Earth is a she (Maria)
Video portrait installation created in residence at Bazeos Tower
Exhibition May-September 2018
People who work close to the land are the keepers of its spirit. They rise with it, know its rhythms and moods, struggle with it, draw power from it, and release into it. Until the earth becomes part of them, and they part of it.
This is Maria. The land has been her life since she was a young woman. Her choice to become a shepherdess goes counter to deep-seated traditional roles in Greece, where land and animals are thought to be the province of men.
She reminds us, earth is a she.
The audio for Earth is she is an original composition, created in collaboration with musician/composer/vocalist Prassanna Vishwanathan @prass.
The piece features field recordings made in Naxos while accompanying shepherdess Maria Makari in her daily work, and vocals rendered by Prassananna. We collaborated across New York, India, and Greece until we landed on this version, which feels born of the land and is in honor of Maria.
The vocals represent a deep-spirited Indian Raga Jhijhoti. This expression is called Alaap, the oldest living tradition of Indian Classical music. This Sanskrit mantra says: “O goddess that resides in all the elements as the ‘Mother,’ I bow down to thee.”
Enormous thanks and gratitude to Maria Makari, who I am in awe of; Prassanna Vishwanathan for his masterful vocals and kindred spirit, and; the Bazeos Tower team, for their vision and artistic support: Curator, Mario Vazeos; Vice curator: Klaus Pfeiffer; Technical curator: Katerina Zourari. Additional acknowledgments: Audio engineer: Phil Moffa @buthchasound; Video editing: Katerina Zourari; Photos: Installation view (top center): Georgia Papad; Tower at night: ©DieterDU.
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