HYENAZ x Aérea Negrot: Pain Can Be A Place

Presentations

2nd June 2024IT’S LOVER, LOVE – Wake for Lost Ones, Xposed Film Festival, Aquarium, Berlin

In 2022, director Yony Leyser asked HYENAZ to develop a sound design for his film The Fourth Generation, which starred and was loosely based/not based on the life-force that is Aérea Negrot—singer, producer, DJ, and performer. One morning, Aérea joined us in our studio to help create an auditory mood for the film’s peak, where the protagonist places a cartoonish ticking time-bomb at the feet of Germany’s newly elected dictator.

Image by Xposed Queer Film Festival

Aérea took to the microphone and, over twenty or thirty minutes, unleashed a torrent of sounds, tones, voices—an overflow, a rupture that was beautiful, stirring, and at times unsettling. We took only what served the film and parked the rest in our deep memories.

In 2023, Aérea died.

For the 2024 edition of the Xposed Film Festival, a memorial for Aérea was arranged by Shu Lea Chang, Jürgen Brüning, and Alex Demitriou, who worked with Aérea on a number of Shu Lea’s films. Seeing the call for contributions, we returned to the material from the film and presented it at the wake.

Kate remembered that there was more, a great deal more, than what we had used in the film. We opened the project in our DAW and stretched out the audio track, discovering an extended crescendo in which the text “Pain can be a place of future transformation” emerged.

At times, the words sound like a prayer, at others a demand.

We arranged Aérea’s voice in layers interspersed with drones formed by stretching out her syllables. Finally, with gentle chords and a melody, Aérea asks the listener to chant the mantra with her into infinity.