Sonic Mmabolela 2017


Directed by Francisco Lopez, the annnual Workshop/Residency for sound artists & composers at Mmabolela Reserve, Limpopo, South Africa, will have its 5th edition between the 16-29 November 2017.

Sonic Mmabolela is a 2-week workshop/residency for professional and semiprofessional sound artists and composers with previous experience in the area of sound experimentation and sound recordings. It takes place at Mmabolela Reserve, in the Limpopo province of South Africa, right at the border with Botswana. It involves field work, studio work and theoretical/discussion presentations. The workshop/residency has a special focus on creative approaches to the work with environmental sound recordings, as well as the role of listening, through an extensive exploration of natural sound environments.
It does not have a technical character but is instead conceived and directed towards (i) the questioning of canonical conceptions of so-called ‘field recordings’, and (ii) the development and realization of projects of sonic creation by the participant artists/composers with the recordings gathered and through the experience of dedicated listening in natural environments.
Sonic Mmabolela draws from previous experience of an equivalent workshop / residency, also conceived and directed by Francisco López, in the Brazilian Amazon (Mamori Sound Project 2005 2011), which has been attended by 70 artists from all over the world, who have produced to date dozens of releases, sound installations, exhibitions, films, publications and public presentations worldwide, based on the sound materials and experience gathered during that workshop / residency.
The activities of the workshop/residency include:

• Introductory theoretical/discussion presentation sessions on environmental recordings and sound creation, with a historical/philosophical/critical perspective.
• Field trips (both diurnal and nocturnal) for extensive listening and recording of sound environments.
• Sessions of studio work (with laptop) using these materials.
• Artists’ presentation/discussion sessions on sound creative work / environmental recordings.
• Development and realization of a sound piece by each participant with some of the original sound materials gathered in the field work.
• Presentation of the finished pieces by the participant artists.

All these activities are organized in a daily schedule according to the changing sonic environments of Mmabolela Reserve. This typically involves many hours of field and studio work but there is also flexibility to allow participants to choose from several schedule options. The language for the workshop/residency is English. The director also speaks Spanish and has conversational levels of French, Portuguese and Italian.

Francisco López, director of Sonic Mmabolela, is internationally recognized as one of the major figures of the experimental music and sound art scene. He is also a Ph.D. ecosystem biologist, with more than twenty years of teaching experience in Spain and Latin America. His experience in the field of sound creation and work with environmental recordings spans over a period of almost forty years. He has collaborated internationally with hundreds of artists and his work has been released by nearly 400 record labels worldwide. He has been awarded four times with honorary mentions at the competition of Ars Electronica Festival and is the recipient of the Qwartz Award 2010 for best sound anthology. He has realized hundreds of field recording projects, commissions, live performances, sound installations and workshops, as well as research in entomology and ecosystem dynamics, in over seventy countries of the six continents, with a particular emphasis on tropical and sub-tropical areas in the Americas, Africa and Australasia.

For more info and application,
click here!