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Cal y Canto (42’02’’, 2022)


Cal y Canto is a sound map of my body-territory-water (cuerpo-territorio-agua). It is a register of a durational performance, preceded by an exercise of connection with the ancestralities that transverse me (genetic, affective, territorial), through songs impregnated in my body. Cal y Canto was recorded in Lima, Peru, in my childhood bathroom, in a period of three days with one session per day, each session lasting between 25 and 45 minutes. The first day, I filled the tub with water, which remained there throughout the performance until the last day, when I let the accumulated water run while I took a shower.

Cal y Canto was recorded in two channels: water and air. For the former, underwater, I used a hydrophone that remained in the tub. For the latter, in the air, I used a conventional field recorder. In the tub, I sang the melodies that would come to my body, sometimes just with my voice and sometimes amplified through a pututu (waylla kepa or conch shell trumpet). The pututu helps me mediate the worlds of air and water, allowing me to filter my voice and sing underwater, transiting between both elements, amplified. Thus it was possible to make my voice coincide with the resonant frequency of the bathroom, making the water vibrate from the contact of the air with the earth.

The songs come from distinct geographies, from Jewish prayers from Eastern Europe to hualinas or songs of water from San Pedro de Casta in Huarochirí, our watershed in Lima. This happened in the end of January 2022, a week after the Spanish oil company Repsol dumped 11,900 barrels of oil in the ocean of Ventanilla, expanding through Ancón and reaching Chancay. This piece also carries that grief, of singing while the ocean that is my hope was bathed in oil. In that sense, I consider it a prayer. The editing conjoins these three days in one long take, superposing them minimally and only altering the levels. You can hear different tongues, lyrics that are precise as well as invented, forgotten, remembered, and distorted; in this way, they represent, too, the different proximities and distances of my body with the territories to which these songs correspond. Waxing and waning you can hear a sound walk recorded in Ancón. After editing the sound piece, I represented it visually in a map of my body-territory-water.

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