Sonidos del subconsciente I. ASFÉRICO -Alex Gámez-
(Galaverna 2012)

Review by Cheryl Tipp

The accompanying notes for ‘Sonidos del Subconsciente I’ describe the work as “an imaginary soundtrack of a timeless, deep, dark, blurred and noisy world with millions of files and unknown connections and processes constantly running.” It certainly feels as if you’re leaving our world behind and embarking on a journey through an unfamiliar landscape caught somewhere between the prehistoric and post apocalyptic.

This 24 minute composition by Alex Gámez was created from a variety of field recordings that have been manipulated to such a degree that the original source of the sound is now unidentifiable. Insects, rushing water, wind, machinery and even birdsong are all possibilities but one can never really be sure. Synthesized sounds were also incorporated into the work to emphasize the otherworldly nature of the piece. This lack of familiarity with the sonic content coerces the listener into using their imagination to tackle this distorted, unfathomable creation.

Galaverna, run by Enrico Coniglio and Leandro Pisano, is the label behind this release. Never being ones to shy away from the unconventional has meant that a robust catalogue of releases is starting to take shape within just a year of the label being formed. With the likes of Yasuhiro Morinaga (Sceneries from the Castellated Wall) and Andreas Bick (Eolo) adding their support, Galaverna looks set to go from strength to strength.

‘Sonidos del Subconsciente I’ made me stop and think about how my views on field recording have changed over time. There is no denying that my relationship with listening and field recordings is certainly evolving. There was a time when my interest in this type of work would have waned after a few minutes, when the frustration of not knowing what I was listening to eventually took over. Now I have the patience and curiosity to give the more experimental areas of phonography the attention they deserve. This is not a conscious effort either. I think it comes, in part at least, from being exposed to such a wealth of high-quality published material that traverses the entire spectrum of field recording, whether it be the sounds of the rainforest, the musical rhythm of an escalator or the hum of a vibrating wire. I think it also comes from a deeper interest in the world of sound that has developed within me over the past few years and much greater contact with recordists and artists who want to explore unconventional paths and push the barriers of field recording to see what can be achieved. It’s been a fascinating journey so far.


[Alex Gámez]

Alex Gámez website
Galaverna website

Cheryl Tipp

Wildlife sounds curator at British Library.