Masa / Mass
First Prize «Short forms» in Grand Prix Nova International Radio Drama Festival (2021)
First Prize «Short forms» UK International Audio Drama Festival (2022).
Lenght: 4 minutes 44 seconds
Country: Spain / Portugal
Author and producer: Laura Romero Valldecabres
Sound engineer(s): Recordings, voices, edit and mix by Laura Romero Valldecabres. Mastered by Lawrence English.
Curator(s): Hugo Branco, director of VIC Aveiro Arts House and curator of the project “New Chronologies of Sound” by the Aveiro Municipality via Teatro Aveirense,Portugal; and Jorge Barco (MAMM — Museum of Modern Art of Medellín, Colombia) as curatorship consultant.
Translation by Juande Blasco
Masa («Mass») is a sound collage made with feld recordings from my personal archive along with a free adaptation of the poem “Masa”, by César Vallejo (Peru) and the expanded violin by Alexandre Sacha Sakharov (France). This audio piece is part of the compilation project “New Chronologies of Sound”, a collection of sound works based on field recordings, that proposes to generate a sonic debate around the emergence of a new perceived time axis due to the global pandemic landscape: lifeisavicnic.bandcamp.com/album/new-c…es-of-sound
A research study published in 2018 revealed that sound waves carry mass, in particular, negative mass (Esposito, Krichevsky, Nicolis). This mass, in the presence of a gravitational feld, such as that of the Earth, forces its trajectory upwards. Sound waves would therefore be a form of antigravity. These ideas made me think about the absence of those gravitational and vibrational fields. During 2020, these sound waves have disappeared or decreased due to the pandemic situation: sounds of people gathering, choirs, protests, noise of enthusiasm and euphoria, the big and small concerts, even the funerals in community. I miss this crossed map of crowds in unison, a diverse, porous and powerful multiple unison. I began to rescue those mass vibrations from my personal recordings, reliving and following what Séan Street refected in The Sound of a Room:
“With sound, I am reimmersed in the moment, living it again through the time it took to happen in the first place. It is that slow revelation of identifcation that is an essential part of the experience of a recording, setting it in the memory”.