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SOUND DESIGN FOR EXHIBITIONS

strong>EXPOSICIÓ VIRTUAL “FOREST ART. DESEMBOSCANT”
Museum-Archive Tomàs Balvey, Cardedeu (Barcelona). May 2020

Martí Boada is internationally renowned because of his work as a geographer and environmental investigator, subjects on which he’s published about 100 books and articles. He inherited from his ancestors the passion for the forest and has scientifically explored it in depth along his whole life, and he also expresses this passion from an artistic angle: based on the premises of land art and the more specific discipline of forest art, the author extracts elements from the forest (hence the use of the term Desemboscant, Catalan for the extraction of forest products such as timber and cork) and reiterpretes them in the form of artworks. In May 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic caused the closing of the cultural facilities the Museum-Archive Tomàs Balvey of Cardedeu commissioned me a video montage to show the artist’s works in a virtual exhibition; the images and texts had to be accompanied by a sound background that wrapped them and transported the viewer into Martí Boada’s poetic universe, thus providing a more satisfactory audiovisual experience.

This sound creation was a joint work with Dalmau Boada, son of the artist and a recognised musician in the independent scene through projects such as Esperit! or Les Aus. Along the process we combined original music and field recordings in the forest (footsteps, birds, etc). The resulting video welcomes the viewer to immerse himself in a sort of magical forest and taking a walk full of pleasant stimuli.


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EXHIBITION “THE MATTER OF THE WITCHES”
Thermalia museum, Caldes de Montbui (Barcelona). July 2019

2019 marked the 400th anniversary of the trial and execution of 13 innocent women accused of witchcraft in the village of Caldes de Montbui (Barcelona). On the occasion of this, the Thermalia Museum opened the exhibition “Lo negosi de les brvxes” (the matter of the witches) which displayed those terrible events and their historic context. To complement the show’s texts and illustrations, the museum commissioned me to create a 15 minute sound sequence which provided an immersive environment and helped the visitors to transport themselves to the obscure 17th century Caldes.

The sequence is conceived as a sort of a sound movie which starts recreating the everyday life in the Caldes of the era with the general atmosphere in the main street and the church; the prayer of a population frightened by terrible weather, bad harvests, shortage and the permanent threat of the Devil contrasts the joy of a group of carefree women singing and dancing in the countryside. This attitude is considered strange and suspicious in such a crippled, ignorant society and quickly triggers mistrust and rumours; eventually, the people ends up accusing those innocents of witchcraft and they are detained and executed in the public square. In order to generate in the visitor an eerie feeling according to a period marked by fear, bad weather and shortage, I used quotidian elements that can be disturbing such as raging dogs fighting, babies crying, storms, somber church bells, etc. On the other hand, I wanted to emotionally connect the audience with the suffering of the women; for that purpose I used actresses, actors and more than 50 extras who played the roles of the population and the victims in highly dramatic scenes. The sequence also includes a musical leit motiv I wrote specifically for this project; it symbolizes the innocence of those women and appears in different moments, thus unifying the whole story.

The video upon which the sequence is put together did not belong to the exhibition; it’s a visual support to show it here.


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EXHIBITION “A WORLD WITHOUT MAPS. THE TRAVELS OF JOAN ABELLÓ”
Museu Abelló, Mollet del Vallès (Barcelona). May 2019

This sound sequence was a commission of the Museu Abelló (Mollet del Vallès, Barcelona) for the exhibition “A world without maps. The travels of Joan Abelló”, which opened in May 2019. It includes characteristic sounds of several countries where the artist painted, which are represented in the paintings of the hall, and sound effects that suggest the concept of travel; the sequence combines realistic and oneiric, more poetic passages. Thus, an immersive atmosphere is created to complement the paintings and allow the spectator to evoke sensations of every country and transporting there.

The video upon which the sequence is put together did not belong to the exhibition.

The exhibition included some audios to be listened to with headphones, which contained fragments of letters written by Abelló from different points of the globe. I performed the readings of the texts over a backdrop in which I reconstructed with sound fx the places where they were written: Trafalgar Square (London) in the early morning, a coastal landscape in the Isle of Man, Saint Mark’s Square in Venice and two allegories of Russia, festive and desolate. Here you have a couple of examples (readings in Catalan):

Letter from the Isle of Man

Letter from Trafalgar Square


EXHIBITION “CALDES PEOPLE FROM EVERYWHERE. FROM MEMORY TO OBJECTS”
Thermalia museum, Caldes de Montbui (Barcelona). October 2018

This exhibition addressed the migratory phenomenons in Caldes de Montbui, a village located 30km away from Barcelona. One of the halls displayed personal objects brought by the emigrants to keep the bond with their places of origin. I created a 10 minute sound atmosphere loop for that space which you can listen to in the following video, made with pictures of the hall, the objects and their owners. The sequence submerges the visitors in the universe of memories that the objects evoked in those people, using their own voices taken from interviews and put together over a sound fx mural which serves allegorical, poetic and emotional functions.

The video upon which the sequence is put together did not belong to the exhibition.


The exhibition also included a series of seven videos with interviews, each one addressing one particular aspect of the experience of an emigrant. I composed and played a piece for Spanish guitar for each video. Here you have four samples; you can either listen to the audio alone or watch the final video with the music in the background.

Origin



Arrival, surprise



Reflections



Cross gazes