|April 4, 2014 | Found Sounds, Mexico, Travels, You Are There
Mexico City : last November, I was walking through the Zócalo : hold up, now – imagine a village square, like in a little town somewhere, and now imagine the square if it’s sized for a city of 20 million — okay, yeah, right? Massive, thousands of people walking around, selling stuff, trying to get work. There’s always some giant exhibition or festival going on there, and it’s amazing, and you should see it. But also there’s the Metropolitan Cathedral, which is the main church of all of Mexico, which is a country with like 96 million Catholics in it, so that’ll be a gigantic and imposing ( and ancient, and sinking into the swampy ground ) church. Also, the entire thing is built directly over the ruins of Aztec temples and the palace of Montezuma. There are often Aztec dance troupes performing, and people in full headdresses and feathers and sandals and the whole bit, performing purification rituals, and this is an amazing thing : they are Mexican Catholics who speak Spanish, but they are also Aztecs, who are preserving their culture. Can you imagine any other place where people would be allowed to perform pagan rituals in front of a grand Catholic cathedral? That’s the dual-nature magic of Mexico : the priests are descended from Aztecs too.
I was walking across this giant square, and the bells were ringing, and, who knows how old the bells are, but they sounded old. So many frequencies in the air, atoms colliding with atoms, humming – I recorded some of it on my phone, which, very low bit-rate, doesn’t do that day a lot of justice, but you can hear what I’m talking about.