2021, interactive web-based composition for headphone listening, 20 min.

A multidimensional composition featuring various intertwined soundspaces and listening pathways, created for the RIVERSSSOUNDS web platform.

MANZANARES soundwalk
2021, stereo for headphone listening, 14 min.

MANZANARES invites us to listen with(in) the river. The sounds originate in sensory encounters with flows, environments, matters, and creatures along the entire Manzanares course in the region of Madrid, from its source to its confluence with the Jarama river. The fieldwork employed various extended listening strategies to explore the diversity of ecologies that the river welcomes and passes through on its way, including protected ecosystems, infrastructures, urban spaces and liminal areas. The work engages with aural vitalities and more-than-human agencies around the thresholds and beyond our habitual perception and attention.

Despite its relatively short course (92 km), the Manzanares river has had historical relevance. The origin of the name of Madrid is linked to water. The city was founded as a settlement along the river, named initially ‘Matrice’ (meaning water). ‘Mayrit’, its Arabic name for an extended period, is also related to the meaning “place abundant in waters”. The river is born at 2,190 m of altitude in the Sierra de Guadarrama, passes through Madrid and empties into the Jarama river. It crosses protected areas of value in biodiversity, including one of the best-preserved Mediterranean forests in Europe. The river plays a role in the city’s water supply and channel system, and its course features a large reservoir, dams and water treatment plants. In the urban section (a third of its length), the river banks and the riverbed have undergone significant alterations in recent decades, including a “re-naturalisation” plan that increased the flow and biological diversity after almost disappearing due to pollution and human activities.

Fieldwork and production assistance: Palma E. Christian MartĂ­nez.

MANZANARES is part of the ongoing series MADRID SIN PALABRAS: UNA ECOLOGIA VIBRANTE. The field research along the river course was initiated during a residency at Matadero Madrid in 2019.

The project was developed and published through an online residency with RIVERSSOUNDS in 2021, curated by Anamaria Pravicencu, Anna Khvyl and Zhan Pobe. RIVERSSSOUNDS is organised by DZESTRA (Chernivtsi, UA) in partnership with SEMI SILENT (Bucharest, RO) and supported by the European Union under the House of Europe programme.