Temblores armónicos, a menudo una advertencia (2018)
Project in collaboration with Manuela Ribadeneira
The harmonic tremor is a seismic vibration that maintains a constant spectral amplitude that may extend for several minutes and even hours. According to studies carried out by geophysicists, this phenomenon is part of three characteristic moments of any volcanic explosion: first, «the tremor spreads continuously until reaching a high point» of the frequency, called cry. Subsequently, there are thirty seconds of silence that precede the eruption of the volcano.
These signals, which are part of the natural process of the eruption of the volcano, are only perceptible by means of sophisticated measuring instruments. The investigations – still under development – suggest that they could work as an early warning. If only these signals could be interpreted in time, how many catastrophes could be avoided?
In an attempt to represent what is imperceptible to our senses, the sound frequencies and the language of music make way for the key to a more solid and poetic manifestation of these phenomena. The artist appropriates the sound wave generated by the harmonic tremor of a volcano for the installation of a «topographic drawing» made directly on the wall, which runs the entire perimeter of the exhibition room. In the same way, the thirty seconds of silence are represented by? Diverse possibilities offered by the musical language. These pieces, made from the glass blowing technique, contain in their form the number of seconds represented by the sign. In this way, and expanding the very limit of this artisanal technique, the duration of the glass blow is determined by the number of seconds it represents (*).
In order to advance in a possible representation of these volcanic manifestations, Manuela Ribadeneira has invited the artist Pável Aguilar, resident of Escuela FLORA 2018, to participate in the exhibition. Aguilar works from? The translation of the sound event to the pentagram format and from there to instrumental interpretation. At the request of Ribadeneira, he translated the sequence of several volcanic eruptions into musical signs. At the same time, the Audible Archive presents the piano interpretation of one of these scores, transforming the harmonic tremor produced by a volcano into a contemporary musical piece.
Undoubtedly, the sense of alarm, the warning sign – sometimes percieved, many others ignored – is the main theme for Ribadeneira. From outside the FLORA building this idea is extended to the public through a flag like those used as imminent storm warning. In the exhibition, this call to attention corresponds to different moments of the catastrophe, from the moments that precedes? The subsequent chaos: this is the case of the pieces worked in collaboration between Ribadeneira and Aguilar, where it is no longer only translated into the musical language? The roar of nature but the reaction of people to disaster.
During the duration of the exhibition these musical phrases and their respective musical performances will gradually accumulate in the showcase of the entrance hall, building a textual and musical composition.