Organscape

Xoán Xil López (ES)

The sound ensemble that comprise this proposal, commissioned by the festival De Lugares e Órganos, Santiago de Compostela 2020, is framed around two elements that coexist and dialogue; the autonomous installation called Organismo I, a sort of automata that emulates a repertoire of sounds associated with the natural world, and a series of acoustic short pieces for organ, Organscape I – IV,  composed by means of converting field recordings from different geographical locations to the timbrical characteristics of this historical instrument. 

This work arises from the idea of soundscape musical mimesis. 

Based on research related to the special registers that we can find in some organs—mainly from the Baroque period, intended to imitate paramusical sounds, such as those of birds or thunder, Organscape delves into the idea of our audible environment representation through a series of works written for this instrument and a sound installation. In this sense, it is not so much an attempt to achieve a faithful imitation, but to outline certain acoustic characteristics of the evoked material, the wind or a swarm, for example. A tension that places us between utopia and dystopia. 

In some way, the organ could be considered one of the first site-specific “installations,” as it is a sound device built to remain in a fixed place thoroughly calculated based on the acoustics of the space it occupies. It is this contemporary perspective, linked to the field of sound art, that has inspired the framework of the technical work with the instrument connected with the installation Organismo I, a modular device that tries to emulate a natural sounds repertoire through the use of different acoustic mechanisms, such as bird calls, activated by the air from different bellows.  

The four scores cycle for organ has been written based on the extended acoustic possibilities of the instrument sited at the University of Santiago de Compostela, built by Manuel Sanz in 1802. 

The sound ensemble that comprise this proposal, commissioned by the festival De Lugares e Órganos, Santiago de Compostela 2020, is framed around two elements that coexist and dialogue; the autonomous installation called Organismo I, a sort of automata that emulates a repertoire of sounds associated with the natural world, and a series of acoustic short pieces for organ, Organscape I – IV,  composed by means of converting field recordings from different geographical locations to the timbrical characteristics of this historical instrument. 

This work arises from the idea of soundscape musical mimesis. 

Based on research related to the special registers that we can find in some organs—mainly from the Baroque period, intended to imitate paramusical sounds, such as those of birds or thunder, Organscape delves into the idea of our audible environment representation through a series of works written for this instrument and a sound installation. In this sense, it is not so much an attempt to achieve a faithful imitation, but to outline certain acoustic characteristics of the evoked material, the wind or a swarm, for example. A tension that places us between utopia and dystopia. 

In some way, the organ could be considered one of the first site-specific “installations,” as it is a sound device built to remain in a fixed place thoroughly calculated based on the acoustics of the space it occupies. It is this contemporary perspective, linked to the field of sound art, that has inspired the framework of the technical work with the instrument connected with the installation Organismo I, a modular device that tries to emulate a natural sounds repertoire through the use of different acoustic mechanisms, such as bird calls, activated by the air from different bellows.  

The four scores cycle for organ has been written based on the extended acoustic possibilities of the instrument sited at the University of Santiago de Compostela, built by Manuel Sanz in 1802. 

www.unruidosecreto.net/organscape

Sound installation: Xoán-Xil López 

Composition: Xoán-Xil López 

Organ premiere performance: Andrés Cea Galán 

This work was commisioned by the international organ festival De Lugares e Órganos, Santiago de Compostela, 2020 

Xoán-Xil López (ES) is a sound artist and researcher who produces works focused on phonography (field recording) and sound experimentation taking the form of installations, immersive listening situations, compositions, performances, and texts. He was co-founder of Escoitar.org, an interdisciplinary collective dedicated to the study of the soundscape and aurality, which was active from 2006 to 2016. He has been researcher and artist-in-residence at Ina GRM (BNF), La Chartreuse (Centre National des Ecritures du Spectacle) or UCLA, and taught workshops and talks on sound art and field recording at Art|Sci center, Artium, CCMEX, CGAC, CRESSON, European Institute of Design (IED), La Térmica or Medialab-Prado. He has exhibited his work in contexts such as IN-Sonora, KUMU art museum, MNCARS, LABoral, La Casa Encendida or ZKM, among others.  

Xoán-Xil López (ES) is a sound artist and researcher who produces works focused on phonography (field recording) and sound experimentation taking the form of installations, immersive listening situations, compositions, performances, and texts. He was co-founder of Escoitar.org, an interdisciplinary collective dedicated to the study of the soundscape and aurality, which was active from 2006 to 2016. He has been researcher and artist-in-residence at Ina GRM (BNF), La Chartreuse (Centre National des Ecritures du Spectacle) or UCLA, and taught workshops and talks on sound art and field recording at Art|Sci center, Artium, CCMEX, CGAC, CRESSON, European Institute of Design (IED), La Térmica or Medialab-Prado. He has exhibited his work in contexts such as IN-Sonora, KUMU art museum, MNCARS, LABoral, La Casa Encendida or ZKM, among others.