Out of the calm environment surrounding the temple and out of the thin
noisy rush of far Mosna river, my steps entered the narrow underground
gangways of Chavín de Huántar, its so called “galleries”. I entered
total silence. My breath, my steps, my self – we were all alone under
ground, in midst of an elaborated 3000-year-old place of former ritual
and ceremony. I repeatedly walked through the galleries until i got the
feeling of an overview. Standing still then and stoping breath for a
while made me grow small, not wanting to move my feet, my arms, my
lungs, wanting to capture something of what was spread around the place.
Something beyond smell, temperature and dust. I couldn’t grab it and
went out again to phantasize…

Some hands of popcorn later i went in again, this time together with a
group of peruvian school class tourist fellows. I put on my in-ear mics
and observed the Lanzon gallery filled with voices and steps coming from
every part of the gangways. After this really nice and hysteric crew had
left i found myself alone again and finally unpacked my pututu. I
carried the pututus’ sound throughout the galleries, tested the slightly
different tunes of the instrument within the corners, corridors and
“rooms”… The guard seemed more amused than confused and made the
impression to enjoy the pututu as much as i did. Maybe he aswell was
curious to learn about the spaces’ ancient acoustics and its response to
my musicstore pututu.

What i found then was not so much the encounter of an ancient phenomena
with a present now. My playing had nothing to do with ancient practice
and probaply not even with a former sounding of any of the 20 Chavín
pututus… That was pretty obvious from the start. I had to learn
immediately. But what else can i do, not being a
cross-genre-archeologist, to understand or to know something about a
flux material such as sound that was animated long before my time? How
can i know anything about its way of coming to life, to ears, to play?
It may seem dumb as it can be to go and play a sound, hoping to find
something. And indeed, it was not so much the pututus sound that made me
connect to this overwhelming atmosphere of this gigantic site.

What struck me more and most, luckily, just before returning to daylight
again, was the activity of a very particular buzzing sound in the
gangways. Its pitch was very close to the higher tone of my pututu. I
felt spoofed until i found out it was a fly humming around in the
corridors. Its sound was unusual, stronger and deeper than i knew it
from flies so far. The buzz spread around. I tried to follow it – hardly
knowing where it was exactly. We two spent some time with playing this
game. And finally i had the feeling that i received a precious lesson
about the convoluted Chavín-galleries-architecture, about the behaviour
of sound at this site. After the fly had finally escaped through one of
the small ventilation “windows” of the temple one next and intriguing
question came up: how old is this species of a fly?

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