Initiatory Flight (Vuelo Iniciático)

Vuelo Iniciático is a group of works comprising Las Aguas Abismales, Los Cielos Infinitos and Pacha Mama. Ivy Mara He'y is the piece that complements this selection.

ARTIST: María Cristina Kasem
PLUS: Booklet 
LABEL: CALATHEA experimenta
RELEASE: June, 2023
COUNTRY: Argentina

The first two pieces are pure electroacoustic, while Pacha Mama is a mixed piece for male and female voice, together with various instruments and percussions. The electroacoustic supports of the three pieces were composed and realised at the Studio du Nord of the University Lille III.

While lvy Mara He’y is the piece that complements this selection of works by the artist, which was awarded an Honourable Mention at the SONOM International Competition in Monterrey, Mexico in 2013.

Vuelo Iniciático (Initiatory Flight) is musically inspired by the rites and legends of the toba theogony, evoking the initiatory journey of the sorcerer, who, transformed into an eagle, flies over the three cosmological strata of the world. The waters, the heavens and the earth represent the three emanations of the same truth, a knowledge declined three times —like the truths of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus— thus indicating the parallel and interacting presence of the physical, psychic and astral world.

About the Works

Las Aguas Abismales (2008)

1st prize in the International Competition IMEB Bourges/France 2009.

The beginning of the triptych is an invocation, introducing the voice of a Toba sorceress recounting the origins of the world. This first piece takes the form of a melody with accompaniment, and the composition is produced, similarly to Eimert’s Epitaph, from the loss and recovery of the semantic recognition of voice and text. In addition to the voice, the piece uses as sources a series of instruments from the Toba tradition (flutes, quenas, erkes, rainsticks, drums, etc.) as well as some instruments from Western music (flute, various percussions). All these sound sources were recorded and transformed through various electroacoustic study techniques: resonance filters and spectrum attenuation, shuffling, sound stretching, speed and pitch changes, etc.

The piece will find its formal resolution through the magical summoning of water.

It is in the abysmal depths of the water that the traveller on the Tufa initiatory path confronts the demons of hell. From this struggle, if he emerges victorious, he will gain the wealth of knowledge; this combat with the beings of the aquatic underworld is necessary because it is what ends and begins the eternal cycle of life.

Los Cielos Infinitos (2010)

In contrast to the dynamism and the lively and restless character of Las aguas abismales, the second piece of the triptych is an interlude characterised by the re-exploitation of the sound materials used in a frankly static and meditative context. Los cielos infinitos is a grave and solemn piece, evoking the atmosphere of a prayer. The voice of the sorceress reappears sporadically, recalling the narrative element, the backbone of the triptych as a whole. As a preponderant figure we find the presentation of the ocarina, an instrument that develops a series of melodic figures in glissando.

Pacha Mama (2011)

Work selected to represent Argentina at the UNESCO International Composers’ ROSTRUM in Finland 2014.

Pacha Mama is the embodiment of the electro-acoustic source in performers, which is realised taking into account that the ultimate state of the Toba initiation is the transformation into another being, another person than the man of knowledge.

The piece is conceived for two amplified solo voices (female: the sorceress, male: the initiate), ocarina, indigenous flute, Tibetan singing bowl, various percussions and octophonic electroacoustic support.

The voices of the two performers perform part of the repertoire contained in the electroacoustic medium, producing a varied counterpoint with it. To this are added individual actions not contained in the electroacoustic medium, for example:

  • Mongolian diphonic singing,
  • Ultra high-pitched falsetto,
  • The recitation.

Ivy Mara He’y (2012)

While lvy Mara He’y is the piece that complements this selection of works by the artist, which received an Honourable Mention in the SONOM international competition in Monterrey, Mexico in 2013.

The title of the work, in the Guaraní language, means The Land Without Evil, the lost paradise of the native peoples of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. The work is an invocation, a shamanic rite to protect mother earth.


Composed, produced and performed by María Cristina Kasem.
Mastering: CALATHEA Experimenta