For countertenor (Miguel Quiñones), parrots (Charro Cadena, Pistaccio Lopez), different voices & dead electronics (Kurzweil, Moog and smartphone apps performed by Frédéric Acquaviva).
No Soy Un Robot was composed from February to April 2003 in Monterrey with the pretext of a composing residency in Mexico. The specificity of this city, located just under the Texas US border, encouraged me to further investigate the concept of borders and limitations, and how to cross and finally get rid of them for a trully multidimensional life.
Staying away from representational field recordings while using only in situ sound sources, I incorporated all the new sounds and ideas living around my new mexican ecosystem, such as technological ones with the use of a smartphone (that I was finally obliged to get due to the dangerousness of the city), with its sound apps, sound messages and portable recording possibilities or impossibilities. I also played the Kurzweil keyboard that was waiting for me in the flat I was staying, as well as the Moog synthesizer of the university electroacoustic studio.
Mexican border cities are known for their "feminicidio machine", which led me to investigate through gender perspective about the "animality" of human beings by recording sessions with two parrots, themselves seen as terradactyl prototypes of AI and GPT bots, as if gender based violence - GBV - was transmitted through ancient algorithms of men's bestiality. Next to computerised voices fed with different geographical accents in this particular historical moment where bots demand you to confirm by security prompt whether you are human or inhuman and when human beings finally aim to behave like robots, I also wrote a part for the voice of a young mexican countertenor, himself turned into a robot through electroacoustic manipulations.
I wonder if in the future, robots will listen to No Soy Un Robot, this music manifesto for a post-colonial music and an extended (sound) world where animals, humans and technology are seeking for complex critical thinking, tolerance and creative polylogues, engaging human nature far away from its physical frontiers, limits and borders into the territories of autonomy and joy of dissonance.
Created on April 21, 2023 at CEIIDA, Monterrey (Mexico) at the occasion of the first artistic residency (February 15 - April 23, 2023) organised by Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Léon (UANL), Centro de Investigación, Innovación y Desarrolo de las Artes (CEIIDA), Instituto Francés de América Latina (IFAL) and Consulado General de Francia en Monterrey.
Frédéric Acquaviva, born in 1967, has been since 1990 a sound artist
and experimental music
composer, creating chronopolyphonic installations and CDs and playing in art galleries, in museums or in underground venues.
Staying away from traditional networks of musicians and composers, he meets and works with historical figures in art, poetry or video, sometimes a long time before their being discovered by the media. He has collaborated this way with Isidore Isou
, Maurice Lemaître, Marcel Hanoun, Pierre Guyotat
, Jean-Luc Parant
, mezzo-soprano Loré Lixenberg
, film maker FJ Ossang
and choreographer Maria Faustino, among others.
His astonishing music, in which he chooses an experimental presentation using, is constantly exploring, always in new ways, the relationship between voice and language, sound and its meaning, even the idea of physical body sounds integrated into the musical composition, kept away from the concert hall's diffusions (acousmatic or sound installations). As the critic Eric Vautrin
remarked in Mouvement
magazine, his work is not a “sound work but a work about sound”.
Acquaviva has become not only one of the essential protagonists of the rediscovery of historical avant-garde, more precisely of Lettrism (Isidore Isou
, Gabriel Pomerand, Maurice Lemaître, Gil J Wolman, Jean-Louis Brau, Jacques Spacagna, François Dufrêne
, Roland Sabatier, Alain Satié, Broutin
), but of Sound Poetry
, Bernard Heidsieck
), and has worked with some unique and outstanding historical figures (Pierre Albert-Birot, Otto Muehl
). He has done this through his knowledge of and interest in different disciplines: editing books, curating art exhibitions, being an events creator, lecturing, establishing catalogue raisonnés and bibliographic databases, creating radiophonic works, being an art critic, a filmmaker, and a publisher, with Editions Derrière la Salle de Bains or for his own editions: AcquAvivA
, and the magazine CRU
See also Yoann Sarrat : Phonosophie et corporalité compositionnelle – L'art sonore de Frédéric Acquaviva