Research project, music score, textile and sound installation
I developed a system to translated patterns from an ancient Peruvian textile into a composition for three grand pianos. The way the notes of the pianos interact between them is based in the way to play the Siku (an old Andean musical instrument where a scale is divided in two instruments and completed only when it is played between two musicians). A version of this piece was adapted to work as a sound installation played extremely slow and rotating between three speakers generating an atemporal effect.
In the pictures below: details of the presentacion of “ArkaIra” @ Textiel Fabrique. Pictures by Sandra Zegarra Patow and Maaike Gotschal
In the video below: Maaike Gotschal (Loom Machine) and John Hill (Piano) performing with Galarreta`s sound Installation “ArkaIra” @ Textiel Fabrique ( Charlois Speciaal, Rotterdam, 29/08/2020)
Text for the presentation in Charlois Speciaal (Rotterdam, 2020)
Sajjra Xhrs Galarreta developed an idea to translate the patterns from a Nazca (1) textile into a composition for three grand pianos. The piece was composed in order to be fully experienced (listened) when is played by the three pianists simultaneously. The pianists will alternate the clusters (group of notes) in order to complete the piece. This way to play have a connection with the way to play the siku(2) (an old Andean musical instrument) and also gives the name “ArkaIra” to the piece : “Traditionally, two musicians were required to play the siku, each one taking one row of the instrument. One part of the instrument is called ira, another arka” (read more about this in the foot notes). A version of this piece was adapted to work as a sound installation and will be presented since today at Textielfabrique as part of Charlois Speecial. For this version the musical patterns resultant from the Nazca-textile research will be played by a computer in an extremely slow time and rotating between three speakers to generate an atemporal effect in the space. Evocating the three pianos played in a spatial way as the sikus. The premiere of this piece will be presented as a live concert for three grand pianos in November 2020 by the piano trio Rubrik. All this research project is part of ‘Van Damascus tot Charlois’, an initiative by Maaike Gottschal(Textielfabrique).
(1) The Nazca culture (also Nasca) was the archaeological culture that flourished from c. 100 BC to 800 AD beside the arid, southern coast of Peru in the river valleys of the Rio Grande de Nazca drainage and the Ica Valley. Strongly influenced by the preceding Paracas culture, which was known for extremely complex textiles, the Nazca produced an array of crafts and technologies such as ceramics, textiles, and geoglyphs.
(2) Siku is split across two rows of pipes. One must alternate rows with every note in order to play a complete scale. Traditionally, two musicians were required to play the siku, each one taking one row of the instrument. One part of the instrument is called ira, another arka. It is considered that spiritually ira corresponds to male principle and arka to female. When many musicians divide in two parts, first playing ira and second playing arka, this gives Andean music a distinctive stereophonic sound.