Lyra Pramuk soundtracks a psychedelic healing ritual with Delta
A collaboration with video artist Diego Barrera, featuring reworked versions of Lyra Pramuk’s music from Caterina Barbieri, Colin Self and Eris Drew and dedicated to the memory of Michel Beauvais (1982 – 2020).
Last year Lyra Pramuk revisited her essential debut album Fountain, a beguiling work of “futurist folk music” exploring themes of post-humanism and gender created entirely with her own voice and a virtuosic approach to electronics. Putting her own singular spin on the concept of the remix album, Delta brought together a community of some of the most thrilling musicians and producers from across four continents to bend, reshape and respond to her sound. Focusing on “transgenerational dialogue and global storytelling,” Pramuk enlisted the talents of Valgeir Sigurðsson, Colin Self, KMRU, Hudson Mohawke, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Caterina Barbieri, Vessel, Eris Drew, Ben Frost, Gabber Modus Operandi, Heaven In Stereo, Nailah Hunter and Tygapaw, projecting her voice across the breadth of emerging forms of electronic music.
Three of these responses, Caterina Barbieri’s take on ‘Tendril’, Colin Self’s rework of ‘Witness’ and Eris Drew’s ‘Everything Is Beautiful & Alive’, are included in this short film version of Delta. Directed by esoteric video artist and teacher Diego Barrera, who has collaborated closely with Laetitia Sadier, Julee Cruise, Jim Jarmusch and Xiu Xiu, the film takes the form of a psychedelic healing ritual in three parts, “The Hanged Man”, “The Mandrake” and “The Butterfly”, each dedicated to the memory of Barrera’s late partner, Michel Beauvais. “Myth tells us that the mandrake is born from the blood and the semen of the hanged man, from the soil that absorbs his last strength, that post mortem ejaculation that William Burroughs talks about, which crystallizes the alchemical investigation of casting the human soul onto the earth,” writes Barrera in a statement that accompanies the short film.
“Understanding life as in Buddhism, earthly life as this hell where we come to see every loved one around us die, it is at that moment that you encounter death when you understand it as a lonely event. In that dizziness, in that confusion, in that chaos, in that rush, at that moment: WE SPEAK. Mappo, channeling you in this pataphysical act, I accompanied you here with the solar eclipse that you filmed, you used to tell us: let’s meet in the next eclipse. Your greatest joy, Cali, also accompanies you here, cats are wise creatures, they decide to accompany certain people. Burroughs also said this in his final writings of his diary before his death). The solar eclipse, where the moon occludes the sun, as another androgynization rite, another symbolic offering of masculinity represented by the solar star.”
“As Bataille tells us in “L’anus solaire”, the eroticism of the human being is nothing but a parody of the eroticism of nature, an evocation of the cyclical movement of continuity of life from death. We already have the cultivation medium for the butterfly to be born, the beautiful and the sublime of the gynandromorphic butterfly, the dual gender butterfly, another representation of the Alchemical Androgyne, another invocation of the Hyper-Androgynous, which seeks to concentrate the reactive forces of the self, but contradicting the phallocentric aspect of Nietzsche’s Übermensch / Superman.”
“Donna Haraway and you, Michel, taught me to cultivate the arts of living on a damaged planet, in a damaged country and now in a wounded soul, to work and play fiercely on it. To generate symbiosis with non-human beings (here I give you cats, fish, insects companions), a humanoid butterfly, with body modifications to extend sensitivities, putting into practice new genres, wings and horns that allow it to test signals diluted in the wind, in the water and in the depths. Using the chaos magic, where every being is a magician and there are no dogmas, to invoke the Vivian Girls, hermaphrodite warriors of Henry Darger and their secrets.”
“Secrets in the water, secrets that accompany the introspective modular synths of Caterina Barbieri, secrets that accompany the ritualistic sound of Colin Self, secrets that accompany the ecstatic healing of Eris Drew. Secrets in the fountain created by Lyra Pramuk.” Invoking early video artists Kenneth Anger and Maya Deren, Barrera imbues every frame of Delta with rich symbolism and queer energy, enacting simultaneously a homage to the generative, healing spirit of Lyra Pramuk’s music as well as a bright elegy to a lost love.
Director / Writer / Art Direction – Diego Barrera
Starring – Mappo Ka, Cali
Assistant Director – Adria Ghiralt
Camera Operator – Diego Barrera
Film Editing – Diego Barrera
Costume Design – Camilo Serna
Makeup – Camilo Acosta
Music – Caterina Barbieri – ‘
Tendril (Germinative Rework)’ [
00:00 – 02:10], Colin Self – ‘
Witness (Selfless Rework)’ [02:13 – 04:31],
Eris Drew – ‘
Everything is Beautiful & Alive’ [04:37 – 06:59]
Images from the solar eclipse in Chile 2020 – Michel Beauvais, Diego Figueroa Perez, Mappo
Thanks to Pedro Barrera, Elsa Lozada, David Barrera, J Triangular, Daniel Galvis, Luana
Dariel, Amanda Sommer, Juan David Torres