Marco Guerra
The Man Who Lead Me To The Echo

Reflection – reverberation – delay - diffusion - feedback and echo sound more like environments used by musicians to create music than photographic techniques. But Marco’s Composite of Many Moments photographs create the same sensation. It’s almost as if I’m seeing a kind of reverse Synesthesia. When I was around 3and 1⁄2 I had my first experience of Synesthesia when I played the note D and E on the piano I saw the colours yellow and orange when my eyes were closed. In Marco’s case it is the visual element that appears to be music to me. (The colour orange was also produced by my first early childhood sexual exploration around the same time and the colour orange appeared in the middle of my forehead) Add FOOT NOTE on my full experience with Synesthesia and VS RAMACHANDRAN links.

Trying to explain the effect that Marco’s work has on me has lead me to try and understand why I have been so interested in Reflection – reverberation – delay - diffusion - feedback and echo in the first place. When I started to play the ney in Morocco in 1969 I was always drawn to domed structure with a naturally perfect acoustic. I learned about the way ratios of pi and phi related to micro tones and the architecture, music, astronomy and poetry of the Egyptian – Greek - Iranian – Mogul – Turkish - Arabic cosmology that was still influential until the end of the Gothic Cathedral period. So when the fist tape loop and analog reverb delays and echo boxes we invented bought all of them. I told Marco the other day that the difference between our two ways of working is that once I have my system tweaked I can create the same results live in real time while he has to arrive at the visual result through hours and hours of superimposition in the darkroom. He seems to be drawn to a kind of instinctive understanding of how to produce emotion using very small time based increments that are the equivalent to quarter tones/ micro tones. (These give the impression of being refracted and diffracted infinitesimal refraction micro tones). I usually try to explain how this works musically by saying that you have to imagine that you have a very small needle with a very small hole and that the note of music needs to threaded through the hole and once in the note is threw it is charged massive emotional expressive resonance. This may help explain why music had so much more melismatic and dramatic shading up until The Well Tempered Clavier and the creation of the white keys and the black keys. These notes are too big to fit thru the eye of the needle and usually they are not even aware that the needle is there. The black keys and the white keys are a reductionist system that lined up with the Newtonian universe. The main benefit of this system is of course Harmony.

Another thing that interests me about Marco’s work – as I edge toward the slippery slope of post post modern and slide into the nether world of New Age phantasm - is soul. (Dane Rudhyar the French composer of who was a friend of Satie and Debussy

Coined the term New Age in the 30s when he created Humanistic astrology. When he died his wife gave me his piano.

Let me explain: My Daughter Tamara Alexa was born in our Ryad in Marrakech with two midwives by candle light in 1978. I was totally conscious at the moment of her conception having eaten a large spoonful of Moroccan Majoun. It was as if there was an inter- dimensional travel agent booking her return ticket and the agent spoke in a voice / quarter tone vibration far above what my normal human hearing could normally perceive. I heard this voice as my body shuddered at the moment of mitosis.

After that experience I carried with me a distinct impression that the soul enters in to being thru the highest cosmic octaves. Later in February 2004 I read an article in Scientific American called the The Cosmic Symphony. Using the 100,000 year fluctuation of the Cosmic Microwave Background to date events - like rings in a tree-

A chord 57 octaves above and below Middle B Flat on the piano was discovered.

The chord in the shape of a sine wave moved through desperate subatomic particles until it reached the bottom of the wave and the first atoms were formed and then for another 380 millions years until the first stars were formed. In the over tone structure of the chord the major 3rd is a quarter tone flat. This chord is still moving through us and this is the actual tuning of the universe that is reflected in the ancient cosmologies mentioned above. And this is what I think of when I see that Marco has instinctively created this vibration with every Shudder of his Shutter.

He has imbued his photographs with an intuition of the unknown that that allows the soul to slip into his work through the cracks and that lets the soul of his work slip into us through reflections – reverberations – delays and echoes.

By Richard M . Horowitz

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