Manrico was unquestionably one of the most influential voices of sound art and experimental music in Mexico and Latin America for almost two decades; he worked and exchanged thoughts and moments with an immense number of people all around the world, and on this very sad day the sound community worldwide is heavily shocked by the news of his departure.
He was one of a kind, and those who had the pleasure and privilege to know him will remember with love and joy his auuuuu’s, his emoji hearts, his cosmic hugs and his remy tears. There was only one Manrico, and there will be never another.
On this tragic date, it is important to find inspiration in his work and pay tribute to his remarkable legacy.
His Mandorla label worked as a platform and network for dozens of artists who were part of its memorable Autumn compilation series, creating a much needed bridge between the artistic sound practice in North America, Europe and Japan and Latin America. Manrico paved the way for many artists in Mexico and abroad with his enormous talent and sensibility, and with his kind, generous and charismatic persona.
His meticulous and beautiful work with field recordings, linguistics, insects and birds are a great example of a serious and contemporary sound practice where research and composition blend into compelling sounds that tell stories, transporting the listener to incredible soundscapes while pointing out to the serious environmental problems that affect the world today, something that became of vital importance for him over the past decade.
The beautifully mysterious, candid and gentle presence of Manrico will be greatly missed everywhere. His pioneering efforts as artist and curator serve as an example of how one person can influence a nation of artists willing to explore the boundaries of art, music and science.
The early departure of Manrico should also remind us of our ephemeral existence; it should remind us of the preciousness of time where life only happens once and whatever we make out of it is what we will leave behind before diving into the depths of cosmos.
At Sonic Field we would like to say goodbye to Manrico expressing gratitude for his art and legacy, sending to his family and close friends a message of condolences and courage.
– Maile Colbert, Miguel Isaza and David Vélez
We invite those who knew him to remember Manrico by listening to his work, as you can by visiting to the following links:
Also his friend and Sonic Field editor Maile Colbert wrote a touching personal note that we present here:
“I would like to share this moment I had, as I found it healing…
As I write this, I am listening to the recordings of a friend and collaborator, made in various areas in Bolivia. Manrico Montero was a Mexican sound artist, phonographer and field recordist, free improviser, and researcher in bioacoustics and biosemiotics. I just found out he passed away. As I write this and listen, I hear the call of the Agelaioides badius, common name the grayish baywing. Two actually, as one closer to where he was recording, calls, and is answered by another further away. There is traffic in the distance, and at one point a car passes on a dirt road a bit closer to him. The echo to the sound gives us the mountains, the insects give us the summer, and I am present with the recordist, in that moment of recording, in a transcendence I find specific to field recordings. It sounds like the view was impressive. The next track’s insects also give us heat, and the sun setting in Llanos de Moxos, a tropical savanna. We hear we are out of the mountains. We are low to the ground with him, cooling with the coming night. A single bird calls near, somehow mournful with no reply amidst all of the sonic emissions around it. Each call has its moment, it sounds like a music composition. I am sensing through Manrico’s sonic perception and point of view, I am experiencing not just time, but place, from the place and time of his recording. It is a gift, and at this moment, it is healing. One of his sonic cosmic hugs, to put it in his way, his wonderful way that will be dearly missed”.
– Maile Colbert
Photo: Benjamin Alcantara