El Hierro is the smallest and most distant of the seven main Canary Islands, a volcanic archipelago in the Macaronesia region of the North Atlantic Ocean. Exploring its contrasting landscapes and sonic environments, the composition wanders through reverberating deep ravines, the interiors of wind-bent juniper trees, human-animal interactions, energetic trade winds in deserted beaches, and the late-night wails of shearwaters nesting in the cliffs.
The piece is part of CANARIAS DC SOUNDWALK, a project investigating the sonic ecologies of the archipelago that presents an itinerary with seven geolocated compositions in selected locations throughout Washington DC. HIERRO was premiered in a preview of the project during Sound Scene Festival 2021, organised in collaboration with DC Listening Lounge and the Smithsonian Hirschhorn Museum. CANARIAS DC SOUNDWALK will be available as a permanent public artwork from September 2021 onwards, accessible through the ECHOES app.
Commissioned and produced by the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC. Additional support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Fieldwork and production assistance: Palma E. Christian Martínez. Special thanks to El Hierro Island Council.
Pablo Sanz´s body of work includes site-determined and public art projects, immersive installations, multichannel live performances in the dark, exhibitions, releases, and pieces for broadcast and headphone listening.
His practice is an open-ended investigation of listening, space-time, more-than-human vitality, aural energies and otherness, with a focus on the limits and thresholds of perception and attention. Through a continuum of approaches, his environmental sound works explore the vibrant entanglements and creativity of human bodies, non-human creatures, energies, materials, spaces, and technologies, encouraging sensory ecological awareness. Listening becomes a political act intended to resist dominant tendencies in contemporary societies, cultivating alternative forms of being and thinking.
His work has been experienced internationally in diverse contexts, such as the Museo Reina Sofía, National Music Auditorium, La Casa Encendida, Fundación Juan March, Matadero (Madrid), Phonos (Barcelona), Cafe Oto (London), STEIM (Amsterdam), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Audiorama (Gothenburg), MWW Contemporary Museum (Wroclaw), ACMC Sonic Environments (Brisbane), Brooklyn Acoustic Ecology Festival (NYC), and FILE Festival (São Paulo), among others. He has participated in several artist residencies, including EMS Elektronmusikstudion (Stockholm), Visby International Centre for Composers (Gotland), CONA (Ljubljana), INLAND, Académie de France in Madrid, Mamirauá Institute (Amazonas), LASOm (São Paulo), ARE Holland, and Q-O2 (Brussels).
In 2020 he received a Phonurgia Nova Award for strange strangers, commissioned by the Czech Radio. Pablo graduated from the University of the Arts of The Hague, attending the ArtScience Interfaculty and the Institute of Sonology. He holds a PhD from the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) at Queen ́s University Belfast.