Creator of enigmatic, sonic vistas, explorer of the ancient legends of the Aztecs and Mayans, weaver of multi-faceted choral soundscapes... Alquimia (pronounced: al-key-meea) is all of these and more.
Singing in languages such as Spanish, English, French and her native idiom Nahuatl, she uses her voice to create multilayered choirs and electronically altered vocal soundscapes, fusing Pre-Hispanic world music with futuristic electronics.
While her basic tracks feature vocals and piano, Alquima enhances her recordings with layers of looped vocals, electronic processors, sound effects, samples, synthesizers, gongs and bells. The result is a sound that combines the musical traditions of Latin America with influences of rock, pop, avant-garde, classical and improvisational music. Described as "an ethereal chorale of great beauty" …. "Alquima aims to dazzle, entrance , relax and excite, and, does so on all counts," by Audion (UK.), "….her ethereal vocal technique and her sensuous sonic palette are, at once, exotically seductive and disarmingly eerie." (London Musician´s Collective, UK.)
Alquimia was born in Mexico and developed an early love of music and singing, partly from her mother, a classical opera singer. She went on to study in France and Canada, before making her permanent home in England. However, although she has often been far from home, her interest in the ethnic musical styles of her home country, made her learn various pre-Columbian percussion instruments and flutes, while her search for new sounds inspired her use of modern music technology. She has developed some revolutionary singing techniques (some of them involving electronic processors), opening up for her a whole range of electronic and natural new sounds to experiment and compose with.
Alquimia has recorded many albums, both as a solo artist and with writers and musicians such as H.J Roedelius, R. Gleisberg, Peter Mergener, Zinkl, Mark Powell, Art of Infinity, and others. She is also busy with her other project "Maggie-Beth Sand and Serpentyne”, which, explores the world of mediaeval world music: mystic chants and entrancing harmonies.
ALQUIMIA – EXPLORING A SEPARATE REALITY
Alquimia's fascination with her native Mayan tradition grew from an incident when she was thirteen. On a trip with her parents to a Mayan pyramid site in the south of Mexico, the young Alquimia went off to explore on her own. She strayed into a dark cave; a chamber within the pyramid that is believed to have been used for meditation by the Mayan priests. Suddenly, in front of her, appeared a vision of a host of alebrijes- brighly-coloured creatures of papier-maché found in Mexican folklore. Somehow, Alquimia knew that, despite their fantastical, appearance, these were friendly beings, and she continued to look at them with fascination. They stayed with her until she left the chamber. This experience stayed with Alquimia, and became the inspiration behind her song: “Night of the Alebrijes.” Alquimia`s music has been influenced by the mystic traditions of Mexico- a land where, even now, one cannot help but be aware of the closeness of the “other world” - the “separate reality.” Inspired also by the writings of Carlos Casteneda, the anthropologist who lived amongst the brujos, or sorcerers of the Yaqui Indians in northern Mexico, Alquimia recorded her defining album “A Separate Reality,” on which “Night of the Alebrijes” first appeared. This album features shamanic chants in some of the original Mexican tongues, such as Nahuatl, with Alquimia's hypnotic chants and mystical lyrics resting on a shifting backdrop woven from electronic loops, drones and samples, and Mexican percussion instruments. Described as “exotically seductive and disarmingly eerie,” “A Separate Reality” takes the listener on a magical journey through the realm of a new level of consciousness and perception. The driving rhythms of “Encinerada” contrast with the wordless vocal of “Fleeting Worlds” and the mysterious, yet uplifting electronic/vocal tapestry of “First Light.” To listen to this album is, indeed, to enter a separate world- a world which is darkly beguiling, yet which welcomes the listener, and leaves him or her with an overwhelming sense of peace and spiritual uplift
Albums of Alquimia
Alquimia - Live in concert
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