Aboutface Live @ Freerotation 2018

Los Bosquesinos (people of the forests) - Project planning and performance overview

An inter-cultural collaboration with the indigenous Wampis community in Peru: exploring the evocative aural terrain of the rainforest and the sacred female songs of the Wampis.

In collaboration with charity Size of Wales 

Supported by:
Carlos ‘Canti’ Saldana – Peruvian musician from Lokandes
Shapiom Noningo Sesen of the indigenous Wampis Nation, Peru.
Forest Peoples Program
The London College of Communication (UAL)
NTS Radio 


Photo c/o Size of Wales 

Project Overview

● This is all totally not-for-profit. All profits to be donated to the Wampis community.
● Wampis Territory field trip 10th June - 25th June 2018. Itinerary confirmed with contacts in the community.
● Capturing of sound field recordings and sacred female songs Anen, Namper and Ikaros in the Wampis Territory
● 35mm experimental photo and illustrations that depict the concept
● Learning of indigenous instrument to play in the rainforest - Quena Flute (already learnt)
● Application of research, experiences and sound recordings into a live performance at the not-for-profit Freerotation Festival (Jul), Wales (Size of Wales partner charity) performance confirmed on 9th Jul 2018.
● Performance fee donated to Size of Wales/FPP
● Performance Broadcast on the radio (confirmed, NTS radio July 2018)
● Music re recorded into a vinyl music release on coordinates record label (2019 release), will have a double gatefold LP with 35 mm photogrpahy/artwork, information, wampis collaborator names and web links.
● All profits from record sales to be donated to Wampis/SOW/FPP
● Agree with Wampis and Charities what information to be included on release and for press releases to be shared with the world.
● Exhibition (TBC)
● Contribution to the British Library Sound Archive

Los Bosquesinos - People of the forests

A closely related indigenous group connected by the Shuar Jivaro ethnolinguistic group, live between Peru and and Ecuador at the eastern slope of the Andes, in the interface between the Amazonian rainforest and Andes mountains, internally referred to as the Bosquesinos – ‘people of the forests’. (Sarmiento and Hitchner, 2017, p. 216)

The Wampis are a very special community, they are the first indigenous people in Peru to create their own autonomous government to protect their ancestral territory of 1.3 million hectares of rainforest from loggers and deforesters. The Wampis have developed a highly developed and specialised understanding of rainforest ecology and the complex flora/fauna for millennia, and operate with a cultural obligation to eliminate deforestation and maintain the forest with in balance with all living things. The Wampis also advocate an inclusive and conscientious ethic, which purveys gender equality and respect, the empowerment of youth and a sustainable outlook on agriculture. It is an absolute honour to spend time in the community, I suspect there is a great deal we can learn together; the reintegration of people as a part of nature, a global community stimulating a connection that could influence decisions relating to consumption and corporate ethics on a daily basis.

My project aims to explore their cultural and spiritual connection to rainforest preservation as an opportunity to create social and environmental awareness, and to highlight the importance of women in society; the Wampis declare women as leaders in the community and cherished due to their connection to the natural environment through their Anen – sacred songs which aid agricultural practices and held strengthen love between people in relationships. They are the experts in sustainable living and do not exploit the lucrative natural resources available to them. The project involves myself and Canti travelling to a remote part of the rainforest in the Wampis Territory in to gather sonic and visual materials: capturing field recordings of the rain forest, female Anen and Namper songs, exploring the concept of musical memisis – musical instrumentation to replicate the sounds of nature, capturing 35mm photography and sketches/paintings.

All the material is then used for a live collaborative performance at Freerotaion festival in Wales on the 9th July. Shortly after the performance will be broadcast on NTS radio, and form the basis of an inter-cultural music release to be released on my new label ‘Coordinates’ in 2018. One of the Leaders of the Wampis nation, Shapiom Noningo Sesen, who I have met and developed an online relationship with, has organised a tour of the remote rainforest region of the territory, meeting members of the community and musicians.

Field Sound Recording:

Wildlife at sunrise, sunset. Natural ecology, Wampis people in the community, locations and sites of importance to the Wampis such as Waterfalls. The sacred and beautiful songs of the Wampis women: Ikaros (imitation), Anen (imitation) and Namper. Any percussion and playing of instruments.

Visual aims:

Experimental 35mm Colour photography that asserts the theme. Simple illustrations and sketches.


1 & ½ hr performance duration alongside Taro (Violin). Audio/visual cues to communicate with Vince, notifying of modes of play; start violin, stop violin, quiet mode where Vince can then play simple and space traditional percussion/fx, and silent mode. This will allow for moments to bring the performance down to just recordings, creating shape and narrative.

4 x 15 min improvisations using field recordings from the Wampis Territory. Each improvisation initiated by Wampis female song – Ikaros, Anen, Namper etc.

The instrumentation of me playing the Peruvian Quena, and Taro playing violin will be exploring the theme of mimesis of the natural envioment, our playing will be influenced and mimicking the sounds of wildlife, wind, waterfalls, the river to colour the performance.

You can find more information and music from Aboutface here.

You can download a PDF of all the information on the project here.