MUJICA, MANONGO - Del Cuarto Rojo (From the Red Room)
"The story of Del Cuarto Rojo (From the Red Room) began in March 2020, when the Peruvian composer and percussionist Manongo Mujica received a call notifying him that the visual artist Rafael Hastings, his friend of almost half a century, had passed away. Since then, and in the midst of the pandemic, Manongo Mujica began a personal journey searching for sounds, which has resulted in a new set of pieces that evoke the memory of a friendship. Del Cuarto Rojo (From the Red Room), subtitled Homenaje sonoro escuchando la pintura de Rafael Hastings (Sound Tribute Listening to Rafael Hastings' Paintings), is Manongo Mujica's new album, and it has also motivated the preparation of a new show by the dancer and choreographer Yvonne von Mollendorff, wife of Hastings. The history of this friendship dates back to 1974, when a young Manongo returned to Lima, after ten years living in London, while young Rafael Hastings and Yvonne von Mollendorff settled in Peru after a long period in Europe. Since then, the collaborations between these artists have been continuous, always marked by an experimental impetus. The attitude of listening to images and painting sounds was more than a metaphor and became a code that identified them and a way of working, where the crossing of disciplines set the tone, both in video works and in unusual visual/conceptual scores, works of dance and experimental music, in the context of a creative effervescence that renewed the arts and music in Lima in the '70s. Del Cuarto Rojo is an album that integrates many of the musical resources developed by Mujica. It is an amalgam that well sums up his own language: from the creation of environments with extended techniques and objects, to experiments in jazz fusion; from the use of field recordings and sound montages to compositions with string arrangements: everything around the hypnotic pulse of percussion and drums, which oscillate between moments of subtlety and explosive improvisation. The album features the participation of outstanding musicians such as Pauchi Sasaki (violin), José Quezada (cello), Terje Evensen (electronic effects), Jean Pierre Magnet (saxophone), Cristobal, Daniel, and Gabriel Mujica (sons of Manongo Mujica, on percussion, string, and wind arrangements). Includes a full color 12-page booklet with a sample of Rafael Hastings's visual art, which also illustrates the album cover." - Buh Records .