A few months ago I was invited to play my singing bowls in a recording studio.
I was happy to contribute to Rosalia Soria’s PhD project. She is a trained musician and engineer, this unusual combination of skills already suggested that what I will be part of is a rather extraordinary musical project. Working at the NOVARS Research Centre, at the music department of the University of Manchester Rosalia is creator of experimental acoustic pieces. All I knew was that the sound of the singing bowls will be used in Rosalia’s latest electroacoustic project. In a whaaat? Yes, this is what I thought as well.
When the big day of the premiere arrived I was there, sitting in the front row of the dark music hall. Filled with almost parental levels of excitement and anticipation, knowing that I will soon hear those familiar sounds of my singing bowls in a form I have never heard before.
The preceding pieces showed me that what these guys are doing is using high tech sound making tools to create the most unusual sound effects and weave them into a meaningful art piece.
If you go to an electroacoustic concert don’t expect melodic phrases and classical structure.
It’s more like the acoustic version of modern visual art. There are no limitations of conventional beauty. But there is definitely an experience which shows you that there is sound beyond what we are used to in our natural environments. Sometimes it pushes boundaries of beauty, other times it seems to perfectly describe the chaotic and eclectic nature of our modern reality in an acoustic form. The experience of these sounds played on 42 speakers definitely blew my mind away.
It was time to hear Rosalias piece.
I heard these sounds arising from silence thousands of times. But only now, emerging in between synthetic sound effects did I truly understand their potential of opening up space in our minds to lead us into meditation.
From the unlikely acoustic marriage of traditional and modern, Rosalia created a truly meaningful artistic soundscape. One in which the eternal peaceful character of the singing bowls’ sounds are contrasted and highlighted by the synthetic sounds.
In “time paradox” my attention is picked up and rushed forward by the synthetic sound effects, which suggest velocity and rushing information. They seamlessly melt into moments filled with the sound of the singing bowls. It feels like time slowed down and moments are stretched out, filling me with a sense of timelessness.
For me this piece is an acoustic description of how it must be to be in our mind. Where moments of high functioning problem solving are contrasted by contemplative meditative moments. An inspiring piece to remind us to revisit those moments where you can get a taste of eternity.
The moments which fill you with a sense of serenity, safety, groundedness, centeredness and connectedness in a world rushing by at high speed.
See what this piece means to you, follow the link below to listen to Rosalia Soria’s Time Paradox on Soundcloud!
Although time traveling seems to be impossible, nothing prevents our minds from transporting us to past or future places and events.
Time Paradox combines synthetic sounds with the resonating nature of traditional singing bowls. They represent the contradiction between thoughts from the past, present and future, all real, living in our minds as if they were frozen in time. It is only because of our awareness of time that they can be seen as causes or effects, as old or new, or just as a feeling from our present.”