Miguel Isaza
sabato 16 luglio 2016
Ethereal Fortore, Day 4: The ghostly band and an ode to a fountain

Today was a day for soliloquy. Cold streets, people in their homes and therefore, daily activity reduced, calling for other actions: those arising from the absence and apparently empty spaces. If it were not because the wind was blowing even stronger today and in every possible direction, the town would seem still, suspended between mountains, today colored with a green tinged by haze. Few conversations emerged, less smiles than yesterday and with that an opportunity to surf the internal tide, accepting loneliness and lack of home land, valuing as a way to get into listening to oneself between the icy currents.

Still, the local martial band went out to start the feast of Saint Antonio. It is composed mostly of local youngsters, who play their instruments as they walk through the village, creating a caravan of figures of many hues. I journeyed with them across the streets, recording some of their songs, but suddenly the rain started and all of us returned indoors. After spending a few hours to write some reflections, some sunlight appeared so I took the opportunity to walk, and as an instantaneous magnetism, I went to a place I met two days ago by surprise, whose name I was told is fontana della terra (fountain from the land), a small but very special space, surrounded by several types of trees and with a tiny fountain in the middle. It is a wonderful place for meditation and sedentary listening, perhaps because of the subtle sound exchanges and the possibility of listening to the wind as it becomes present in different textures of leaves, some thick and big, but also others as thin as the frequencies that weave when contemplating. The listening experience there was quite curious not only because of the sounds present, but by the way the echoes of the band which, despite stopping to play hours ago, remained echoing in me, at times almost as strong as the cicadas surrounding the fountain.

This timeless feeling, without location, is very really common for sound, and in this case, combined with subsequent aural forms which furrow in the darkness of the night, created together a whispering of voices that I could not tell if are present as acoustic events or lay like living beings in the ether; not even touching the air and yet so present. Here I can not stop to reaffirm again and again how listening breaks all dualisms: the listener becomes the sound, space and time get blended together, and matter and dream lose all disconnection. Everything is integrated, fully present, woven into a unified manifestation of consciousness. Although everything seems to be as solid as the wall of a house or firm as the thick trunk of a tree, in the silent contemplation of listening, everything is revelaed as fleeting, changing and impermanent. And the beauty is that not being a separation between matter and spirit, the heard does not speak merely of sounds that have become detached from the material processes, but allows, from the sound itself, to find that what we call material is also sound, an expression of vibration.

It is a feeling as sinister as sublime, because while it reveals the reality as an illusory network of ghosts, it also gives the possibility of recognizing the fantasy of world and its fleeting dynamic, hence freeing the spirit of any need of seizing life, and contrary to that, it expands, letting life to flow more lightly, as it invites to go beyond the alienation sometimes produced by the invisible and the fear of the dark, and turns it here into opportunities for encounters with world’s true nature. Here, what is sonic and what is silent, what is real and what is not, what travels outside or inside, are not recognized separately, therefore the listener is abandoned in a non-dualistic ocean. There are no ears present, there is not even something heard; no one is recording.