About                    Contact      Shop                                     

artículo de sonido

O¿Cómo se crea y interpreta la música?                                       How is music created and performed?           

Making the medium of sound an expressive tool for the artist to translate a frequency only identifiable to themselves is a transformative process. What are the ways in which they curate an album and composition to fit the volume of what they feel is necessary to be heard?

Our understanding of music and sound is commonly compiled into albums today as it is the most efficient way to distribute and purchase for consumers. The product that can overcome the concept and processes of albums relies on the artist to broaden the range of their creative capital to find new mediums and modes of expression.

                        Instances of sound are created to manufacture a recollected memory. The intent of converging both the sound of an environment and instrumental sound creates the landscape of hazy memory. These forms of ambiance and composition evoke the beginnings and ends of the remembrance of nature, sound, and the delicate essence of the silence surrounding core memory. Using sound as the highest form of art is utilized as a decorative element on time.

    The dissemination of sound composed into different notes and frequencies allows the composer to rethink how they execute the schematics at play in only 12 notes. A song is compiled from the specialty to this understanding of notation. The structure of a song can have specific guidelines. It projects a theme and message relevant to the composer’s experience and musical influences. The outcome of a compiled selection of works is commonly developed into an EP or album. Each track is to represent the innate qualities imagined by emotion and musicality.

    Drawing upon the emotion of experience from the composer, the selections put into context are deciphered sounds that pre-exist. So what's the point of recording the sense of sound that already exists in the present time? There is a distinct difference when we use the mechanics of input/output from a stereo as an example, our input material is the natural occurrences of sound in an uncontrolled environment. Put the variable of recording in action and this documented medium is the output of a perceived sound. Recorded sound is a progressive sensory medium as it can be manipulated without any restraints except time.

Image by Cole Seefus @cseef

    Didactic: Saul Millan

STEREOLITH V.1 is a prime example of our input/output mechanic using the intersection of natural and perceived sound to perform as an installation piece.

Because sound is the absence of materialized objects, the space where it forms to exist is time. (Time) A sensory so relevant to our every moment is manipulated to our control. An attempt to organize the chaos that conflicts with our interaction of making time as a perceptible thing keeps this engagement viable. This attempt is our closest access towards highlighting a time, putting it into a controlled category to make our perception all the more reliable.

     The limit on encapsulating experience once lived and revived in music is a testament to a new form of nostalgia. Because it is recording the emotion of a perceived thing, it is to be revisited. It is now accessible but it does not make the experience limitless or categorized. Some things that are so compelling to the composer can not be ignored and they have to be addressed. When words can't express the essence of what isn’t said, this is where music plays. The composer addresses a complex occurrence in which they build upon, it is the absence of sensory. The barriers that make a perceptible experience necessary to our understanding of organization are turned back to chaos when composition acts to reflect a surrealist “head space”. (Only in the mind can music be perceptible and formed) Make no mistake, this chaos is in order.

An experience is documented to a recorded memory because of its significance that the expression needs to be addressed. The essence of the idea is so compelling to the composer that the only material used to recount this nostalgia is in using sound as the retrievable source.

The recording can now be performed into live music. The difference between recorded music and live music though is that the record is involved in creating a grand atmosphere that exists in the composer’s and listener’s mind. When performance happens the visual element of where the music is coming from is justified and is limited to one sound coming from the instrument being performed. A different atmosphere is created. What can we say about improvised ambient performance?

Un recuento de la noche del 25 de Marzo de 2023                  Recounting the night of March 25th, 2023


     In the event of  STEREOLITH V.1’s unveiling at Palabra’s Departemento de Sonido: Session #02, composer Saul Millan orchestrates a trio to create an improvised ambient musical performance.

In this trio: Saul Millan on synth/trombone, Kenji Wagner on trumpet/bass, Andrew Flores on drums.

The night of March 25th, 2023 was accompanied by Millan’s atmos of musical scores. These scores are involved in their own characteristics composed of visual elements and cues that allow the players to create in real time a definition of their own composition originating from Millan’s creative direction. The direction of this kind of atmos created in all orchestration seems necessary for the experience of live music. But in this independent approach to performance, there feels to be a liberating quality that is encouraged to propel ordinary traditions. We can see this mastering of creating the atmos of a whole experience with Millan’s construction of scores. Arising from the intellect of traditional compositional scores, the recital of building the pieces of this grand puzzle as they come … is the content of the nuances created.

     Apart from the auditory components of this night, visuals were also an intent to go back on the focus of acoustic sense. The audience and trio were divided by a sheet of clear vinyl. The trio, backlit by lights, were recognized by the silhouettes of their figure and instruments. With this distortion happening between both the trio and the audience, an intersection of knowledge is born, emulating the same nature of STEREOLITH V.1  to create the symbolism of sound setting the focus apart from the artist. And bring the audience members' awareness to what is the perceptible sound being created from simulated circumstances.

     For the acoustics of the performance itself, an unsettling comfort kept me in a state of ignorance for what may happen next in the endless possibilities of musical identity present here. All the knowledge and predispositions of performance and STEREOLITH V.1  are strong characteristics of this whole. It is as if what was supposed to happen happens and it has always been there, it just needed a channel in which to occur. I feel that a select amount of people had some sense of this too as we chose to inherit this unique occurrence into our own perceptible experience. For the last half of this performance, I made my way closer to the trio to have a seat while all my visual attention was directed at the white t-shirt in front of me and my auditory attention was fully immersed in the performance. As others and I were seated it crossed my mind that we turned our attention to the atmos of it all, kneeling to it as if it embodied an actual


STEREOLITH V.1  concept art. 2023. M. Basil

An interview on November 10, 2023. In Phoenix, AZ.

(Occurring conversation between a table and a tall glass of water accompanied by two smaller ceramic glasses of ingested water by Marc Basil and Saul Millan  @ approximately 3:49 P.M.)

S. M. - Popular music also just sounds so different than like…

M. B. - Yeah it has a certain formula to it already that makes it so you know uhhh popularized and expected in a way

S.M. -  Yeah and even it just sounds like so different than actual life, like a synthesizer or Billie Eilish tune or like any solo guitar inside of your headphones is actually like five guitars in real life and whether a solo guitar is in real life in your house it sounds completely different. That kind of wave changes when it comes to the expectations of traditional music.

It changes expectations and it’s already been changing in popular music, it already has all that so it is easier to think outside of traditional forms of music just because even in the sense of sound- popular music, rap music, pop music is already so different than real life.

What we hear in the headphones is not what is real.

M.B. -  Because it exists in one recorded time and place.

S.M. -  Yeah and it also is processed in a specific way to sound a specific way.

…right now it’s free game and I think that makes the intuition to be more creative to step outside the norm of “this is a melody, this is rhythm”, and obviously, you can get more heady with it because even popular music is at that place and I think the audiences should be exposed to more music like that and that’s the whole goal with this

M.B. -  Would you say that stepping out of those norms and traditions of making a structured melody, do you feel that with your approach to music that’s the way that you’re stepping out of it or take it and really expand on the next level it can be at?

S.M. - Definitely expanding towards the next level in the sense that using all of the specific tools that existed in “music concrete” but expand it to the possibilities of now and still approaching it with tapes, and approaching it specifically with this idea that these objects that make sound is the purist aspect of this approach. But it is incorporating this really obscure or really specific, not even obscure, but really specific time period and era and contextualizing it to now, like what it would sound like now, and I think that incorporating the real instruments with the processed instruments which is the synthesizers, drum machines.. Is something that reflects today and I think that’s something I am excited about sharing more of in performance.

It is now not a responsibility to explore the same themes but it's the responsibility to see those themes and expand on those and try to find something new from them. And I’m hoping that performing these pieces I’m able to find something new in that, which I mean that’s the beauty of performance it will reveal itself if it happens or not you know?

M.B. -  Going along with visual sculpture and making the Stereolith into this object that makes perceptible sound is the intent possible for that same experience to happen with this intersection of visual art and sound?

S.M. -  Let’s say somebody doesn’t know anything about or just knows very limited amount of things about visual art, and then passes by a Frida Kahlo and doesn’t know it’s a Frida Kahlo and somebody says “It’s a Frida Kahlo” and then they get excited for that.

Although they’ve already seen the piece without them knowing that it is. The access to them knowing is the same thing of what sound is capable of with a nostalgia aspect of “Oh! I know what that is or familiar with this.”

It’s bizarre to know why that is actually a phenomenon, it’s very bizarre why that exists.

M.B. -  Why it never turns stale.

S.M. - Or why the audience member feels more attached to the work once they know not more about it but based on its own reproduction and the artist’s name reproduction and finding out about that.

It’s bizarre… and music does the same thing with that but it’s more literal like oh those are birds, I know what birds are. And to the point where obviously we were saying popular music is so advanced that… that’s a synth or that’s autotune or that’s this sound that I’ve never heard. We’ve advanced so much that it doesn’t matter, it can still create that level of nostalgia or

M.B. - Yeah repeatedly without any effort to be put into experiencing it as the first time that you’ve experienced it because it is so recognizable I guess to the moment in time that someone was listening to something and now they can recount on that experience or the Frida Kahlo.

S.M. -  Of course, they’ve heard of that name, they’re able to relate it to something in their life that gains importance and relevance in them having more value or added value to that experience. That’s what happens with a song you hear over and over again. Sound happens faster I think than visual arts. Or the reproduction of that happens quicker.

24:35 A ceramic glass of water is refilled

S.M. - Installation and conceptual art has an actual tangible opportunity for it to be accessible to people. I don’t know how to describe that, versus like purely making paintings

M.B. -  To have an idea fully realized in its essence

S.M. -  It’s based on conceptual artists being able to step into institutions to do bigger ideas such as for things to be accessible working pieces where people can actually touch them, interact with them, and we can explore bigger concepts when it comes to art where art and community lies.

(INSERT “Sondio AUDIO 1” here)

M.B. -  Do you feel like that was a step you took with the stereolith?

S.M. -  For sure, I feel like the Stereoelith was more of an autobiographical piece more than anything, and it was more adjacent to the performance aspect of that specific piece. The piece itself was more based on mortality and weird ideas of totems and what they represent and representing immortality almost of peoples and of ideas. It was autobiographical because of the content of the sound was supposed to represent my short life as of that moment which is music and sounds of places where I lived since I was a child, music of Charles Mingus. And it was on an infinite loop on a solar panel infinite stereo to make it even more of a conceptual idea of immortality and omnipresent theme of mortality.

And when we set it up and when we showed it, at least for me I could see that the piece also resonated in a different way where it wasn’t seen as a piece of mortality, and that’s totally fine, you know what I mean? That’s exactly the place where I feel like conceptual art should be at, and I think that by gravitating toward joining institutions we can explore more actual accessible art experiences. Specifically art experiences because the performance art stuff is just you have to be there.

M.B. -  I think because you have touched upon the topic of mortality with the stereolith and maybe people not getting that as their first interaction with it, it still points to that because you are putting this recorded natural sound of the natural world and you’re encapsulating it, you’re confining its space to this very tangible thing that we can experience as listeners. And just from having that interaction of the perceptible experience we do kind of get this idea of mortality when we see something so natural within our environment being encased to something tangible. It goes into that previous experience of nostalgia you know because it is so confined within an object or sound. It touches on that… making something permanent in a way.

S.M. -  Absolutely, it was also in the way it was programmed and designed was to be on an infinite loop. So it's an imperceivable infinite loop, so already the idea of an infinite space being reproduced and then this, as you said this encapsulated space, the infinity, this potential of infinity. To me that was the biggest thing, the stereolith panel can give this encapsulated space the potential to have infinity. To be truly immortal just like the images that we see on totems that represent specific narratives of people and of stories, I wanted to do that very literally with sound, compete next to it, adjacent to that imagery.

M.B. -  It’s almost like we are creating our ancient history right now.

S.M. -  Yeah that sort of encapsulation and all of the threading in there was a lot of sound of Nogales, there’s a movie in there from Nogales it mentions this crossing of the border, there’s Charles Mingus playing Opus 4, and all of this Nogales paraphernalia on an infinite loop. And to me this is the totem that Nogales existed in.

(INSERT “Sondio AUDIO 2” here)

M.B. -  On the mention of Charles Mingus, you know the Watts towers?

S.M. -  No? Is this the one in LA? No what’s the Watts towers?

M.B. -  It’s on Don Cherry’s album, on the cover,

Don Cherry, Don Cherry 1975

they’re these towers that look like big skinny pine trees, but they’re made out of like assemblage, recycled material. This old Italian guy I think in the 60’s bought this lot in Watts. It was like a triangle shaped little intersection of land, so he used that space to build these big towers that look like big skinny Christmas trees and it's all out of concrete. I think he was a tile worker, but they were about to get demolished and some protesters stopped that from happening so now it's an actual center that is called the Charles Mingus center of music or something. But Mingus funded I guess or donated because he actually grew up watching those towers be built by this old Italian guy.

Yeah like, Italian immigrant came here, settled In LA and bought this piece of land, retired from his nine-to-five, and built these crazy almost indestructible totems. That’s what they remind me of, these very sacred totems.

S.M. -  I think that’s the next step, I think for the stereolith, the framework of the construction of them whether they be the literal framework or more of just the design of the brain you know what I mean? Because anyone can do anything with whatever speaker, so it’s just more of the design of the brain and how it interacts with the media with the solar panel. I feel like that’s the new level to make more versions of the Stereolith, either them being identical versions or just different ideas of those things and I think that more so than anything it would be an interesting universal approach or more multimedia kind of showcasing in gallery spaces where renewable energy sound is something that is being explored because it does not need to be plugged in, you know, it shouldn’t be plugged in, we shouldn’t be using specific resources for this to be plugged in. We should find ways to not do that.

I think that the stereolith is a very primitive version, a very important move towards…

(INSERT “Sondio AUDIO 3” here)

M.B. -  Making this kind of “kinetic process”.

S.M. -  Yeah yeah and more about the renewable energy. I don’t know, @ishaboi and I talk about building a hug really thumping fucking thing, really crazzzy thumping thing but it’s all solar, just because every single time we plug that in it’s so much energy and that’s why the community vibes off it. It’s literal electricity pumping that shit for the DJ’s that are making art and people vibe on it. It’s literal electricity being pumped from those speakers and subs, it would be beautiful if we found a way to make that energy be for the party when there’s light out, conserve all that energy and use it at night for the party, then you’re not wasting any energy.

M.B. -  It’s almost, kind of the same as a living organism, it’s a plant basically, it’s getting this renewable, resourceful energy that can be movable.

S.M. -  Absolutely, all this shit is finite, especially the energy and stereos using a lot of energy that is extra, having music playing in your space 24/7 is a lot of fucking energy that doesn’t need to exist, but I mean if you do, I fuck with that shit. I mean we’re all used to that, but let’s find ways to make it renewable.

M.B. -  Yeah and actually emphasize that human interaction that goes so unnoticed. We take the sunlight for granted and it serves to this greater consequence.

S.M. -  The spatial relationship between the object and the person and the space itself is what we are trying to explore with this. How the audience member is able to have an experience based on those intersections. The object, the space itself, and the perception of the sound that’s coming out of the specific sound objects. So the triggering of itself is forcefully going to create an experience for someone and try to access memory and almost wonder, a sense of wonder, I think that’s naturally in sound, because of what you said we’re unable to perceive time. These objects are already encapsulating time plus they’re creating this other notion of the spatial relationship, so there’s already two layers of…

M.B.  realms of…

S.M. - Realms of wonder someone is gaining from just experiencing something, so and that’s why I feel like it is accessible because there’s multiple layers for the opportunity for somebody to relate to what is happening or have a relationship with what is happening. There’s multiple realms and opportunities for them to do that and there’s the academic realm, the perceptual realm of this spatial awareness of relationship or closeness of what the sound is, and then the actual wonder of time being encapsulated and recorded material.

So those intersections are the kind of experience that I’m trying to get the audience to actually gain from this artwork, because they’re not really viewing this artwork they’re going to experience it.

And then there’s this higher realm with the dictionary where they’re actually listening to content coming from an object, and obviously the content that’s coming out of the headphones is related to the actual object and it’s coming from the object, coming from almost a very literal relationship between the recorded music or encapsulation of time and the object itself, already gives this kind of wonder of what they are experiencing.

M.B. -  It’s like questioning what is the question to be asked for this kind of answer we already seem to know.

S.M. - Seem to know yeah, it’s just all of this is obvious and it should be to anyone. I think that’s what makes it accessible is that it’s obvious.

All these objects are always surrounding me and I think that’s the experience I’m trying to have the audience feel when they step into the Acousmatic show, specifically the Acousmatic show we’re having in Sonora, I think that’s specifically what I’m trying to get at with that show for people to feel exactly how I feel in this specific room where these speakers are here and these other speakers are here and all of them can be plugged in together and work together. And I felt what they’re going to feel and I’m excited for them to feel it where all of the sounds are existing at once and its an interesting feeling. And I think that it accentuates and it makes it aware that there’s all of these sounds and all of these intricate intricate compositions that exist in our lives every day and hearing the potentiality of all those things aligning to create something beautiful I think can inspire the audience member to listen to their environment and listen to something beautiful by themselves. By sitting, walking and being like wait are those birds? And being able to perceive those birds because they’ve been forcefully encouraged and almost exercised their ears to be able to have that experience again, that’s kind of the power of acousmatic sculpture or sound, or specifically sound perception and to exercising people’s perception and encouraging them to continue having those experiences beyond the room.

An example is.. I don’t know this is a dumb like, if you go to like a weird Dolby spatial crazy thing and then if you go real late and you get out the theater and it’s quiet as fuck and you’re like… damn… fuck, like that feeling. That shit was activated, your ears were activated and you get out of the theater and you’re like… QUIET. WOW. That vacuum you know what I mean, there’s still a bunch of sounds happening,

                                                     there’s the AC humming, 


there’s people in the bathrooms, but for some reason it feels like a vacuum.

And that experience right there, the difference of that experience is the awareness that you have.

M.B. -  We’re forced into this head space that we haven’t really been listening to or kind of been surrounded by.

S.M. -  Yeah and also the dolby is curated for the experience of the listener to be encapsulated in the specific sort of auditory experience so it obviously emphasizes a lot when you step outside of that room and that’s not at all what real life is. That’s the perfect example when you hear an explosion in a Dolby theater versus actually seeing an explosion in the same distance that the movie is perceived at, if you see a car blow up it is fucking loud as shit, in real life if that actually happened like it did in a movie right there that shit would fucking ruin your life, it would be soo loud.

M.B. -  The sound actually has a physicality

S.M. - There’s so much actually happening and I think that the audience member can find a great space in being able to exercise that type of stuff. I think that’s the importance in all that.

Saúl Millan follows up his creative discipline by creating other sound objects to accompany and follow the similar intuition sparked by Sterelolith V.1.

“Acusmático” en el Museo de Arte de Sonora.             Hermosillo, México.               Imagen de Saul Millan

Millan’s “Acusmático” show comprised four sound object sculptures, inviting the audience to interact with the sounds of the natural environment and simulated environment that is composed and compiled musical orchestration.

Diccionario/Dictionary           Assemblage/Sound Object          2023       

Image by Bryan Beckon @freebac

Instrumento de Silencio/Homenaje a John Cage                   Assemblage                 2023

Image by Bryan Beckon @freebac

SONIDOS DE LAS OBRAS - Saul Gabriel Millan (1533 Soundlab)

These pieces are to be displayed in a conceptual approach and way of thinking. Millan provokes the audience to wonder, “¿Qué es el sonido antes de ser creado, cuando solo existe en potencia en el espacio que habita? ¿Cómo influye el entorno en la gestacion de esos sonidos, y cómo se transorfman una vez liberados al mundo?” - Adrián Gil (@monstruocapitalista)

“What is a sound before it is created, when only it exists in the power of the space of its habitat? How is the environment influenced once these sounds are born, and how does it transform once it is out in the world?” - Adrián Gil (@monstruocapitalista)

ENVY Magazine