Review: Lucía Chamorro – Luna Anfibia

At times during Luna Anfibia, Lucía Chamorro reverse-engineers the process of composition. Instead of shaping the sounds themselves, there is a sense of tinkering with the mind and ears used to receive them: clogging the ear canals with water so that guitar loops and birdsong arrive muffled, goading the listener toward a conspiratorial paranoia that hears symbiotic collusion between the sound of chewing and the tinkle of chimes, a rupturing of stereo perception that places radio broadcasts at the left and right simultaneously. I don’t know how she manages this switch in emphasis. Perhaps it’s the way she forces me to wrestle with the familiar, tampering with everyday sound (running water, open-mouthed chewing, tapped kitchen ceramics) to create a certain shortcoming in my powers of recognition. These compositions almost resemble memories from my own day-to-day experiences, but not quite. Something is off. The lights are dimmer. The walls bend slightly. In a bid to protect those sounds that pad the perimeter of my life with the comfort of familiar sensations, I turn inward for answers instead. What am I doing differently to dislodge this experience of the commonplace?

On “Ranas Felinas”, it’s as though I’m terribly sick. The room sloshes like the horizon line seen from an unsteady ship, and the sounds blur into eachother as nausea softens the edges. On “Transformación Anfibia”, I’m incessantly struck by vivid, instantaneous memories of the moments just gone. Time jerks and overlaps. The stifled pluck of strings subdivides into occasional, digitally corrupt rainfall; again, muffled somewhat as though heard through the lattice of a heavy woollen headscarf. The 27 minutes is over quickly but I’m compelled to repeat it straight away, desperate to salvage my everyday experiences and render them familiar again. Each and every time, I’m separated from these comforts by Lucía Chamorro’s exquisite acts of experiential sabotage.