Some years ago, the distinguished Peruvian experimental musician Christian Galarreta left our country to search new horizons coming just with his outstanding talent as a support. After making a stop in Mexico, Galarreta now lives between France and Holland, he´s resident of one of the most prestigious centers of the old continent focalized on sound/art/ experimental music/computer music, the Institute of Sonology, he performed concerts, workshops, he makes installations and several investigations and performances in Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Viena , Varsovia, Paris, etc. He has shared scenery and experiences in Festivals and small concerts with diverse people such as Ilpo Väisänen of the wonderful PAN SONIC or Damo Susuki of the well known krautrockers CAN to quote just a couple of names. In addition his discography must have reached a hundred devices under his name or the multifaceted projects done with his diverse friends, among whom I have the honor to be accompanied with diverse Peruvian , Latin American , and European transgressors: Miasma, Tica, Evamuss, Diosmehaviolado, Garrapata, Azucena Kántrix, Ninguna Ninfula, 50 Otages, etc. These CD´s were published in underground or independents Peruvian and Latin labels as well as European net labels and record companies such as : Sub Rosa, Clinical Archives, Autres Directions in Music, etc. None of these has never been distinguished by the local mass media, which wants to harass the masses and the local music lovers, with old cultured people of outstanding speech – simply ordinary rockers- or the exponent of the last arty fashion foolery on the international circuit.
Galarreta have just launched some days ago a compilation disc which joins together some of his work dated between 2004-2011 and you could download it here:
Best reason to upload in the peruavantgarde blog , the review I made for my final exam of the Cultural Journalism curse in the University of Lima back in the year 2009.
EAT A FLOWER
Christian Galarreta is the best secret kept of the Peruvian music for decades. In spite of his youth he possess a name and prestige that has given him a seat of honor among the selected avant-garde circles of the planet, do you want to know why?
Arriving to Galarreta`s (33) house located in the dangerous district called Rimac in Lima, where one could feel in the skin that real will of power of some of our compatriots which have achieved laughing at the adversity, I can`t avoid relate it to all what he represents: in the 90´s he conformed the ethereal and post-rocker collective from Lima: Crisálida Sonica, with his rock and noise band Diosmehaviolado. “At that time -he tells us- I used to wear different colors of shoes, the walls of my place were all written with phrases, and the drummer which I used to play with, Aldo Castillejos, saw what I wrote on the wall, a kind of poem, and chose that phrase for the name of the band , that’s how the name was taken”. In 1997 he already has a new project called Evamuss, which is considered by many of the avant-garde Peruvian youngsters as a pioneer in this latitude of the electronic experimental non-academic music.
By those days, few people could bet that this artist, who at the beginning flirted with the National Conservatory from where he leaved disappointed by the backwardness of the institution and the teachers; would be considered, years later, one of the most regarded Latin American experimental musician.
Galarreta has just arrived after a 12 months stay in Aztec lands where he travelled after being one of the winners of the award in 2008 hold by the CENART to his inventive sonic installation called AMARUS, in the frame of the first exhibition of Ibero American art. In 2007 he was in Europe and visited many locations from Spain, Germany, and France besides getting along with some of the members of the cream in contemporaneous experimental music, such as: Francisco López, Zbigniew Karkowski –both had visited Perú courtesy of Fundación Telefónica-, Julien Ottavi, et. alii.
But for Christian these accumulation of distinctions are careless. While we chat in Christian´s small kitchen inside its apartment accompanied by the Argentinian duo Termotank, who have come to Peru for the ASIMTRIA festival in Arequipa, Cuzco and Lima, he explains: “as they said the other day -he speaks of a work shop done in ASIMTRIA- this is for brave men, at the end you stay alone even though people get close because of fashion, before it was post rock, then electronic music and nowadays its fashion because of sonic art”.
Peru is a paradox and contradictory land, there`s no doubt. Today the most inquiring youngsters of Huancayo, La Oroya and Arequipa are giving their soul with passion to a new way to make art with sound without regarding the parameters conceived by the old European aristocracy centuries ago; however the majority of the young rock music critics seem to consider, in a obscenely dumb way, experimental music just as a sickness.
That perception is more likely to be detected in Peru, while in other places such as Argentina, Spain, Russia or Mexico, the work of artists like Galarreta are widely accepted and appreciated in its fair measure. Not long ago Christian realized that one of his musical pieces had been included in an anthology published by the renowned Belgian label Sub Rosa, focalized in electronic music and noise, together with luminaries as the American Charlemagne Palestine and the Japanese noise performer Massimo. To all of this Galarreta just adds : “I`ve always been related with sound and music because that’s the way I can be, I can`t find another way… if I don’t do this, I die, I could not breath or I will leave to make shit this fucked up world….”
Behind have remained his flirts with shoegaze, ambient, IDM and more avant-garde`s trends, or his admiration for artists like John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, or the impressive Italian futurist Luigi Russolo; far behind lie the long seasons in hell surrounded by his class mates at Salesianos, San Marco´s poets or his neighbors friends for example the omnipresent “negro Walter”. Even genius like Nietzche, Novalis and Eielson have left trace in a soul sculpted by the Markahuasi´s winds and the ethereal visions caused by the sunsets in Lima, the sublime.
Maybe in this moment Christian Galarreta is preparing his baggage to return to Mexico, where new and profitable artistic proposals, that by coincidence or disgrace, the institutions of his own country are unable to formulate, or maybe he is just locked up in his room listening carefully to some outstanding noisy CD, or just he may be walking through the Rimac district captivated by the chaotic atmosphere which absorbs at every step in a city where, already in the 21century is able to produce those natures without asking permission to no one. Kind reader, let it happen to you!
Wilder Gonzales Agreda