LOS GRITOS DE MEXICO, Soundscape of the city of Mexico by Félix Blume

Mexico City: more than 20 millions people gathered making noise!
A noisy city for most; I would like to transform it in a sonorous city.

The street sellers make the voices of the polyphonic choir, the small bell from the ice cream seller substitutes the triangle from the orchestra, and the hammering of the protesters on the metallic wall are the percussions.
In Mexico City, people shout to be heard, they shout their rage against the cops, they shout at the ‘lucha libre’ fights, they shout together ¡ Viva Mexico ! to feel united, and during a demonstration they also shout ¡Viva Mexico ! People shout in church, they pray together or alone, whispering in the silent night.
The thunder booms: nobody can shout at the storm, and the rain cleans the silent city. A solo voice after the rain, and the choir resumes gradually.
People sing to forget and the shouting starts again, louder, so that the others don´t forget.
The water flows under the city, the forgotten lake is mourning; it remembers when the city was an Island… On the top, it is too noisy, underneath, the water keeps in silence the secrets of the past.

Most of the people in the world live in cities. The daily soundscape is in most of the case a continuous sound of traffic, close or distant. Mexico City has a series of sounds added to the background which make the specificity of the city: the cries and sounds of the street sellers are in most part responsible.
In the past, most cities had their own cries (as some classical music can testify, like ‘Les cris de Paris’ from Janequin). In Mexico City, this tradition has persisted until today, but the government and general opinion is not in favour of them: street sellers are each time further away from the touristic center, advertising campaigns are done to make them disappear from the subway, and police operations block their access to the streets.

I would like to pay tribute to these Criers through a soundscape of Mexico City, that will become a sonorous memory of a time that sooner than later will disappear.

Prize “Pierre Schaeffer” @ Phonurgia Nova Festival 2015 (France)
Honorific Mention @ Biennial of Radio from Mexico City 2014

INSTALLATION @ Festival LOOP Barcelona 2015 (Spain) in 4.1 and video,  @CCCB Barcelona (Spain) in 4.1, @ Fonoteca Nacional Mexico during the Festival “La Voz/La Voix”, @ Fonoteca Nacional de México during the exhibition Polifonía Ambulante in 8 channel version (see foto below), @ Centre Pompidou (France) during “Soirée d’écoute” by Arte Radio, 

BROADCASTS WEB & RADIO, on more than 40 radios in 18 countries (including the whole Radia Network):
Arte Radio(Fr), ABC Radio “Soundproof” (Au), Kunstradio (At), Radio Nacional España “La Casa del sonido” (Es), HRT National Radio Croatia (Hr), Deutschland Radio Kultur “Kurzstrecke” (De), Radio Nacional Santa Rosa (Ar), Radio Grenouille (Fr), Jet Fm (Nantes, Fr), Radio Campus Bruxelles (Be), Radio Campus Paris (Fr), Radio Imaginamos (Es), Radio Panik (Be), TEA fm (Es), Radio Art Net (Es), Pajaros en el Alambre (Oaxaca, Mex), Sonospace (UK), Radio Worm / Dr Klangendum (Nl), Radio Corax (De), Phaune Radio (Fr), XL Air (Be), CRFC (Ca), CKut (Ca), Kanal 103 (Mk), Orange 94 (At), Radio Helsinki (De), Radio Nova (No), Radio One 91 (Nz), Radio Sures (Fr), Radio Papesse (It), Radio Student (Si), Radio X (De), Radio Zero (Pt), Radio en Construction (Fr), Radio Reboot (De), Resonnance FM (UK), Sound Art Radio (UK), Wavefarm (USA), Reboot FM (De), Canal B (Fr), Radio Campus Orléans “Fréquence Libre” (Fr), Radio Campus Amiens (Fr), Radio Campus Bordeaux (Fr), Radio Campus Clermont (Fr), Radio Campus Montpellier (Fr), Radio Campus Tour (Fr), La Semaine du Son (Fr),

LISTENING SESSIONS & FESTIVALS: Pajaros en el Alambre (Sound Art Festival, Oaxaca, Mexico), UMBRAL (Sound Art Concert, Mexico City), Gouter d’Écoute à la Maison de la Poésie (Paris), Sound Art Concert (Festival Espacios Sonoros, UAM de Madrid), “Nuit de la Radio” @ Théâtre de l’Albarède in 4.1 (Ganges, France), Festival Longeur D’Ondes (Brest, France), Festival Helicotrema (Italia), Café Libertad Madrid by JB Cortegiani (Es), Festival des Suds “Jardins Sonores” (Arles, France), Festival Cine Latino (Toulouse, France), Festival Documental FIDOCS (Santiago de Chile), Jeudi de l’écoute (Arles, France), Festival Utopie Sonore (France), Arte Radio fête ses 15ans (Paris, France), Semaine du Son Bordeaux 2018 (Fr), Bibliothèque Parlante à la BNF Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Fr),

LINKS: Suplex, Sonospace, Radio Art Net (on BandCamp), RADIA, Freesound
PRESS ARTICLE: Syntone (in french)Interartive (in spanish), Mediapart (in french),

ARTE RADIO (17 minutes version):

“From street vendors to “lucha libre” wrestlers, the cries of Mexico City. Carefully recorded and mixed like urban music by the great Félix Blume”Silvain Gire, ARTE Radio

“Félix Blume est sans doute l’un des meilleurs peintres sonores en activité. Ce jeune ingé-son est un virtuose de la prise de son, le roi du soundscape. Sa dernière pièce est un hommage aux cris de sa ville d’adoption, cris des vendeurs, des catcheurs et des mariachis. Une merveille.” Silvain Gire, ARTE Radio

“Félix Blume parvient à restituer les ambiances de façon réaliste, précisément parce qu’il en fait une musique toute personnelle. Ne se contentant pas d’un « Bons baisers de Mexico », il nous adresse sa singulière écoute de la ville et des gens qui y vivent. Ingénieur du son pour le cinéma, il a su prendre – ou faire fructifier – dans ce rapport proche à l’image un sens précis de la mise en scène, de la théâtralité des situations, une belle intuition de la logique d’un instant, de ses champs et de ses contre-champs (ou chants), des plans rapprochés et larges qui s’y confrontent.”Juliette Volcler, SYNTONE

Se plasma con gran interés artístico radiofónico un mosaico vocal mexicano”Bienal Internacional de Radio de Mexico

“Mit der sehr intensiven Geräuschkulisse von Mexiko City hat sich Blume intensiv auseinandergesetzt, mit den Rufen der Straßenverkäufer und Protestchören bei Demonstrationen, aber auch mit den Geräuschen der vergessenen Seen und Sümpfe, auf denen die Stadt ursprünglich gebaut worden ist.”
Kunstradio (ORF, Autriche)