Melismas Residency

6 months ago, after graduating, i was invited by experimental noise artist, xhrs galarreta, to join the melismas residency for a week. i travelled to the south coast of turkey to dedicate some attention to the topic of time while exploring ancient ottoman and roman ruins.

04:30 in the morning i’d walk down to the valley in the dark to listen to the sounds of nighttime being consumed by those of the day: the wall of chirping, buzzing insects and cricket calls slowly subsides and gives way to the roosters and cows somewhere not far off; here and there, an engine ignition, as someone starts their commute down the mountain paths for work; however at a certain moment after 05:00 all the engines creak to a halt on the dirt road, waiting for something, and finally a loud human voice fills the valley, like a bowl overflowing it is filled with fivefold reverberations of a quranic verses chanted out of distant tannoys, one voice for each city on the horizon, chiming in one after the other. traffic stops for a moment.

xhrs and i deviated from the daily soundwalks in the residency programme to go in search for rhythms in the environment with rhythmic jam session. we took instruments with us (the photo shows us playing on a serving tray and a jerrycan) and we looked for places to observe the rhythms in the tide, in the air that whistles through caves as the tunnels of air underneath them were flushed by the waves

xhrs galarreta is a previous guest of an experimental sound platform i co-founded called aux) and works with noise music (de)tuned with the jagged, phasing harmonies of peruvian folkmusic. we play a different style of music but i relate a lot to his spiritual understanding of the act of listening. in his performances, he brings this animistic sensibility to a gurney of electronic waste which he carefully scans with electromagnetic sensors. he appears to be some kind of shaman who is summons ghosts from the splayed remains of computers batteries, harddrives and household appliances. 

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