CRAFTING THE FIELD - Agricultura Celeste

“So many many existences you hear, so much silent wisdom you hear when you listen to the jungle." ~César Calvo
Melanie Dizon
October 27, 2023




Photo: Davis Torres (©2023 Xapiri Ground)


Three days by boat traveling up the Las Piedras River from Puerto Maldonado, our team at Xapiri Ground, along with invited sound artist Agricultura Celeste (aka Joan Rukmali De la colina Román), would arrive at the native community of Monte Salvado. Here they would connect with the myths and the customs of the Yine people. For this CTF series #09, Agricultura Celeste shapes us into the environment that enveloped him those weeks.
“...the roads in the jungle are rivers, where people, ideas, things, and gifts are transported." And like the rivers, his composition is a circuit of sonic elements; a collage of voices, feathering calls, serpentine creeks, and songs that awaken the myths of many years past.

Photo: Davis Torres (©2023 Xapiri Ground)

Photo: Davis Torres (©2023 Xapiri Ground)

Reflections from the artist:

According to the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, knowledge was granted by mysterious beings of greater wisdom, matters such as fishing, hunting and art were not man's inventions. Being a people from time immemorial, they took on their animal form and other forms for posterity. Animal from the outside and man on the inside.

Photo: Davis Torres (©2023 Xapiri Ground)
Photo: Davis Torres (©2023 Xapiri Ground)

Getinero - a frog that croaks in the bush, there was a time when she was a beautiful woman expert weaver and a fine cook of ‘chapo’ and ‘masato’. The ceramic with its guardian Gayo who dwells deep in the earth, teaches his art with seriousness, does not like to be mocked or laughed at, or when children play too much in the river, the Gayo comes out to scare them away.
The community of Monte Salvado is returning to its memory, remembering itself, and as such modern myths are created. Gayo emerges as a vindicating figure of this noble clay artform.

Photo: Davis Torres (©2023 Xapiri Ground)

Photo: Davis Torres (©2023 Xapiri Ground)
Culture and nature blur their limits without discerning which is which, the Yine are in the oropendola bird, in the great curassow, in the macaws, in the armored catfish, in the tortoise, etc. and within their singing, laughing and conversations they are Yine, culminating into a communication excess.

Photo: Davis Torres (©2023 Xapiri Ground)

Songs and art maintain the memory of these beings, reinforcing the bonds with their human and non-human society, cooperating amongst themselves, in order to give meaning to their destiny and to face the present times; a destiny that modern society has strayed from.

Photo: Davis Torres (©2023 Xapiri Ground)
Crafting the Field by Xapiri Ground is a creative series of musical compositions that express upon the natural and social environments surrounding Indigenous culture and their contemporaries. 
Through collaborations with Indigenous artists, sound designers, and music producers we hope to encourage a diffusion between cultures through creative research and mutual respect.

A special thank you to Emily Urquía Sebastián, Salome Sebastián Vargas and the community of Monte Salvado for receiving us and collaborating on this project.

Listen to the full track on our bandcamp page.

*All field recordings were captured in August 2023 by Agricultura Celeste in the native community of Monte Salvado, Madre de Dios, Peru.

Crafting the Field series 09 will be playing in our soundroom at Xapiri Ground from October 27, 2023 - March 6, 2024.

BIOGRAPHY | Agricultura Celeste (Cusco, Peru)

Photo: Davis Torres (©2023 Xapiri Ground)

Agricultura Celeste is the name of the project of Joan Rukmali De la colina Román, musician, sound artist, psychologist and social researcher, who began as a guitarist in the experimental band La Muka, and later had projects as ‘Alap’ exploring electronics where he released an EP independently and collaboratively. Presently, he focuses more on sounds of the Andean and Amazonian territory. His research draws interest from alternative spiritualities and their relationship with mystical tourism in the Cusco region.

Other works from Agricultura Celeste.