Francisco Lopez

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Briefly: What'll it be like?

We'll blindfold you, sit you down and Francisco will bombard you with ominous, environmental sounds, densely layered into dynamic abstraction and thunderous noise, until you can't help but create your own meaning for them, removed from all vision.

In more detail:

Who is this person?

I'm going to start here with a quote from the father of musique concrète, Pierre Schaeffer: “Often surprised, often uncertain, we discover that much of what we thought we were hearing, was in reality only seen, and explained, by the context”. This is the nature of acousmatic listening; sound removed from visual context and understood for it's own properties. From this initial insight in the 1950's, a new way of focusing on the phenomenology of sound has been developed. Over the last 20 odd years, Francisco Lopez has striven to expand on his own particular take on these ideas, an absolute musique concrete.

What's happening hear?

Francisco's typical approach is acousmatic in nature, and so he records, isolates and filters particular sounds from field recording trips in South America and around the world, and then abstracts them, placing them into new contexts whilst building monolithic walls of dense natural sounds, rendering them hallucinatory, vertiginous, and ominous. So that you our audience can focus on the particular qualities of the environmental sounds Francisco works with, you'll be asked to put on a blindfold, to approach as best as is possible a more absolute sensory depravation.

Why's it interesting?

Because if we're thinking about sound and vision then we need to think about the effects each has on the other, where one leads the other. Like for e.g. on the one hand our spatial hearing is much better than our peripheral vision; on the other, what's seen tends to override and colour what we hear. So what happens experientially when we remove one sense, and focus solely on the other? Let's find out.

Oh yeah, and as well as all of this technical stuff, Lopez is an incredible musician, capable of building performances with all the power of any noise musician you care to mention, but with a dramatic and often delicate sense of dynamics also.