Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Luiz Pérez Ixoneztli & Paloma Coronado — Elementos
((Not on label) no#, 2022, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-12-26
The Elements: Fire, Water, Earth, and Wind. At hand, a blend of beautiful melodic vocals and chants from another ancient world created by composers Luis Perez Ixoneztli (Mexico) and Paloma Coronado (Peru), all backed by a mystical commingling of Prehispanic flutes and percussion, acoustic guitars, charango, and more, mixed with the sounds of the natural world, birds, animals, insects, wind, and more, conjuring up images of the forest, deep jungle, deserts, oceans, lakes, mountains, and echoes of the inner spirituality of an earlier time long ago. A listener is quickly drawn into their world as they paint a picture of antiquity with their mysterious sounds and magical voices. Each of the four pieces represents one of the elements, and is titled as such, although each piece will go through many changes over its duration, almost like a medley of half a dozen ideas in a sequence. “Fuego” (Fire) begins in a folky ethnic mode, with acoustic strings punctuated by Prehispanic percussion and a beautiful melody carried forward by harmonized flutes, later joined by Coronado’s wordless vocals. The wind instruments from two Mesoamerican cultures are employed; Maya-Totonaca and West Mexico, Colima region, plus pan pipes, mocenos, and quenachos from the Andes, as well as a transverse contemporary flute. Following the opening section, at around three minutes in, everything changes to a gentle soft folk with vocals (with Spanish lyrics this time) eventually consumed by sounds of thunder, segueing into the sounds of jungle birds and insects which reintroduce the vocal theme, which eventually gives way to the original theme that started it all, this time with Perez’ vocals driving the piece to its conclusion. Next up is “Agua” (Water), the shortest of the four movements at just under eleven minutes, again moving through numerous sections of vocals, wind instruments, and gentle percussion, supported by acoustic guitar, and augmented by field recordings, spoken sections and more. Beginning in an upbeat, joyful festive mood, “Tierra” (Earth) is driven by a folk guitar theme with a steady percussive presence and strong vocals, eventually settling down to a gentle folk presence over a number of sections. The ethnic percussion instruments are varied, made of wood, clay, bone, deer antlers, turtle shells, and more, sometimes formed into into shakers, rattles, and hand drums. Around the nine minute mark we have a beautiful upbeat section for charango and electric bass with flutes and field recordings. Throughout all four movements the Moog and Kurzweil symths are utilized mostly for creating a backing fabric for all of the rest that’s going on, but no more so than on the first few minutes of the closing movement “Viento” (Wind), quickly evolving into centuries-old spiritual chanting, crossing through many different themes and ideas as the piece moves forward to its near-fifteen minute conclusion. All taken, Elementos is a powerful and immersive pan-cultural experience that crosses the ancient with the modern, the result is one like no other.
Related artist(s): Luiz Pérez
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