Microlands is a series of acousmatic pieces for multichannel audio setups. In these compositions, Marija Rasa carefully sculpts fictional soundscapes out of delicate noise, electronic sounds, and field recordings of quiet places, attentively put together by using a micro montage approach. The whole compositional process is based on research on the topics of listening - silence - montage - space.
Her interest in silence or quiet sounds emerged from the comprehension that listening is the foundation and the main tool for any music-creating process and silence has the power to enable active listening. In a quiet environment, our perception enhances, and we become particularly attentive to microscopic sounds that aren’t necessarily connected with visual sources, thus we are much more focused on the sounds themselves. In the dense quietness, sounds become tangible.
Inspired by early electronics and musique concrète tradition - tape cropping, and simply gluing one sound to another in order to make new musical gestures, sound montage is the main approach of Marija Rasa to compose with sounds. In cinema, editing and experimenting with changing the order of independent shots can completely modify the meaning of the content. The same in the sound world, there are multiple ways how one sound can be composed in relation to another sound or non-sound (intercut, layered, played one after another, etc.) and each variation would bring a different musical meaning. Having the possibility to compose for multiple speakers expands the creative process with an ability to place sounds not only in time but also in space.
Marija thinks of Microlands as invisible landscape or architecture, that is not necessarily dependent on visual stimuli. One of the ways to think of aural architecture is by comparing it with visual architecture or the landscape, although, while vision allows us to experience static architecture or spaces without people and any kind of events, hearing very much depends on events made by human nature, that can be both intentional and unintentional. Therefore, sonic imaginary space is built with the interaction of movement and gestures through time in space and so the physical arrangement of the loudspeakers becomes a sort of a body creating a form of mediation between the sound and their actual movements.