MACmacMACmacMAC was a piece composed for the 2011 Zeppelin Sound Art Festival in Barcelona, through Anilla Cultural Chile from the Contemporary Arts Museum in Santiago, Chile.
The work was a succesive superimposition of the soundscape of five spaces at the museum. Recordings were carried out during five days on five different audio mediums, rotating each day.
On Monday December 5th, a reel-to-reel tape recorded 5 minutes of the soundscape at the museum's basement.
On Tuesday, at the same time and place, the reel-to-reel tape reproduced yesterday's recording while being recorded by a minicassette.
On Wednesday the minicassette played the recording while being recorded by an mp3.
On Thursday an mp3 played while a cassette player recorded.
On Friday the cassette played while being recorded by a digital recorder.
On Saturday the digital recorder played while being recorded by the reel-to-reel, going back to the start.
The same procedure, with different combinations, was undertaken at each selected space: underground, main hall, room in the second floor, offices in the third floor and the roof.
The result was 25 minutes per day which will feed back while being transferred from medium to medium.
Everything worked wonderfuly; machines, time, sounds.
I'm not sure if I should call them flaws, mistakes, lack of concentration, nature or what, but in each of the 5 places I encountered a surprise that was to change the preconceived plan.
Underground: the reel-to-reel Ferrograph failed in its reproduction mechanism, I considered the head and cold tubes but it did not work. In the end I recorded two hours later holding the knob that lets the tape roll, emitting a soft sound but not activating the head, thus not reproducing yesterday's recording.
Debería haber llamado al técnico. Mañana podría pasar lo mismo.
Main Hall: when I had started recording I realized I had swapped the mediums, the Zoom recorder recorded the mp3 when it should have been the other way round. I left it like that thinking I could swap them again on the third floor and compensate for that change.
Room at the second floor: I realize a mistake in the system I hadn't noticed: I have to reproduce and record at the same time with the same medium. I go home and bring a walkman te reproduce the cassette and record with the cassette player.
Offices at the third floor: as I inverted the mediums and I recorded the Zoom recorded with the mp3 I realize that I'm changing the places and instead of reproducing the recording of the same office I'm reproducing yesterday's main hall.
Roof: as the Ferrograph won't run I choose not to do the recording on the roof and replace it with an "empty" audio and image.
Everything went well; timing, machines, places, nonetheless, when I got to the last recording the Ferrograph reel-to-reel did not work once more. Though it did work on the fourth recording I could not transfer it and record at the roof. Once again an unavailable recording.
Everything came back to normal and worked perfectly. As it was a holiday the museum was empty. In order to continue with those materials lost beacuse of the Ferrograph, I record the "yet another unavailable recording" on the minicassette and then reproduced it on the roof while recording it with the mp3.
Another beautiful recording day marred by the Ferrograph's malfunction.
Last day. Ferrograph disappoints me once again. Another flaw in the system: it asks me to reproduce and recorded on the same medium, I use a computer. The day ends with a telematic concert with Barcelona and Córdoba, improvising with these machines and recordings, in two duos: first with Nicolás Carrasco and then with Alvaro Ortega.