Melbourne based percussionist and composer Maria Moles charts out an electro-acoustic familial history with 'For Leolanda’. Drawing on family roots in The Philippines, she extrapolates rhythm and timbre from the diverse musics of that country and interweaves them with percussion, synthesizer and singing bowls. Her sonic meditations are open and generous, and they chart out the shape and pulse of memory; both real and imagined. Each piece tests for the relationships between frequency and harmony, and between electronic and acoustic elements. The results are dynamic and rich, creating a sense of deepening as each piece unfolds. This work is a testament to Moles skill as a composer and also as affective performer.
Notes from Maria Moles
'For Leolanda' was created during the lockdown in Melbourne 2020. Listening to and making music was healing and I'm very grateful I was able to create during that time. Most of the pieces are inspired by listening to Kulintang music of the Philippines; some of the compositional techniques are applied to the combination of synthesizer, percussion, tape loops and drum kit.
The name 'In Pan-as' refers to my grandfather's farm in Pilar that my mum regularly played at. The drum kit part is adapted from a rhythm I heard on a beautiful album 'Muranao Kakolintang - Philippine Gong Music'. The initial inspiration for this track struck me after a conversation on the phone with my mum, during which, out of the blue, she requested I spread her ashes on the farm Pan-as after she passed. I realised I would never really know how that would feel until it happened, and I wondered what kind of ritual I would perform to help me celebrate the life of one of the dearest people to me. I thought that perhaps dancing to rhythms similar to this one would feel right.
The track 'Mansaka' was inspired by the Mansaka tribe in Compostela Valley, I fell in love with the music I heard from them. The piece developed into something entirely different, something that felt like me. Being a drummer, I usually compose from the drum kit as a starting point, but this album was an attempt at composing on the synthesizer and harmonically matching the overtones from singing bowls, bowed cymbals, and bells.
The album is dedicated to my mother, Leolanda.'