This kindly slumber, the third album of Alicia Merz after the masterpiece Without the World and Winter Lady, is a journey through parallel resonant lands, a path paved of ecstasy and dreamlike boundaries, remnants of empty thoughts and ancient melodies.
The breath, more than chant, evokes processions of daredevil pilgrims that in some past aeon slept with ears exposed to the Music of the Spheres.
Were burned by rapid diseases, in sulfur lakes drank madness and death, but still handed down swarms of drones as lights came out of nothing, and turned to fog in a non-world free from the shackles of Time.
Suoni Mobili is a roving festival of music, cinema, theatre and literary meetings taking place in Brianza (an area north of Milan, Italy) every year in the month of July.
I have personally attended at various concerts between 2012 and 2014, discovering precious musical pearls encased in geographic and architectonic shells. I’ve leafed through a Small Atlas of the Extinct Constellations thanks to the piano of Patrizio Fariselli, known the poetic of griots (i.e. storytellers) as Ablaye Cissoko from Senegal and Pédro Kouyaté from Mali, experienced a far and forgotten nomadism with the morin khuur (horsehead fiddle) and choomie (overtone) singing of Mongolian Dandarvaanchig Enkhjargal.
I also need to mention Volker Goetze (trumpet), Janos Hasur (violinist, cantor and cook!), Roberto Zanisi (12 string guitars, cümbüs, bouzouki, steel pan, daholla, gunja cajon and so on…), Vincent Courtois (cello), Naomi Berrill (voice and cello), Eloisa Manera (violin and electronics), Markus Stockhausen (trumpet and flugelhorn) and Paolo Angeli (Sardinian prepared guitar).
Like thousands of curtains opening in rapid succession, the various landscapes welcome musical form which in turn “activates” and stimulates sacred geometries and archaeo-astronomical canons pervading them.
Many of the villages, churches, villas, parks, vineyards(!) and sanctuaries that give hospitality to the festival, have to be considered “magical” places in the deepest esoteric meaning of the term. They often represent a Microcosm built in the image of a celestial Macrocosm and relative constellations (keep in mind the Hermetic Axiom As it is below, so it is above; as on the earth, so in the sky.), in a pattern comparable to that of the geodesic musical octave formed by the centers of ancient oracles (8 degrees of latitude from Behdet to Dodona).
In this sense, on a smaller (but no less important) scale, musical notes and atavic knowledge bring to light the ley lines of the bodies in listening, their skulls as transparent globes where is possible to read the announcement of a former future.
When an old man dies, a library is lost, says the shaman Arsene Duevi during his concert, recalling the words of Amadou Hampâté Bâ. The audience, in this case, is adding books to the shelves of his own awareness.
So the flesh turns into wind, the heart dreams of itself beating, lost meteors rattle along with the musical instruments by marrying the country-vault. When the performance is finished and lights go out, you can hear a new silence, now transfigured by the previous listening. Music, after all, is not necessarily audible sound, and harmony transcends the sensibly perceptive.
The hull of the night, as well as the soul, becomes a thick field of candles where anything, but the stars, seems liquid. You can worship the Music of the Spheres and the ultimate poetic myth of the solar system. Hills and valleys are playing in a small immensity, the cycle of night resumes as if it were an unconditioned reflex of this portion of territory, and of nowhere else. Under the sky, we should be syncretic dancers.
I share with you a short video excerpt of the Ablaye Cissoko solo performance I shot during Suoni Mobili 2013, and a few studio tracks of some artists who have been part of the show in these years.4 hearts
In this rubric we share global topical images selected according to a visual criterion, but no less splitted from their contexts of dichotomies and shades (joy and sorrow, violence and communion, love and hate etc.).
This is life becoming landscape.
Index and credits:
1. Rapa Das Bestas, Spain (Miguel Vidal / Reuters)
2. Paramilitary policemen in Nanjing (China Daily / Reuters)
3. Mass funeral for bodies found in a mass grave from Bosnia’s 1992-95 war (Dado Ruvic / Reuters)
4. An Israeli soldier rides atop an armoured personnel carrier (Baz Ratner / Reuters)
5. Indonesian demonstrators raise the Palestinian flag (Chaideer Mahyuddin / Getty Images)
6. A young girl runs in Brooklyn (Brendan McDermid / Reuters)
7. Rainstorm at Times Square in New York (Shannon Stapleton / Reuters)
8. Young surfers on Wanda Beach, Sydney (Jason Reed / Reuters)
9. A flamingo and flamingo chicks in a natural reserve near Malaga, Spain (Jon Nazca / Reuters)