethereal quality about it. There is something deep and unique about his work. In general I listen to electronic/club music and genres there seem to a bit confusing to me at times, but I call the sound I prefer at the moment spiritual techno. Lately I have been finding some Japanese ambient music on YouTube, so that might be something I explore next.

Which records are the pride of your collection?
As I said earlier, I don’t really own a collection, since I mostly stream music.

Lotta Irene with her DALI OPTICON 2s

What has been your best live concert experience?
Eitan Reiter and Sebastian Mullaert playing in Chill Dome stage at Ozora festival last August [2016]. Chill Dome is like a wooden cathedral. You can just lay down in cool sand or hammock and gaze up on this beautiful visual art, while the light is moving in sync with the music. Hearing such a primal set in that kind of space was something amazing. The auditory, the visuals and the sensory experience just melted together to form something beautiful and out of this world. I don’t think there are many places in the world to experience something like that.

What made you choose DALI speakers for your home stereo?
I did some research about speaker brands before actually hearing any, and DALI was one brand that I had noted. So I took my boyfriend with me, and we headed to the hi-fi store, because - after all - you can’t really read how a speaker sounds, you must actually hear it. I think we spent like an hour playing my favourite music at the store from different speakers, and I think the DALI’s were some of the first ones, I ruled out. Then in the end, when I had already settled for some other speaker brand, I decided to re-hear all the speakers - just to be sure. And then the DALI OPTICON 2’s stole my attention. They just sounded so much more nuanced and balanced than the other speakers, which all now seemed to have a forced bass. It was really unbelievable how much my perception of sound changed within an hour. And it didn’t hurt that they were so pretty as well, especially when I saw the chestnut colour. I must say, I am really happy with my choice, I absolutely love my DALI OPTICON's.

What would be the ultimate playlist for your DALI speakers?
I’m not really a track person since that is way too short time to convey much. So I will just suggest two albums:

  1. Sebastian Mullaert & Eitan Reiter – Reflections of Nothingness
  2. Voices From The Lake - Voices From The Lake (on Discogs)

Photo credit: Lotta Irene