Kanichu Manchu Icha Llullacunichu

Or …..how the voice became space.

This generative piece was originally created as a 6–channel sound installation. Its material is my voice repeating the old Quechua saying that named the piece. The acoustic mutation of my voice was conceived to be experienced as a continuous sound-space that produce an effect of timelessness in the perception of the listener. This process is auto-generated by an algorithm running in a Pure Data patch at the same instant when it is played, without previous editions –and it never has the same results. Below there are more information about the installation and the exhibition where it was presented.

The sound of this installation  is available in cassette via Fougére Musique Label (France). I called the release “And The Voice Became Space”. Buy the tape / read text of the cover.

Note: The following sounds have substantial frequency content, therefore good speakers, high volumen or headphones will give you a better sonic image.

Sechin Arqueological Site photo by J van der Putten webPhoto by Janneke van der Putten of Sechin archeological site (Aloardi Research Trip @ Casma, Peru, 29/12/2014).

Kanichu Manchu Icha Llullacunichu. The literal translation of the phrase is: “I am here, I am not here, I lie”. By saying this phrase, the talker raises doubts about his presence in a social meeting. The piece was created for “La Grande Exposition D’Art Sonore” (Platforme Intermédia, Nantes 28/10 – 06/11-2012). The organizers (APO33) and the sponsors (Direction General of Education and Culture of the European Union) asked some questions to the participants about Sound Art. I answered with this piece, as an irony in order to show my refusal to any kind of stable definition and belonging to such labels as Sound Art. This piece had been censured by APO33, because a confrontation with them, and my credits have been omitted from their online publications about this exhibition. Anyway you can find the original documentation of this piece just in this website.

See the original catalogue of the exhibition (without the omission of my credits) : Fr
See the (censured) documentation: Eng
Read my answers to the organizers and sponsors: Fr (English version below)

1. How would you define the title ‘Sound Artist’ and would you describe yourself as a Sound Artist? If not, is there a preferred title you would use to describe your profession?

Chrs: I prefer not to make this kind of definition, in fact I do not think only in aesthetics terms when I make these practices. I just interact with ideas, sound, silence, space and time and it generates a physical and social situation. I try to get a way to live with this feedback of energy, and I also take care to keep it far from definitions that could reduce the experience in abstractions and could confer to it functionality as an art product for cultural business, for political-mental comfort or for anthropocentric visions. When concepts and relations come in a spontaneous way, they can awake interesting ideas but if we consider them like an absolute, then it can kill the experience and the praxis of the instant.

2. How do you hear the world? For example is sound different from noise or music? Could you explain your relationship to sound as a material use in your works?

Chrs: For me, sound is not just a material. And sometimes I am the material of the sound, to hack myself, and it seems that the world is a continuous flow, so my interaction with that phenomenon is just a way to maintain burning that relation of feedback. I really do not know why I need to be like that in an urban context, because in context with less human control, I am generally more passive and prefer to do other stuffs, sometimes with the same intensity or not. But in an urban context, it is like if my body had a impulse, maybe it is a kind of nonconformity with some part of our human condition. Anyway I do not want to have a definitive answer and prefer to leave some space for the unknown and the uncertain.

3. Where do you locate your own practice and how did you arrive at this position?

Chrs: I do not locate my practice. I use some definitions for example when I speak to somebody or when someone is asking me for a bio or a CV… but for me these are camouflages or masks of entities in constant mutation. So maybe the sound is a resonance of this feeling and vice versa.

4. Which form(s) does ‘Sound Art’ take? How would you recognize a sound piece/composition as ‘Sound Art’?

Chrs: I prefer when the form is diffuse and when the borders are broken. But I return the question: why this necessity to make definitions? Is it just a functionality? If these questions are made to make people closer to this kind of practices, maybe would it be better to make actions like putting these pieces in front of different kind of people coming from different social/economic/cultural stratus and not just in front of people that want to see, listen and speak about these in artistic terms. Important for me is to be open for other interpretations outside the conventional definitions of “sound piece” or “composition”, including insults if it is necessary for people to express in this way. In my opinion we are not just making sound art or composition, and there are a lot of questions more urgent around our practices, like the socio-economic relations and human being problems that we have often to confront and that most of the time is mellowed by the artistic discourse.

5. Gallery, public space, concert hall or others?

Chrs: Others. When we “work” with sound we are working with the perception of space and time, and also with the mental configuration of the community or the society that is listening or feeling it in its body. So it is not a question of specific places because sound is omnipresent in our daily life. It is a social interference and a way to put us in front of the void of our comfort, especially in contexts as ours where people do not feel the necessity to take the risk of configure their own sound-landscape or “hack” it, because the system makes it for us and want to close our mouths and our bodies with cultural candies, modern cities and nice artistic concepts in an anthropocentric spiral. If we do not take care about it, these kinds of practices could also come to be part of these game of normalization of the daily life.

Technical requirements:
as a maximum, for small spaces the piece also can work in stereo version with less equipments)

– A computer + 6 outputs Sound Card with Pure Data extended installed and configurated to work with the soundcard (6 ch).

– A mixer with 6 independent outputs and with parametric equalizer ( the sound card should be connected to the inputs of the mixer and the outputs of the mixer to the P.A. + speakers).

– A P.A. 6 channels + speakers with 2 subwoofer.

 Space concept:

The P.A. system should have enough quality and audio power (it could be a stereo system) to create in the space and the human body a substantial sensation of middle and bass frequencies. I will distribute the speakers and make live equalization in relation with the response of the piece in the place . The piece is an installation, in this way and if it this possible I would like to take off the chairs outside the space and put some mattresses instead of it.  A few would be enough in order to permit the people walk around or go outside the space. Also I will appreciate If I could have the possibility to control the intensity of light in the space.