Traces of Bicarbonate

by London Improvisers Orchestra

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Traces of Bicarbonate
LIO conducted by Caroline Kraabel (also speaking) on 3 November 2019.

Poem on the Chilean resistance written a few days before the concert by LIO member Sofia Vaisman-Maturana, who was back in Chile, taking part in daily protests.
Translated by Caroline Kraabel.


Huellas de Bicarbonato
Sofia Vaisman-Maturana
Novembre 2019

Huellas de bicarbonato en los rostros
rociadores que alivian el ardor
aguanta la respiración.
Los cuerpos que a nadie le importaron
hacen frente a los perdigones
balas que pretenden enceguecernos
otra vez.

Reviso la dirección del viento
me oculto tras los árboles
Sus bombas no podrán sofocarme
sus balas no podrán alcanzarme.

Recojo el espíritu de los pueblos rebeldes
mapuche, palestino, irlandés
la barricada es siempre la misma.
El pavimento se quiebra con el calor
espero ver tierra entre las fisuras
descascarar el cemento
hasta volver a la sombra bajo el árbol.

Hago mías a las mujeres muertas
torturadas, violadas, desaparecidas
memorizo sus nombres sus historias
las hago mías:
pido castigo.

El cañón que sobresale del carro blindado
desplazándose sigiloso
por la Alameda
podrá tal vez
acallarme un día,
pero alguien hará suya mi muerte
y pedirá castigo.


Traces of Bicarbonate
Sofia Vaisman-Maturana
November 2019

Traces of bicarbonate on the faces
sprinklers that relieve the pain
hold your breath.
The bodies that never mattered to anyone
face up to the pellets
bullets that pretend to blind us
once again.

I check the wind’s direction
I hide behind trees
Their bombs will never choke me
their bullets will never reach me.

I gather the spirit of the rebel peoples
Mapuche, Palestinian, Irish
the barricade is always the same.
The pavement cracks with the heat
I hope to see soil inside the cracks
peel away the cement
getting back down to the shadow under the tree.

I make the dead women my own
tortured, raped, disappeared
I memorise their names their stories
I make them mine:
I ask for punishment.

The barrel that projectsfrom the armoured car
moving stealthily
through the Alameda
may, perhaps,
one day, silence me,
but someone will make my death their own
and ask for punishment.


released August 2, 2020
Recorded at IKLECTIK by St Austral Sound
3 November 2019.

Kraabel (with poem by Sofia)

Alison Blunt, Philipp Wachsmann, Luiz Moretto - violins
Roshan Gurung - bass guitar
Neil Metcalfe - flute
Ida Helene Heidel - flute, bass flute
Tom Ward - flute, clarinets
Chris Hill, Stephan Barrett - clarinets
Emily Shapiro - clarinet, bass clarinet
Sebastian Sterkowicz - bass clarinet
Dee Byrne, Martin Clarke, Caroline Kraabel - alto saxophones
Cath Roberts - baritone saxophone
Phil Minton - voice, trumpet
Jonny Martin- trumpet, flügelhorn
Ed Lucas, Simon Petermann- trombones
Emil Karlsen, Dave Fowler, Tracy Lisk, Bryan Styles - drums
Adam Bohman - objects
Kalle Moberg - accordian
Douglas Benford - melodica
Martin Hackett- synthesiser
Steve Beresford - piano


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London Improvisers Orchestra London, UK

The London Improvisers Orchestra is dedicated to free and conducted improvisation.
It draws on a large and shifting pool of improvising musicians from London and beyond,
and plays in London monthly, generally on the first Sunday of the month.
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