Pseudo-seizure vii -2010

This is my second submission to sound lab and due to the 10th anniversary I decided to share my most recent piece which belongs to a series called pseudo-seizures with aura. Pseudo-Seizure7 was conceivedafter a 3 month placement at a

Hospital’s Neurology Ward. I exploredthe aesthetics of auras during the preamble to an epileptic seizure by interviewing 2 selected epileptic patients who experience recurrent auditory auras (hallucinations) during status epileptics. I generated an extensive series of soundsamples based on these patients’ descriptions. The 2 patients then listened and ranked these sound samples in terms of their resemblance to their auditory aural experiences. To my surprise the samples that ranked more highly came from harsh textures generated by one of my vector synthetiser (TG33 partly designed by Dave Smith for Yamaha back on the days …). With this insight I then generated 11 sound-scapes of which number 7 is the current submission. In addition to these ‘synthetic epileptic auras’ there is a dodecaphonic percussive line which is a mapping of 12 relevant ‘electric events’ extracted from epileptic electro encephalograms (EEGs). The mapping is so that a 12 note system maps epileptic markers and the rhythm is a direct temporal map of when these epileptic events happened – in real time.


To conclude, the following is a prosaic deconstruction of the physiopathology associated with temporo-parietal seizures with aura. In my opinion a knowledge of this biology is fundamental so to empathise with epileptic patients. I highly recommend reading this some-how-non-sense-paragraph before listening … enjoy the music.

“auras – from – 80% of temporal lobe seizures + common feature — simple partial seizures +++ precede complex partial seizures of temporal lobe origin -~ “auditory hallucinations” :: ‘buzzing’ sound – ‘voice or voices’ or muffling or ambient or harsh sounds. ?neocortical temporal lobe epilepsy vs ?other types of temporal lobe epilepsy. ->Following the aura, a temporal lobe complex partial seizure begins ->> wide-eyed ->>> motionless stare ->>>> dilated pupils ->>>>> behavioral arrest, ‘oral alimentary automatisms’ ‘lip smacking + chewing. Manual automatisms too. or unilateral dystonic posturing of my limbs – could be one or more. most auras and automatisms last a very short period—seconds or 1-2 minutes. The postictal phase may last for a longer period (several minutes, perhaps 14.21 minutes). By definition, amnesia occurs during a complex partial seizure because of bilateral hemispheric involvement – so –


Matador -2009

Currently exhibiting at SoundLab’09 and FILE’09

This piece is a homage to Ignacio Sánchez Mejías and, perhaps, the best-known poem of Federico García Lorca ‘Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías’. Ignacio Sánchez Mejías was a Spanish bullfighter and poet much admired by artists from Generación-del-27 – an influential group of Spanish avant-garde poets (1923-1927). This piece of music portrays a series of tumultuous incidents related to the tragic death of the Matador Ignacio Sánchez Mejías. By using discontinuities within the musical landscape, and selected modulations of several frequency spectra around numerological rationales (with an emphasis in the numbers 13 and 16, but more in this later), a cinematic landscape is attempted to narrate a series of biographical events on the life of this matador. “After retirement, 1934 Ignacio Sánchez Mejías returned to bullfighting and on August 11, 1934 Sanchez was bullfighting in place of a fellow Matador (Ortega Cano) … the bulls were great that day and he did not want to seem like he was avoiding them. He had no car, no hotel, not even a cuadrilla (bullfighting team). For the first time in his life, he turned to the lottery and drew two tickets with the numbers of the bulls of Ayala that he was scheduled to fight. The first, number 16, Granadino, docile, thin-horned and coarse-skinned, nevertheless gored him. He did not want to be operated on in the miserable infirmary and asked to be taken back to Madrid, but the ambulance took several hours and the trip went very badly. Two days later he was diagnosed with gangrene. He died, in pain and delirium, on the morning of the 13th.” This is one of many stories that my father (a bullfighter aficionado), used to tell me when I was younger and this piece also reflects my perception of life as a continuum in which discontinuities shape meaning being ‘death’ the type of discontinuity I am must intrigued by. I hope you enjoy the piece. References: (1) Andrés Amorós, Ignacio Sánchez Mejías. Alianza Editorial, 1998. ISBN 8420638579; (2)ánchez_Mejías.

Intermedio – 2010

Improv during the virtual launch of Lopez-Donado latest submission to Media Fest’10.Lopez-Donado used the following instruments during the 13+mins improv: Premier modified drum-set + cocostuber + modified microphonics

inspired on ‘Romance de la pena negra’

Las piquetas de los gallos – cavan buscando la aurora, – cuando por el monte – oscuro – baja Soledad Montoya. Cobre amarillo, su carne, huele a caballo y a sombra. Yunques ahumados sus pechos, gimen canciones redondas. Soledad, ¿por quién preguntas sin compaña y a estas horas? Pregunte por quien pregunte, dime: ¿a ti qué se te importa? Vengo a buscar lo que busco, mi alegría y mi persona. Soledad de mis pesares, caballo que se desboca, al fin encuentra la mar y se lo tragan las olas. No me recuerdes el mar, que la pena negra, brota en las sierras de aceituna bajo el rumor de las hojas. ¡Soledad, qué pena tienes! ¡Qué pena tan lastimosa! Lloras zumo de limón agrio de espera y de boca. ¡Qué pena tan grande! Corro mi casa como una loca, mis dos trenzas por el suelo,

de la cocina a la alcoba. ¡Qué pena! Me estoy poniendo de azabache, cama y ropa. ¡Ay mis camisas de hilo! ¡Ay mis muslos de amapola! Soledad: lava tu cuerpo con agua de las alondras, y deja tu corazón en paz, Soledad Montoya.


Por abajo canta el río: volante de cielo y hojas. Con flores de calabaza, la nueva luz se corona. ¡Oh pena de los gitanos! Pena limpia y siempre sola. ¡Oh pena de cauce oculto y madrugada remota!