Catorce reflexiones sobre el fin (Fourteen reflections on the end) originated from a sound art installation of Mexican-Viennese composer and sound artist Angélica Castelló, inspired by the French medieval and poet Guillaume de Machaut, who wrote: «My end is my beginning and my beginning is my end». The installation presented 14 bodies woven with magnetic tapes hanging inert in space, exhibited at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2019. The album weaves 14 electroacoustic miniatures reflecting the sound art installation but with a life of their own. The album is released in a limited edition of 300 vinyls and a download option.
Like many of the works of Castelló, Catorce reflexiones sobre el fin is a reflective one and includes field recordings, tapes, self-references to previous works and sonic experiences, and voice recordings made specifically for these compositions. These fragmented elements were re-recorded in various formats, from low to high fidelity, analog and digital, then were composed, decomposed and recomposed. These 14 short pieces are sonic thoughts about the end, the farewell, and the return that is always renewed. They sound as if anticipating their end, whether absolute or temporal, of the many ways of being finite and of saying goodbye.
The album is a series of unsettling and elusive, quiet meditative journeys and emotional storms that embrace the sounds of shattered glass, stridulation of cicadas, church bells, murmurs in French, Italian maledictions, and soft recitations in Spanish. It moves between uproar to solace and is wrapped in a soft abstraction that only allows access to the subtle whisper of these expressions.
Mexican curator and writer Lorena Moreno Vera, who contributed the liner notes, described the listening experience to Catorce reflexiones sobre el fin as a dive into the void that encounters the «bewilderment announced by the scent of uncertainty condensed in the air’s humidity. The prelude to the storm, to something that will shake you from head to toe, something from which there will be no return». This impressive and thoughtful work marks a possible way out of this existential void.
Angélica Castelló (field rec, radio, cassette devices)