CRAFTING THE FIELD 08 Inauguration Night

Some scenes from the Inauguration night at Xapiri Ground.
Melanie Dizon
August 12, 2023




On the fourth of August, we held a special listening session and conversation to inaugurate series #08 of Crafting the Field by sound artist and investigator Vered Engelhard whose work is very much focused on this relationship between landscapes, listening, territorial cultures, different forms of social and socio-environmental justice. Accompanying Vered was their special guest Maria Fantinato Géo Siquiera who is an educator and investigator from Brazil whose work also centers around indigenous cultures, their territories and how the notions of sound connect with that territory. Together they amplified a way for the audience to experience deep listening with perspectivism; how sounds relate to a place, the people within that place, and the web of activity surrounding that place.

Photo: Davis Torres (Xapiri Ground)

"This work of Vered, which is also a collaborative work with many hands, voices, bodies, listeners, is a work that also offers us the possibility to learn about ways of listening." Maria Fantinato Géo Siquiera

Maria and Vered / Photo: Davis Torres (Xapiri Ground)

"For me, I don't find it so interesting this idea of a soundscape where one is separated from the place and they see it from afar as if the body didn't exist in it... " Vered Engelhard

This soundscape titled "‘all that goes into this / nokemake / por eso el cuento coincide" was a work that was recorded over the course of five days in the community of Shipetiari in the Manu Biosphere. Vered Engelhard was the first artist to ever be invited by Xapiri Ground to accompany them in the field, and in this case to enter this community that they may record the integrants of their composition for Crafting the Field.
And because Engelhard's methodologies hinge upon social justice, their soundscapes portray a very pure state of being that resonates the reality of a territory while also conveying its cultural poetics. This particular work was brought forth through the hands of many individuals young and old with whom Vered imparted their recorders, microphones, and such to create a totally shared experience of listening, absolving the self-as-artist and absorbing the collective possibilities.

Photo: Davis Torres (Xapiri Ground)

"I am interested in this type of listening that respects the listening histories of the place, the process of arriving, so this theme of putting together the different perspectives was very important to me and for me this is also related to something we are talking about, which is all about social and poetic justice in resonance... This is Venancio, his [story] is interesting because we realized that he did not listen very well and the only thing he wanted was to listen amplified and there is a moment where you hear his laughter which is that laugh that says 'I can hear'!" Vered Engelhard

Venancio (on the screen) / Photo: Davis Torres (Xapiri Ground)

Photo: Davis Torres (Xapiri Ground)

For this inauguration event, Vered composed a visual score to accompany the listening experience to help guide the listener into the different passages in an effort to create new perspective pathways and associations. Preceding the listening session, they explain the various aspects of their creative process, sighting the signifiers, scenarios, and meanings which shaped the final composition.

The visual score by Vered Engelhard / Photo: Davis Torres (Xapiri Ground)

Photo: Davis Torres (Xapiri Ground)

"I am intrigued by the subjectivity within all of this, knowing that the machine itself is not objective, that is, the machine conditions how you record and how you listen. And so I have been combining dance performance with sound recording for several years, learning by recording through water as a teacher and moving with the sound currents and generating records that require very minimal editing afterwards because they really already have like 360 included when listening to the file. Thus for me it was also important to share this knowledge, this method that I have with other people. Melody and Josmer have already learned a lot from them truthfully, because they took my recorder to the limit. They wanted to deconstruct the machine completely, they would approach each other and move around everything, pressing all the buttons! And you can hear them quite a bit in the landscape as well... I had also learned a lot from Javier. He was more interested in the playback function, listening to what he had already recorded. I liked it because it was this thing of 'I'm not going to generate content for you, I've consumed what you've produced! So cool, all right, I mean, that's all part of it." Vered Engelhard

Photo: Davis Torres (Xapiri Ground)

We will be planning a revisit to the Shipetiari community along with Vered that they may further share a listening experience of the finished composition in situ and a workshop on sound and field recording. We'd like to thank the community and all of its members who participated with us in this sonic compilation and to Vered and Maria for their reflections on this creative work.
The Xapiri Ground team with Pepe, Davis, Melanie, Vered (artist), Maria (investigator), and Jack

Read more about this collaboration and the concept behind this piece for Crafting the Field.
To listen or purchase this composition series #08, please visit our Bandcamp page.