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NOGALES WALL RE-SOUNDING


This past weekend I traveled through the borderlands with Margaret Randall and Barbara Byers, from Nogales to Sasabe, over rolling hills and through numerous checkpoints.

Along the way we passed shrines and crosses, water jugs and cows, cacti and fences, idling Wackenhut buses full of migrants in the middle of nowhere and checkpoints with olive drab clad guards, armed and waiting for something, anything, to happen.

In Nogales, Arizona we stopped upon a hill cleaved by the wall overlooking Nogales, Sonora and set up our gear.

With amplifier, cello bow, pages of poems, and implements of mass percussion in tow we improvised with the border, Margaret's words mingling with rooster crows and barking dogs and passing Border Patrol trucks.

Myself drawing sound from the wall with bow and mallets.

Barbara joining the playing after filming.

Later, at home listening to the recordings, I discovered the metal of the wall had been absorbing the sound of Margaret's voice as it does with all sound, regardless of nationality or origin.

In the mix of percussion, Margaret's voice blends.

And if one subscribes to the theory that all matter at the most basic level "vibrates," then it is not difficult to accept the idea sound can physically alter matter since sound is vibration interpreted

So in our playing the border wall, not only was this symbol of international acrimony transformed into an instrument, but perhaps the actual molecular structure was transformed for a bit as well.

To learn more about Margaret's work and life visit:
www.margaretrandall.org

She's the real deal folks...