Sounding the continuum
Updated: Dec 2, 2021
Ana Ruiz Valencia*
We are all vibratile entities
We all share vibration as a fundamental dimension of existing
We all vibrate perpetually
Listening, however, is what makes interdependence possible
Listening without re-sounding/re-sonating is nothing
To listen is to let others’ vibrations affect our own inner and external vibration
sĭmŭlācrŭm. Collaboration with singer Natalia Merlano, 2021.
Listening (while) sounding is a multidimensional process: it is tactile/vibrational, sonic/aural, corporal/spatial, and temporal.
One’s self becomes an interface for some other information or energy to go through. The idea of being a ‘medium’ works very well in this case: to become someone else, something else. Becoming an interface to per-form, to take (an)other sonic form that shapes and is shaped by a particular space for a limited time. It’s about discovering a different way of communicating with the space you inhabit, with other entities, with the environment, and how you create a reality that is both contingent and present through sound.
I am a violinist and work mainly on improvisation. A living body becomes a cyborg when merged with a sonic instrument. The sonic instrument is both an extension and an amplifier of the interior feelings and the movements. This is by no means just a physical fusion. Furthermore, it demands a different approach to our conception about consciousness. What happens to 'us' while we are playing? How does this blend between mind+body+instrument operate?
I am interested in reinterpreting the way violin is performed, trying to give a different significance to the cultural assumption about how a violin “should” sound. I explore my violin’s acoustic output.
Giving space to others. Sharing a space and a time
Collaboration with sound artist Juan Echeverri, 2019. A meta-instrument is created between the violin and the modular synthesizer. The sound coming from the acoustic instrument is the input from which electronics create new textures and behaviors. In a symbiotic relationship, every new development coming out from the violin directly affects the electronic part, while this electronic output also inspires new acoustic sounds.
When several people perform together, a temporary reality is created alongside the public and the space It is particularly interesting what happens. Some kind of “shared consciousness” that allows us to become something different for a while: A true, fictional, and self-contained reality.
The “third space” that emerges when we play from different places at the same time: it’s not “my place” nor the “other’s place” where the performance happens, but the internet space (“space” assumed both as location and time where/when something happens). None of the musicians truly know the resulting piece.
Ana Ruiz Valencia is a Colombian performer/improviser, curator and researcher living in Medellin and Bogota. Her experimental sonic work moves between classical tradition, free improvisation, and contemporary music. As a curator, Ana is interested in contemporary artistic practices, particularly those related to aural culture, and philosophy and politics of sound. She is co-author of Charles Fréger – Cimarrón: Freedom and Masquerade (Thames & Hudson, 2019) and was part of the curatorial team at the 45 Salón Nacional de Artistas, in Colombia. She currently serves as Curator at the Universidad de Antioquia's Museum, MUUA, curator of Auditum Festival, and co-director of the experimental music ensemble Doble Cero Carnicero and Bruitcollage label.