IXONEZTLI/GARCIA: The Infinite Expansion of Sound
As experienced 5/9/SA/2015 @ Center for Public Arts Highland Park
The stage is filled with beautiful instruments of Meso America, Mexico and Beyond-2 large drums carved out of a single tree trunk stand side by side, large suspended drums with tassels of different colors, with hand painted designs of stars within stars and dots around them, suspended seashells and metals (?), bowls filled with water and gourds floating in them, huge slit drums with beautiful carvings, gongs of assorted sizes, flutes, whistles, and ocarinas of all shapes, sizes and materials including wood, bamboo, and clay, long gourd trumpets, conch shells and more.
Published on LatinoLA: May 23, 2015
This is before any musician has set foot onto the stage - our eyes are filled with wonder but, what will it sound like?
IXONEZTLI/GARCIA - THE INFINITE EXPANSION OF SOUND are introduced by TEATRO ARROYO THEATER STREAM co founder Ralph Waxman. "The only thing I can say about these musicians is that they will blow your mind.......this will change EVERYTHING...."
They step onto the stage, one of them is of slight build, almost elfin like, and has white face and body paint on, not really sure if it is Meso American, but definitely other worldly. The other musician wears no make up but they are both dressed in white. They slowly make their way thru the maze of instruments and a clarion call is sounded and the room is filled with an explosion of SOUNDS of metal, wood, and clay which resonate, and surface and re surface and bubble up in and around each other, and a huge wall of noise and sound coming from everywhere fills the room and what sounds like tape manipulations?
(They later tell me that everything was done LIVE without pre-records, sequencers or sound men tricks.)
The MUSIC, the SOUNDS, the NOISE ebbs and flows, the cacophony dissolves into a relentless groove played on the 2 largest drums by Garcia, first with hands and then with large mallets, and as the music intensifies IXONEZTLI (the musician in face and body paint) dances and jumps around the stage, playing flutes and speaking , singing and screaming in a language or languages that I do not recognize, (more on that later) but he seems to be speaking to me and everyone else, and as quickly as the music evolved into this giant groove it comes to a dead halt.
Not quite sure, no visual signs or aural signs were given or none that I recognized.
Yet they stop at exactly the same time.
The silence they make is almost as deafening as the SOUND they created and now they are playing so quietly that we can hear each other breathe and IXONEZTLI starts speaking, (in tongues??) not quite sure. Imagine the Art Ensemble of Chicago meets Weather Report and instead of improvisers with a jazz background, these guys share a palette of Meso American instruments, culture and ancestral symbology.
The MUSIC, the SOUND and THE SILENCE are relentless, and they play non stop for 70 minutes or so as we are taken thru a roller coaster of emotions with each transition.
No announcements of any kind were given during the performance, and they moved from one set of instruments to another and another and took us to worlds we have never heard or heard of before.
One of my favorite moments was when IXONEZTLI plays a very long clay double flute and Garcia came out from behind his arsenal of percussion and played gourd drums filled with water. The sounds were not familiar at all, and when I close my eyes it is as if I am in a giant cave in the belly of MESO AMERICA, and this moment yet again dissolves into another musical/magical event, some 20 aural, visual, theatrical events occurred during the space of the performance.
Immediately after the performance while mingling thru the crowd I hear the following descriptions:
"absolutely ancestral sounds."
"never knew what was coming next, totally unexpected, playful, inventive, tribal, and ominous, a tremendous experience"
I guess you had to have been there.
If you find that they are winding their way thru your town, village, city, or country
you need to go and EXPERIENCE the universe of
THE INFINITE EXPANSION OF SOUND
You will be transformed‘«™‘«™‘«™‘«™
THE EVENT WAS SPONSORED BY
Teatro Arroyo//Theater Stream
Arroyo Arts Collective
and was a gift to the community
additional info on IXONEZTLI/GARCIA can be found at their website
Auraliano is a free lance writer covering musical events and culture in and around Los Angeles and Beyond