Nestor Zurita

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The Salamander Project presents "Lifelines" Nestor Zurita Saxophone Augustus Black on Vibraphone


‘Lifelines’ is an extended series of musical conversations between Ecuadorian sax virtuoso Nestor Zurita, and British keyboard artist Augustus Black. This is an invitation to embark upon a long musical journey, to pack up your preconceptions and go walkabout with two seriously creative and innovative musicians.

The seven extended musical dialogues represent stages in a sojourn through a desert of mysterious flora and fauna, perhaps on a distant planet, but surround us with forms that are natural and somehow familiar. They are like us, but from another space and time, a dimension that connects with ours but which we would have to journey across the aeons to reach.

‘Lifelines’ is an exploration of diasporal songlines, a conversation with the ancients, a deep connection with the spirits of our ancestors that we carry in our bones, in our DNA. The music journeys across inner and outer space, to the very edge of the known world, tracking the boundary of the unknown.

This music evokes a sharing of the nomadic myth pool – drawing from a rhizomatic matrix, from the wealth of songs and stories gathered from infinite journeys through the hinterlands, along the spice trails – a hard-trammelled million-step way along the dry, cracked river bed. Tierra colorada.

‘Lifelines’ is also a series of meetings in the thinly peopled outer places, far from the crowded, money-grubbing toil, the tumult and turmoil of the urban monkey temples, the air conditioned nightmare, at the edge of a vast, soul annihilating wilderness. The multitude of people in our collective conscious, in our dreaming, clamour to be heard.

Out of the delerium of past impressions, the hubbub of their voices, out of their dust, a single face appears, a mysterious companion. Peering through sun blind eyes, we search the long, burning, heat-wavering horizon, seeking evidence of human hands. We find the first art form, art preceding language, art preceding all crude technologies, yet depicting that which uniquely contains the potentiality to fashion those far future technologies, a small single ancient hand outlined by spat ochre on a rock 40,000 years ago.

These are the places where we cling to the signs of humankind, unless our spirits be burned out of us, and run away like quicksilver. These ancient desert landscapes, bare and sparce, with strange rock formations, the two musicians evoke an eco-system, clinging to survival in a time eroded landscape. The flurries of melodic activity symbolise the dance of life the constant fight for survival of the fauna and weathering of the flora.

The two instrumental voices sing the cultural transmissions of a wandering, transient people, they echo the voices of the ancestors, they set forth and ritually pace out the boundary conditions. Their sounds echo across eternity, ripples lost in time.

(A.B., October 2018)

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