Four sound approaches trace an X-ray of LABoral as a result of Art and its Sound project

This mapping of the Centro de Arte has been created by Óscar de Ávila, Rafael Martínez del Pozo, Ramón Prada, Las CasiCasiotone and 
Mind Revolution

Published: Jun 11, 2012
Four sound approaches trace an X-ray of LABoral as a result of Art and its Sound project

Bandcamp of the project

Four sound recordings that trace an X-ray of what anyone can hear while visiting the Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón are the results from the project El arte y su sonido [Art and its Sound] by LABoral. This proposal was coordinated by José Manuel Costa in collaboration with Juanjo Palacios as part of the exhibition Visualizar el sonido [Visualising Sound], which is curated by Fiumfoto.

Last March a working group was formed which, in addition to Costa and Palacios, brought together Óscar de Ávila, Rafael Martínez del Pozo, Ramón Prada and the groups Mind Revolution (Ángel González and Eugenia Fernández) and Las CasiCasiotone (Ana Quiroga y Eugenia Pañeda). All of them worked on capturing the sounds of the Centro de Arte. Throughout the project’s development, they explored the sounds generated by the works on display in Visualizar el sonido [Visualising Sound], the sounds in the spaces where the exhibition is located -the Mediateca Expandida [Expanded Mediatheque] and the Iglesia de la Laboral [La Laboral Church]- along with those made in other places at the Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial.  Added to the oral testimonies by curators, artists and the public, four tracks lasting 15 minutes have been created, with each one giving a sample of the soundscape at LABoral.

The results of the creative documentation from this project are available on the LABoral website for listening and downloading under Creative Commons license.

http://www.laboralcentrodearte.org/es/actividades/presentacion-del-proyecto-el-arte-y-su-sonido
and on the blog:
www.laboralcentrodearte.org/es/files/2012/educacion/mapasonoru/blogms/

Similarly, on the project’s bandcamp, remixes or mixtapes based on the collaborators’ recordings which were created by the participants in the competition held as part of El arte y su sonido [Art and its Sound] can be accessed.
http://elarteysusonido.bandcamp.com/album/fragmentos-concurso-mixtapes.

THE RECORDINGS

Simbiosis. Óscar de Ávila
Under the generic title of Simbiosis [Symbiosis] and through three movements or independent events -Despertar, Empatía y Disfunción [Awakening, Empathy and Dysfunction], this piece offers a diversified sonorous journey -dynamic, mutant, in continuous evolution- born from the actual sound personality of each installation in the Visualising Sound exhibition, and the conversations among them all.

Breaking with the creator/work/public relationship is the main objective of Simbiosis, aiming to place the listener inside a sound theatre where the creator has no importance, nor the public, nor the surroundings, nor the concept… A sound set where the works themselves are the main protagonists of a function whose sound script speaks of the relationships between them, their own lives, their synergies, revealing and upholding that a  soul/machine/creation relationship exists beyond the simple implementation and transmission of the creator’s concept.

Par Pendular [Pendular Pair]. Rafael Martínez del Pozo
This work focuses on transitions, in the space itself (changes in aurality) and draws on attention as a composition strategy. It endeavours to recall how the listening itself was, which is very inaccurate, and tries to use this memory as a starting point for composition, aiming to fix the listening experience as a changing and inexact experience. In a situation with many perceptible sound focal points, our bodies and attention, both in movement, gradually modulate what we perceive as the aurality of the space in which we find ourselves. Ultimately, our attention directs our listening, articulating sound impressions; composing.

LABaural. Ramón Prada

LABaural is the hidden sound (or not) at LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial. 43 sound takes which are presented to the listener exactly as they were recorded, without artifices or changes: raw sounds and noises which, using reliable assumptions on the superimposition of sound layers and cuts, seeks to listen to how the art centre sounds while forgetting physical aspects and focusing all attention solely on the sound: corridors, empty exhibition halls, experimental workshops, lifts, turbines, ventilators, dark spaces, transparent plastic curtains, freezer cabinet, piping, ambient sound, cables, machines, the omnipresent qlux puba work and communication racks. The ambient abruptly changes to bring us new sensations in a fraction of second, capturing in a 15-minute space/time exactly which sounds are living in the building, the different sensations a contemporary art centre has in store for us, and the importance that noise has. Another omnipresent work: data.tecture [5 SXGA+ version]. All of this creates the imaginary yet real soundscape of LABoral.

Oral Polyphony. Mind Revolution & Las CasiCasiotone
At all times the priorities for the work by these two groups involved the creation of a soundscape which is structurally balanced and representative of the reality surrounding the exhibition Visualizar el sonido [Visualising Sound], yet without neglecting at any moment the musical and harmonic essence as a whole. Oral Polyphony is an attempt to bring together and contextualise a network of ideas that the main actors formed during the days in which they expressed their opinions and concerns and the sound play offered by the phonetics and physics of the oral language. Their ultimate aim was to reach a symbiosis between both aspects within a polyphonic textured framework, making a small tribute to the entire tradition of western vocal music in the context of the new creative tools and resources offered by sound art.

THE PROCESS

By José Manuel Costa, Curator and Art Critic

The proposal by LABoral, made by its Activities Director Benjamin Weil, was in principle to hold a workshop on sound art, taking advantage of the presence at LABoral of the exhibition Visualizar el Sonido [Visualising Sound], curated by Fiumfoto, as well as the ongoing installation Datamatics by Ryoji Ikeda. A workshop that would be organised within the scope of the education area, whose coordinator is Lucía Arias. That was the starting point.

Almost immediately, maybe because it was obvious, the idea arose of creating a soundscape of LABoral, a contemporary art centre. These kinds of institutions tend to be quiet, aside from the usual sounds of any public building which are interesting but non-specific if not put into context.

Given the temporary existence of an environment marked by sound, the idea involved the realisation of four sound approaches which on the basis of the recordings made at LABoral would deal with aspects such as verbal expression, the sound of the works exhibited in Visualizar el sonido, the spatiality of these sounds, and the actual noises of the Centre itself.

This proposal could not have been carried out (and would not make sense) without the total involvement of local actors, which is why at the outset Juanjo Palacios, whose sound work with groups collaborating with LABoral and creativity as an artist made him the ideal candidate, was incorporated into the coordination of the project.

While studying the different approaches, it was understood that the idea was rather complex for total beginners (from both a logistical and artistic point of view) and so the opportunity to create each one of the four pieces was offered to several Asturian artists (Óscar de Ávila, Rafael Martínez del Pozo, Ramón Prada, Mind Revolution (Ángel González and Eugenia Fernández) and Las CasiCasiotone (Ana Quiroga and Eugenia Pañeda).

Obviously, now it was not so much a workshop and so it was decided to rename it as a project, the presentation of which, as well as the initial recordings, took place on the day of the opening of the exhibition Visualizar el Sonido. From that moment on, the fieldwork started and a number of meeting were held, which are collected as audio recordings on the project’s blog.

As we were sharing our views, it became evident that it would be desirable to at least recover the open-minded spirit that characterises a workshop, and that was why the mixtapes competition was organised, based on the sound material collected by the artists mentioned above, and completely open to anyone wishing to take part. The response has been something almost unheard-of since several of the best electronic musicians in Spain decided to take part, creating pieces of an extremely high level. To such an extent that it has led to participants in the project declaring all these works as winners.

The final product is a CD made by fabLAB Asturias that can be used as both a record and as documentation. Yet the process which has led to these results, as outlined above, involves many other people, ranging from the artists of Visualizar el Sonido to a multitude of people who have made statements, made noise, or simply observed how different artists were progressing with their microphones, creating quite an unusual situation. El arte y su sonido [Art and its Sound] came from the people and is returned to the people.

THE PARTICIPANTS
José Manuel Costa (Madrid, 1949). Visual and sound art critic and exhibition curator. He started working on radio programmes at Onda 2 FM radio in Madrid and RNE Radio 3 as a music critic and expert on new trends for the newspaper El País. After directing this media’s first radio station, he moved to the magazine La Luna as its deputy editor before going on to the ABC daily, as visual arts critic, where he founded along with Catalina Luca de Tena the newspaper’s art supplement. For 13 years he worked as an ABC correspondent in Berlin and London - cities where he further developed his activities as a critic and curator. Following his return to Spain, he set up the Culturas section of the newspaper Público.
Currently he continues his activity independently. He has curated the festivals Sinestesia and ECO, Madrid; the exhibitions ARTe SONoro, Madrid, and Isidro Blasco, Huesca, and collaborated with many magazines on visual art, including ArteConTexto and Exit, as well as with RNE’s Radio Clásica station through his programme Vía Límite. He is the vice-chairman and spokesman of the Consejo de Críticos y Comisarios [Council of Critics and Curators].

Juanjo Palacios. Sound artist and phonograph recorder, he is a founding member of the Xizidium group and author of the blog La escucha atenta, dedicated to phonology. In his sound projects he aims to combine digital precision with the acoustics of the sounds around us, creating imaginary soundscapes. First came Blezna-Arbole, a work dedicated to Asturian native trees, in which he worked with field recordings made in forests and used them to create compositions. Then came Borde Litoral, a sound tour along the Asturian coastline with recordings that were not altered by any kind of processing. And recently, Portuario, a composition work from field recordings in the El Musel port of Gijón. His works have also been included in various compilations.
Drawing from his interest in unadulterated field recordings, he has been involved in projects such as MapaSONORU, in which he made a map of Asturias with geolocalised sound: Latent Field, a project that collects expected sound moments, or not, that arise in transit in different places, and RECitinerante, an archive of audio-walks recorded during sound or spoken walks.
He participated in the Broadcasting Art project, mapping the soundscape of Asturias and in the Asturies compilation published by Miga. As well as teaching sound creation and phonography workshops, he has designed sound environments and performed live at various festivals and art spaces. He was selected in the call that was made for LEV 2010 [Visual Electronics Laboratory Festival] to participate in ExperimentaclubLIMbO 2011. He is currently working on several projects including LABsocial_Club, a project of tours and interviews with the elderly, produced by LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial.

Óscar de Ávila. Set out on his career in the mid-90s as a collaborator in the audiovisual media area of the University of Oviedo in the field of music composition and sound editing for domestic AV products. He then moved on to work for the Audiovisual Sport company as sound technician, a job he has performed in several TVE [Spanish TV channels] programmes for different independent production companies, composing signature tunes and music for the audiovisual media.
Since the mid-90s he has given classes and courses in various public schools and private institutions specialised in communication, image and sound, and worked in supervision and mastering, as well as in the recording and editing of a wide variety of cultural concerts and festivals for different record labels and organizations.
As a music producer he has realised commercial productions (Historias de RNE with Juan José Plans, Environment I, II, Letters From Jordan, Palmaria Palmata, among others), advanced music and world music under the EDP label, Platinium and Dunna Music, and also held several  positions as technical producer/executive co-producer with Editora Discográfica del Principado.
Currently, he carries out work as a freelance audiovisual producer and sound editor/designer at the audiovisual production company Edicam Producciones and collaborates as a specialist teacher at the Centro Integrado de Comunicación, Imagen y Sonido in Langreo. In addition, he provides technical assistance and gives courses on dubbing, post-production and sound editing.  In addition, he has created the blogs: www.geosound.info (dedicated to art and sound and field recording) and www.labobinasonora.net (centred on the diffusion of sound art for Spanish film).

Rafael Martínez del Pozo (Barakaldo, 1973). Graduated in Fine Arts at the University of the Basque Country, took postgraduate courses at the Facultad de Bellas Artes de Cuenca [Fine Arts Faculty in Cuenca], where he worked with José Antonio Sarmiento as an assistant in the Radio Fontana Mix workshop and on other radio and sound art projects. At the same time he coordinated the section for performing arts at the arts festival “Situaciones” in Cuenca. He has coordinated various intuitive music workshops in Cuenca and Lisbon and taught classes on Multimedia Narratives at the Escuela Superior de Arte y Tecnología in Lisbon from 2001 to 2006. 

Since 2008 he has lived and worked in Castro de Cepeda, setting up his field recording studio and organising the space for residencies and artistic gatherings for the artists’ association, LEVE. Among other art projects, he has collaborated on sound pieces for Cinema...Corpus Vs Cerebrum, an expanded cinema project by Esperanza Collado financed by the Arts Council of Ireland, which was presented at Filmbase, Dublin (2010). He is also a music producer (Dos Gajos, Kiev Cuando Nieva, Roldán) and regularly records groups from the Spanish-German artists’ label AA RECORDS. In addition, he is a musician in the line-ups: La JR, AA Tigre and Las Hermanas Diego.
www.grabacionesdecampo.com

Ramón Prada. Born in Cangas de Onís, Asturias, he is one of the most acclaimed young composers with the greatest presence in the Asturian music scene. Based on his broad and solid classical training, his eclectic music has crossed frontiers fusing styles and opened up to include new technologies. He has composed and performed works for orchestra both in Spain and abroad with great acclaim from critics and the public. He has worked as a musician and composer with artists such as Hevia, Víctor Manuel, Joaquín Pixán... and is the author of symphonies, soundtracks, chamber music and sound spaces for the stage. His pieces have been played performed on stages all over the world. Currently, he uses electronics and live sound remixing in his concerts, which range from Shanghai to the most recent LEV Festival.
www.ramonprada.com
http://soundcloud.com/vittus

Mind Revolution. Group formed in 2010 by Ángel González and Eugenia Tejón with the aim of searching for new forms of expression that arise from the relationships between music and other arts.  Its first work involved the creation of Mapas Revolucionarios [Revolutionary Maps]. Based on this theme, a plastics artist was invited to produce a work that fitted into a limited-edition envelope. The first Revolutionary Map was based on the concept “two” and was titled In The Beginning There Were Two. Together with the song Die for You, there was a graphic art work and poetry by Begoña Grande. The second Revolutionary Map evolved around the notion of “time”. Entitled The Time of the Season, it contained the song Underground, as well as the graphic art work by Amada Fernández and photography by Roberto Pato. The third Revolutionary Map is currently in production, with a work by Gema Ramos and the song Electric based on the concept of “escapism”. These three works, together with a fourth one that will show the work by Natalia Pastor, will make up the tetralogy Out of Our Heads.
Shining Head Tracks is the second project by Mind Revolution with continuity in time. This time round, it is the musicians who are commissioned to make a composition to accompany the work by another artist. The first volume Enredando por la casa [Creeping through the house] was composed of a video performance with same name as that exhibited by Gema Ramos in the gallery Espacio Líquido. In addition to the soundtrack of the video there was a performance at the opening of the exhibition with live music.   The second volume of the series is Inóptico, a record composed for Fundación Ladines, specifically for the exhibition by Nacho Valdés.
El sueño de Persio [Persio’s dream], a project for the LAi MUSEUM, is the first sound installation by Mind Revolution which searches for a new conception of the time-space concept. Based on Julio Cortázar’s novel, Los premios, linking Persio’s dreams to music by Xenakis, Ángel and Eugenia take the UPIC system, invented by the musician as a working tool, to compose the sound work. This group has also put music to other artistic activities such as the performances by Tamara Norniella and Christian Herrera which led to the record Whith me / Preámbulos.

Las CasiCasiotone. Is a music project promoted by the Asturian artists Ana Quiroga and Eugenia Pañeda. Fully immersed in music production, they put together flexible and open works, leaving room for improvisation and change. Their sounds take us to far-off places, invoking different atmospheres and dreamlike landscapes which are produced by their experimentation with analogical and digital instruments.  The music in their live performances flows in such a way that the cuts disappear and the tracks no longer sound like individual entities, but merge together in a global concept. .

As well as music production, Las CasiCasiotone organise and produce different projects such as the ElectroKinder cycles, promoting the use of visual arts as catalysts to change family and food habits, bringing it closer to the public - both children and adults. A further example is their organisation of CasiMiniFest, a small underground festival hosting electronic music groups who have moved away from the usual sounds and techniques in music production. They also collaborate in different projects with other artists, including the electronic music platform Beatfull Day and Unstable Society, a live performance of live cinema, performed with Adrián Cuervo.

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