Jan Trojan: Ultreia / The Pilgrim’s Diary
rAdioCUSTICA selected 2011 | 17:00
Jan Trojan: Ultreia - El diario del peregrino / The Pilgrim’s Diary
An audio composition – diary – a large-scale audio tour. Camino Francés within the context of the religious, cultural, and historical tradition of St. James’ Way. A pilgrimage of living faith, a path along a mystically changing landscape. Getting to know to Spanish temperament far from everyday routine.
The composition captures the author’s pilgrimage from Ponferrada to the pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela in late summer and early fall 2010. It reflects a walking tour of the warm Spanish countryside to the grave of apostle James the Great and on to Cape Finisterre in western Galicia – a place whose name means End of the Earth (finis terrae).
The composition consists of the sounds of Spain, the rhythm of walking, people talking – people from many different nations – as well as the sound of the soundly sleeping pilgrims. The sounds are in a constant process of change and transformation, and remind us of the acoustic ecology and form of the soundscape.
Its subject is the space created by the movements of the body, by the irreproducible interaction among pilgrims from all over the world or by an inner discovery of oneself. The sense of time is created by the act of walking, a reflection of one’s own inner tempo, which at times matches the tempo of the changing landscape while at other times showing the influence of years of ingrained habits and mental blocks that, in the monotonous rhythm of one step after another, come to the surface along with the sweat of the body.
The backpacks worn by the pilgrims would seem to symbolize some kind of inner burden. Blue skies alternate with day-long downpours, dry sandy paths with sticky mud. A whole day of walking is followed, naturally, by tiredness that can be slept off under the stars or in the Albergue, a large-scale hostel for pilgrims, usually with cold water and shared bathrooms. Almost all have the same destination … Santiago. Some continue on to Finisterre…
Experiences are apparently irreproducible, sometimes even unreal – holding up a mirror to the path of life.