I’ve tried and failed many times to write this post before. I guess I still can’t write it properly. I never will.
I met Manrico in 1994. We were close friends and collaborators for about a decade. Life eventually took us through different countries and different paths, but our friendship was solid and deep. Though he did visit me in the UK (three of us stayed in a tiny room at the University of East Anglia, taking turns to sleep in the single bed and sharing the floor amongst piles of vinyl, equipment and books- he played at the Grad Bar at an event I organised), I never visited him in Bolivia, where he had made his home of late. We tried meeting up in Mexico City several times and last time we only managed to speak on the phone. I remember his voice in that phone call– faraway, yet close.
(If you are curious, see below a review of a performance Manrico and I did in 1997 at the Museo Universitario del Chopo in Mexico City under a name inspired by an essay by Jean Baudrillard and another essay by Jacques Derrida–yup, that was us back in the day. In retrospect this is perhaps the first published review of Manrico’s sound art).
Manrico sadly passed away late last month and though I had not seen Manrico in a while I was devastated when I found out. I still am, and writing these words is very difficult for me. There’s lots I’d like to say, stories to tell to celebrate him, to share that part of our friendship with him I and many others got to experience, before he became a well-known sound artist and environmentalist, but I’m not strong enough yet.
However before more time passed I wanted to document here that upon hearing of Manrico’s passing I contacted a group of friends I am still in touch via a messaging service with who also knew him from university and the early days of the Alcachofa Sound Arts and Parador Análogo to prepare a testimonial podcast.
My idea was to humbly apply’s Manrico’s methodology of “lo-fi is love” and to make the most of “a scarcity of resources” and produce and share an exercise of mourning and remembrance as a sound file that incorporated our voices and a selection of his music and sound work (including work he did with a series of collaborators).
The podcast be listened to in both Soundclound and Mixcloud:
You can also download the sound file (mp3) from figshare:
Lo que importa es el amor.