04 Ximena

The Place El Lugar where you go, donde vas to listen, a escuchar.

Losing our loved ones when we are far from home is one of the hardest experiences of migration. We don’t know if we will arrive on time, or when we will see them again. However, we can feel our loved ones through memories that are kept in dreams and recordings. In 2006, I shared with my sister Claudia the poem “The place where you go to listen” by John Luther Adams, as a birthday present. With the idea of exploring both voice and telematics, we arranged times in skype for her to record the poem. Some days, she was very tired, as a result of her illness, and couldn’t record it. But finally, she managed to record it. I think I never gave it back to her to listen; I wanted to offer her a clean recording without the noise of the skype interference. Time passed and we were preparing for the inevitable. While I was preparing my luggage to travel and accompany her during her agony, I heard the recording; I wish she was able to hear this in the distance, and that the sound of her own voice could give her some rest… I couldn’t arrive to say goodbye.
Claudia passed away. The day of her passing was the 17th of April of 2008. The pain felt of her departure didn’t allow me to listen to the recording again. Four years later, with the inspiration of Migrare, I am able to create this piece, putting together her voice and my voice. My voice is the translation to Spanish that I have made of the poem. The combined voice is a voice that inherits, that receives; Claudia’s voice gives me strength, allows me to perceive her presence, it gives me company. I think the combined voice is a nomadic voice. It helps to heal the pain of her absence. In my connection with her, I play the flute; I think she is playing it. The flute is the in-between voice, the bridge that is created by calling the spirits of nature, plants, rivers, and earth. I feel that today Claudia was here.