Homenatges was an idea that sparked from the song title “Homenajes” — I am not sure if Adrián de Alfonso, or Sergio Pérez coined it — from a DNSR TRN track that I appropriated and expanded in different directions:
1- The musical project Homenatges, consisting of Adrián de Alfonso, Rafael Romero and myself.
2-An art exhibition at the Gallery Todojunto (Now a design studio) — 12/12/08
3-My first solo album self-released on CD-r — via a small label I ran called Ozonokids — in 2009
1) Homenatges existed briefly and as I see it it was a side effect of the project called DNSR TRN, which was originally formed of Adrián de Alfonso on guitar and electronics and myself on drums and electronics. In 2005 Sergio Pérez was added to it playing guitar and synthesisers. Even though essentially in the project we improvised — basically because our desire to be as loud as possible was too overwhelming — I believe that improvising was never a conscious decision. We tried to make “songs” that we replicated live but sooner or later the excess of energy swept that intention away. Because our dynamics were more effective with the simple drums + guitars combo we got rid of the electronics during our live sets. After playing a few shows Sergio stopped showing up for practice and the project went back to just Adrián and I. During our studio sessions we would always keep mixing electronics and drums/guitar. This all changed in 2007 when Mark Cunningham joined the project and I ended up focusing on drums. DNSR TRN then officially turned into Bèstia Ferida.
On the side of Bèstia Ferida, Adrián and I kept making music. One day Rafael Romero joined us. And in that moment is when Homenatges was born. Rafa was mainly a saxophonist but was really open to experiments. And because Mark gave a more “Zen” approach to the way we improvised with Bèstia Ferida, Homenatges became our playground where we could just let our more gnarly side come out. We played a few shows and after a couple years the project slowly vanished.
2) During the year 2008 the Barcelona-based Colombian artist Andrea Gómez invited me to do a show at the gallery space she ran in Ciutat Vella, Barcelona. I had the idea of Homenatges very present and it personally felt like a concept that could be further explored outside the music field. I perceived the idea of an Homage as something rather solemn and specific of something that has already been widely accepted, acknowledged, or just worthy of social recognition. And because I felt like my work was constantly treated as not serious, under-developed or only appreciated by isolated individuals (and often because of a misperception or misconception), I felt like I was struggling with indifference and hostility towards what I was doing, I wondered what would happen if I decided to take recognition away from things that already had the benefits of social status. I wanted to make an homage to things like life, death, nature, or things that were not even considered tangible for instance. It didn’t make a difference to me if these things were considered good or bad. It was a homage to dreams, the blur of urban-fuelled life, etcetera. It was like putting lots of issues I was dealing with or that I was learning about in a blender and presenting it all unfiltered. In a way, the concept of the exhibition became chaos itself. This chaos was directly interconnected with the musical project Homenatges and my goal was for the other two members to make it theirs and use it as an outlet too. Unfortunately it did not work like that, perhaps I failed to express this idea to them, or perhaps they just couldn’t get around to doing it.
The show was originally scheduled to happen during the summer of 2008 but I had an accident where I cracked a bone in my elbow and couldn’t draw or use my arm for a very long time. So it was rescheduled to December 2008.
Unfortunately very little documentation of the show survived. But it featured mostly original graphic work I did specifically for the show or around that time — generally water-based ink illustrations (A2’s and A3’s) and a lot of film photographs from my daily life and travels.
3) During the years 2008/2009 I recorded hours and hours of sounds. I Lived in Barcelona but I had a spot in Manresa (about 65km distance from Barcelona) where I had a room with silk-screening gear and another room with a few big amps, a drum set and a computer. I would jump in my mother’s car when she was going to work and I would just silk-screen stuff, play music and learn how to use recording software between 7 am and 2pm, when she drove back to Barcelona.I would do that at least twice a week. But sometimes I would go there the day before and stay up the whole night. Having that spot really boosted my creativity. It was great because it let me experiment for hours at VERY high volume. A lot of these experiments involved feedback. I didn’t have a lot of tools so my main tools were microphones, piezos, amps, one small oscillator, drums, a mixer and a delay pedal. Because of learning it from two of my very good friends Robert Francisco and Nate Davis I incorporated what is now called “no input mixing” into my bag of tricks. Back then we used to call it “internal feedback” because that’s basically what it is, a feedback that travels through the channels of the mixer. This tool is very hard to control, but it generated effects sometimes as interesting or even more interesting than synthesisers. Of all the sounds I recorded during that time I selected some sections and made it into an album. This album was named Homenatges and it was released under my name. I think I probably made 50 copies of it.
You can hear or Download Homenatges (2009) by Arnau Sala Saez on archive.org — https://archive.org/details/homenatges2009