2. Acto de magia
6. Ciudad de Gandharvas
Mayopama is a Sanskrit term that refers to something as being “as a magic illusion”. It appears in Buddhist literature to describe phenomena as dreamlike, having several related similes, usually eight: dream, magical illusion, hallucination, mirage, echo, city of Gandharvas, reflection and apparition. In certain ways, the sonic dimension seems to feature such ethereal quality spontaneously. Not only the compositional process can be inspired by this idea of illusoriness, but also expose it in its own way. The way of interpreting the concept of māyopama in terms of sound is thus more about listening than the actual fact of composing. Here through microsonic abstraction and spectral plasticity, at some point solid and ethereal are one reality, one same magical illusion.
“The process behind illusoriness is ideal when applied to the aural dimension because there are not things in there but sounds, sonic memories, aural fiction, and immaterial, invisible, acousmatic possibilities. The dimension of listening, by not having gravity, mass, location and fixation, offers new possibilities for considering the world not as sets of things, but as endless sonic mutations. In a listening perspective, notions as non-locality, ephemerality, sonority, invisibility and immateriality are even more evident. To be able to listen, is to be able to be silent. That’s actually one of the simile: we are echoes, sounds of silence, ephemeral yet sonic silhouettes in an ethereal scenery. The idea was to combine my memories, feelings and sounds from a trip in Italy to reflect the illusoriety of our experiences, yet their music, their subtle universes.” (Miguel Isaza)
Mayopama was composed mostly out of recordings from different places in Italy including Rome, Napoli, Benevento and the rural area of Fortore among others. Some pieces were recorded during the Liminaria residency at Ginestra degli Schiavoni. Recorded and composed between Italy and Colombia during 2016-2017. With the kind support of Liminaria and Interferenze New Arts Festival. Special thanks to Leandro Pisano and Fabio Perletta.
As in a dream, all the external objects perceived with the five senses are not there, but appear through delusion.
As in a magic show, things are made to appear by a temporary conjunction of causes,circumstances and connections.
As in a visual aberration, things appear to be there, yet there is nothing.
As in a mirage, things appear but are not real.
As in an echo, things can be perceived but there is nothing there, either outside or inside.
As in a city of gandharvas, there is neither a dwelling nor anyone to dwell.
As in a reflection, things appear but have no reality of their own.
As in a city created by magic,there are all sorts of appearances but they are not really there.
MIGUEL ISAZA is a philosopher and sound artist from Medellin, Colombia approaching invisibility, (im)materiality and technology through sound, word and listening in performance, composition, installation and research. Co-founder and director of ÉTER (2010) audiovisual laboratory and Monofónicos (2008) electronic music label. Founder of Designing Sound and Sonic Field journals. His sound work has been published at labels such as Farmacia901, White Paddy Mountain, Dragon’s Eye Recordings, Eilean Records, Galaverna, Audiotalaia, Nova Fund Rec and Impulsive Habitat.
Such delicacy and restraint informs Miguel Isaza’s otherworldly “Māyopama”. Throughout the album, Miguel Isaza lets silence speak volumes. Gestures nearly microscopic become greatly amplified. Displaying a great degree of taste Miguel Isaza ensures that the entirety of the album draws from a refined palette of color. Melodies do not exist in a traditional sense for the spaciousness of the pieces ensure that such an approach becomes futile. Over the course of the album Miguel Isaza incorporates many layers into a singular whole ensuring that each piece builds off the last. Akin to miniature symphonies the songs work wonders allowing for a great exploration of calm. Life teems underneath these seemingly massive undertakings. On the opener “sueño” Miguel Isaza chooses a style that appears to be a neat combination of Raster Noton meets L-NE, ensuring both worlds come together in a most blissful fashion. Naturalistic rhythms lead the way on the drifting “acto de magia”. Drones work into swirling layers on the gorgeous “alucinación”. Unstable elements permeate the constantly in flux feeling of “espejismo”. Great bass rumbles introduce “eco” before the song floats up into higher frequencies. Easily the highlight of the album comes from the heartfelt “reflejo”. Rather blissful “reflejo” filters its surroundings into a compelling stream of sounds and textures, giving it a summery vibe. Field recordings come into the mix on the terrestrial “aparición” which neatly closes off the album in a most gracious way. With “Māyopama” Miguel Isaza creates a spellbinding aural atmosphere.
Tracce di memoria traslate e ricomposte a formare un ambiente esteso in cui si fondono e confondono la solida realtà e l’evanescente apparenza. Partendo da un cospicuo materiale raccolto durante un soggiorno in Italia, Miguel Isaza genera un microcosmo surreale nel quale i dati concreti, scomponendosi e ricombinandosi in flussi privi di riferimenti evidenti, plasmano sfuggenti paesaggi interiori. Oggetto dell’indagine condotta dal sound artist colombiano è la propensione di determinate combinazioni sonore a definire apparenze immateriali eppure talmente vivide ed incisive al punto da creare un cortocircuito tra ciò che concretamente è stato e ciò che l’immaginazione autonomamente riesce ad aggiungere. Attraverso un attento lavoro di cesellatura di minuti frammenti “Mayopama” esplora sonicamente l’esperienza di differenti piani illusori che vanno dal sogno all’allucinazione, dall’eco al riflesso, tradotti in sequenze flebili di crepitanti schegge che emergono gradualmente in filigrana, risuonando cariche di denso ed insondabile mistero. In tal modo i dati oggettivi della memoria attiva convergono verso territori indefinibili la cui collocazione è lasciata al portato percettivo di soggettivamente chi li recepisce. Un’affascinante immersione in un universo composto da non-luoghi sonori.
NATHAN THOMAS / FLUID RADIO
Miguel Isaza’s “Māyopama” pushes deeper into the reductionist aesthetic, its incredibly faint, intermittent sounds frequently inaudible above the everyday background provided by central heating, Diwali fireworks, and housemates’ pottering around the house. I enjoyed the album most when I stopped straining to hear, and simply relaxed and let the music become part of the general sonic environment. Slight hisses, quiet ringing and clunking, tiny knocking and chinking, and the occasional vaporous chord or thrumming tone: these sounds emerge quietly from the ambient hum before descending back into it again. They often sound quite natural and organic, without sounding like anything in particular.