Release date June 1, 2015
El Hierro is the Southwesternmost island of the Canary islands group. It used to be most known for the prime meridian. Nowadays it is noted to be the first European island to have become energy self-sufficient. In the west of the Island, partly surrounded by the rim of a crater, one finds the El Golfo bay. It is assumed that most of the crater has been swallowed by the ocean. Part of the leftover volcanic crater is called Risco de Tibataje, a jagged mountain massif about 1000 meters high and eight kilometers long. Here lives the Lagarto Gigante, a lizard that can grow to be 60 centimeters and that is under threat of extinction.
The mountain wall registers every sound and reproduces it with a certain echo. Moving sounds, such as cars passing by, a dog barking or the sound of a drum are quasi recorded and subsequently reverberated, depending on the nature of the sound. The Risco de Tibataje is in effect like an echo box with its own very specific resonance.
The "Tibataje" composition uses this feature. In front of the massif, three typical El Hierro drums made of wood and galvanized zinc and strung with goat leather were placed. The drums were then played at a certain distance from each other and from the mountain (80 meters), each drum having recording equipment close by. Next to that, there was equipment recording all sound as a whole. Starting every recording, two wooden blocks were hit, enabling synchronous play of the different recordings later on.
Center to the composition are rhythmic variations, used during a religious celebration taking place every four years, the "Bajada de la Virgen de los Reyes". These rhythms are only played during the Bajada and are protected. Out of respect for this tradition, the recorded rhythms are an interpretation of the original ones. Three drummers react to each other, their own echo and the echo of the other instrumentalists. The Tibataje resonates, answers and sings its own song. The composition tells the story of the landscape, like a sound polaroid, a sonic print of the surroundings.
"Tibataje" aims at aggrandizing, clarifying, changing and uncovering the specific characteristics of the mountain using music as its means. The creative process confronted with the laws of nature and their sensory expressions are the leitmotif of this piece.
A1 Abseits (11’18”)
A2 Jenseits, danach (5’)
B1 Davor (19’28”)
Leo Bacallado Pino, Michael Jüllich, Xavier Foks
Valentina la de Sabinosa and the falcon, the gecko, the goats, the flies, the crickets
Musical clock melody:
“I’m just a little black rain cloud”
Piet Hein van de Poel
“Una Hora” was produced in the framework of the "Islas Resonantes" project, commissioned by Septenio Canario
(Gobierno de Canarias).
Special thanks to Concha Jerez and José Iges (Radio Clásica, RTVE).
Recorded in April 2009.
Mastered and cut by Andreas Lubich at Calyx Mastering, Berlin
Presale at https://clone.nl/all/label/testtoon+records
Digital release out on June 1, 2015 -> https://testtoon.bandcamp.com/
- field recording