Belma Martin

Belma Martin


English Bellow
Belma Martín es una de las vocalistas más interesantes que ha ofrecido la Musica Experimental en nuestro país. Dedicada a la voz como instrumento de improvisación desde 1986, convierte técnicas de toda indole en medios para finalidades controvertidas, siempre al servicio de la investigación. Su lenguaje transexpresivo se distrae de reglas diluyéndose en cualquier tejido sonoro, inclinándose por el ruido y otros deshechos del panorama estético convencional. Esta informe version de la voz, la ha incorporado a expresiones artísticas de toda índole. Es fundadora junto a Pedro López del emblemático dúo Modisti en el ámbito de la Musica Experimental y la Música electroacústica española. A partir de 1997 colabora como intérprete con los artistas Concha Jerez y José Iges, en conciertos intermedia. Desgraciadamente su temprana desaparición en el 2001 no nos permite disfrutar de lo que podría haber sido la completa madurez de su trabajo desde entonces
Igualmente junto a Pedro López crea el proyecto Modisti, que es mucho más simplemente que un destacado dúo de improvisación electroacústica. Modisti acoge un archivo sonoro virtual en la web que cuenta con más de 1500 referencias discográficas sobre Musica Experimental desde 1997. Es promotora del festival Hurta Cordel, Festival Internacional de Música Improvisada y de la revista de música improvisada Hurly Burly.
También junto a a Pedro López crea el centro pedagógico CEDI, Centro de Encuentro para el Desarrollo Interactivo, en el que se dedica a la enseñanza durante un período de 8 años y a la realización del Symposium CEDI de Musica Experimental y los Encuentros de Improvisadores en el marco de la Fundación Olivar de Castillejo en Madrid. Ha ejercido la pedagogía también en la escuela Taller de Músicos de Madrid y en la Escuela ESTUDIO de Santiago de Compostela como profesora de voz.

Her musical activity is centred in the voice as an instrument and everything that is alive is used as an argument to make from this natural gift a witness of her own inner developement.
She builds a language which is direct, without any possible censorship in the aesthetic domain, expressing her own attitude towards all that proves to be a challenge to accept certain changes, feelings and emotions. Her source of inspiration lays in the deconstruction of harshness and noise, and in the accidental sound world of what is unacceptable; nothing that comes from her interior is ever rejected because creating implies starting from what we already are, and since the voice is a pleasure in itself, all that we can do is to organise that flux, polish it, and in the worst of cases, discipline it. On that very year the same piece is premiered togheter with Redes de Hartman in Circulo de Bellas Artes. On the same year Peque–o elogio a una esperanza impasible was premiered and broadcasted by RNE Radio 2 in the same Radio Horizontal project. Organizer of the I & II Hurta Cordel Festival of improvised music that has been running since 1996.
On that very year, together with Pedro López, she creates the cedi. She also collaborates in the Magazine of this very center, hurly burly.


– En 1993 nace el dúo modisti de improvisación electroacústica formado por Belma Martín y Pedro López

– En 1997 nace CEDI (Centro de encuentro para el desarrollo de la improvisación), la publicación “hurlyburly” y el entorno virtual interactivo en la web

– En 1997 el dúo ‘[modisti] publica su primer trabajo discográfico “La Cultura nos Salva”. Ese mismo año comienza la colaboración con José Iges y Concha Jerez en la Obra El Diario de Jonás, dentro del marco del Festival Internacional de Música Contemporánea de Alicante

– En 1998 El dúo modisti estrena su obra Metalógica, en el marco del 14¼ Festival de Musica Contemporánea de Alicante y publican un CD con el mismo título.

– En 1999 se publica el CD SIGNOISE del dúo MODISTI

– En el 2000 El dúo MODISTI estrena en el II Ciclo de Musica Contemporanea, Museo Vostell Malpartida (Caceres) su obra “Anamofrosis” que publica en CD el mismo año.

– En el 2001 Fallece. Ese mismo año MODISTI publica su trabajo “This is The End?” en la revista RAS (Revista de Arte Sonoro)

– En el año 2003 el dúo modisti publica su trabajo What’s happening?.



modisti: What’s happening?

multicanal sound instalation for five channels stereo reduction sampling

Belma Mart’n: voice Pedro L—pez : electronics

5.1 stream + info & download



modisti : this is the end?

modisti 01 (April 24, 2001)

Life doesn’t always favour the positive or healthy we are familiar with, the gleam of a plant nor the indefinite taste of water from a spring. Life enters unknown paths that are yet to be defined; children, don’t show up your faces at the sad scene of the stone- breaker’s who didn’t know how the resist the stone, the light which couldn’t bear its beauty, if you don’t know how to walk, walk slower and if you hesitate… don’t hesitate.

Belma Martín : voice
Pedro López : Electronics


+ info & download


If, on the basis of the instrumentation, you expect one of those junk-noise collages which so often don’t work, you’re in for a big surprise. Although on paper Modisti are a duet of live object-sampling and voice, in reality their pieces are carefully constructed. Lopez may play “objects intended for the trash”, but he has no interest in the dull banging about which usually emerges from such an approach. The key to this duet seems to lie in Lopez’s use of the sampler. Through this, he is able to take the original sounds, process them and work them together into a cohesive whole. What’s really quite astonishing about this disc is that it’s a live recording; everything sounds so crafted, with that overall logicality which usually comes from hours in the studio. These pieces have all the coherence of electroacoustic compositions, and although some preparation can be deduced from Lopez’s use of tapes and samples, the element of improvisation gives these performances a very attractive spontaneity. Martin uses the extremes of her voice for the most part; at times, as on track three, her choked, gutteral sounds are disturbing rather than particularly musical. For the most part, however, these primeval sounds fuse closely with the electronics. The result is cybernetic, like one of those moments in a Cronenberg movie in which you can’t be sure whether you’re looking at a primordial animal or a futuristic machine. In that difficult third track, for example, Martin’s in extremis gargling is picked up by Lopez and re-analysed, forming the basis of an uneasy but fascinating game of variations. Lopez, as a promoter of CEDI and editor of the excellent Hurly Burly magazine, here shows himself to also be an extremely capable and interesting musician; Belma Martin’s voice sounds like few others, and her courage in pursuing such an unforgiving path has paid off in this duet. Those who enjoy electroacoustic composition will love this disc; these are eight very distinctive, challenging and accomplished improvisations at — as the title slyly implies — the border of music and everyday sound. Richard Cochrane

Released 16 July 1999

Belma Martin: Voice , Wind objects

Pedro Lopez: acoustic and electronic sounds to be analyzed and reproduced on invented instruments. Reuse of objects intended for the trash. Computer aided design of sounds then transfered to a sampler for live use. Microphony and “real-time” manipulation of electronic tapes width pedals.

<a href="">metal—gica by modisti</a>

players: Belma Martín, voice
Pedro López, home-made instruments & electronics

Metalogic is part of logic semiotics, that is; of the branch of semiotics that deals with the study of logical signs in general. Metalogic is a metalanguage and as such it has the three dimensions of every metalanguage: The syntactic, semantic and pragmatic dimensions. We might have had the conscious purpose of attaining a musical product, and perhaps even the conscious purpose of carrying it out. But during the course of our work we necessarily had to loosen that arrogance in favour of a creative experience in which the conscious mind played only a small part. We could say that during this process we have had to experience ourselves -the whole of our personality- as a cybernetical model. Our conscious purposes are just fragments and pieces. The systemic view is always something different. This simply is a synchronic cut made during that process. No meaning must be looked for in the expression itself, but rather look within ourselves, in our minds, which wake to the same experience. It is our comprehension and not the meaning of language what reflects the ideas and not the experienced feelings.

“You are the music,
while the music lasts.
There are only hints and guesses,
hints followed by guesses;
and the rest is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.”
(T.S. Elliot)

Mit “Metalogic” bezeichnet man jenen Teil der logischen Semiotik, der sich mit der logischen Zeichensetzung im Allgemeinen auseinandersetzt. “Metalogic” ist eine Metasprache und vereinigt in sich die syntaktische, die semantische und die pragmatische Dimension des zu beschreibenden. In ihrem StŸck “Metalogic” haben Belma Mart’n und Pedro L—pez versucht eine musikalische †bersetzung fŸr die Metasprache “Metalogic” zu finden. Im Studio mu§ten die beiden KŸnstler jedoch feststellen das der musikalische Bewu§twerdungsprozess ein weniger systematischer sondern viel eher ein fragmentarischer ist.

“Metalogic” ist eine Koproduktion des spanischen Rundfunks und des CDMC, des “Center for the Diffusion of Contemporary Music”.
“Metalogic” is a co-production of Spanish National Radio and CDMC (Center for the Diffusion of Contemporary Music).

This kind of sample is made from innumerables points of view, the thrill produced by living in a medium which is generaly highly mediated by ideologies and unshared forms and the excitement produced on the other hand by creating a daily living full of interchangeable personal guarantes, with full a complete autonomy in the choice of what we feel is best suited for the developement of our own individuality/totality.

Este tipo de muestra se realiza desde innumerables puntos de vista; la excitación que produce vivir en un medio más que mediatizado en general por ideologías no compartidas y la excitaci—n que produce, por otro lado, realizar un vivir cotidiano pleno de garantías personales intercambiables con plena autonom’a en la elecci—n de aquello que sentimos m‡s idóneo para el desarrollo de la propia individualidad-totalidad

<a href="">La Cultura nos Salva by modisti</a>

released 21 August 1997

Belma Martín: Voice, objects

Pedro López: electronics, homemade instruments, turntables

Recorded in Villamanta (Madrid), August 1997


Casa de Misericordia


Modisti Belma Martn Pedro L—pez

Inspirado en textos de Samuel Becket sobre los lugares en los que se recluye a aquellos que resultan incapaces de integrarse en el modelo social propuesto

Inspired by texts of Samuel Becket on the places in which one shuts in to that they are incapable to integrate itself in the proposed social model

<a href="">track 1 by modisti</a>

Los pueblos primitivos no consideraban que las ideas fantasiosas, las inspiraciones e improvisaciones de las personas afectadas por la epilepsia o por otras formas de disturbio mental fueran algo despreciable y digno de piedad. “El profundo animismo dominante transformaba muchas veces a esa persona en portador de facultades sobrenaturales. Era amado y venerado o temido y respetado, conforme a la forma agresiva o benigna de las manifestaciones de su anomal’a mental”.1

En el Occidente Cristiano se hizo habitual atribuir en esas manifestaciones los frutos de la presencia del demonio entre los hombres. Los avances cient’ficos surgidos en el Renacimiento dieron un nuevo significado a estas perturbaciones: incluyeron en el ‡mbito de la medicina lo que anteriormente era fruto del pecado.

Desde ese momento hasta el siglo XX, las manifestaciones de las alteraciones mentales fueron cada vez m‡s estudiadas desde el punto de vista de la patolog’a.

Esos estados ps’quicos de gran riqueza, por mucho tiempo altamente valorizados, son hoy rotulados como m—rbidos, sin una debida consideraci—n de otros aspectos de ese oscuro fen—meno. Los individuos que vivencian esos estados son sometidos a una destrucci—n moral, espiritual y f’sica, confinados en las tenebrosas prisiones que son los hospitales psiqui‡tricos.

The primitive peoples did not consider that the fantastic ideas, the inspirations and improvisations of the persons affected by the epilepsy or other forms of mental disturbance would be something negligible and worthy of piety. “The deep consideration of the soul dominant transformed many times that person into someone with supernatural powers. He was loved and venerated or feared and observed, pursuant to the benign or aggressive form of the manifestations of his mental anomaly “.1

In the Christian West it was made customary to consider those manifestations like the fruit of the presence of the demon among the men. The scientific advances emerged in the Renaissance gave a new meaning to these disturbances, including in the area of the medicine what previously was fruit of the sin.

From that moment until the 20th century, the manifestations of the mental alterations were increasingly studied in terms of pathology.

Those psychic states of great wealth, which were highly valorized for a long time, are today labeled as morbid, without a due consideration of other aspects of that dark phenomenon. The individuals that live those states are submitted to a moral, spiritual and physical destruction< they are confined in the dark prisons that are the psychiatric hospitals.

1 Pedrosa, M., Forma e Percepc‹o Estetica: Textos Escolhidos II. S‹o Paulo, Ed. USP, 1996. P. 203
imagen : ronald fischer (1981) © richard avedon

RDSI Concert from modisti on Vimeo.

Atractors from modisti on Vimeo.

Live multimedia performance recorded in September 2000

Stevie Wishart: hurdy gurdy, electronics, voice
Belma Martin : voice
Jim Denley : sax, flute
Pedro Lopez : electronics, 3d animations