walls maite larburu   I  maite larburu / wouter jansen My neighbor and I live in a district of Amsterdam. There’s a reddish brick wall and four cracked doors between us; those are the visible ones; but I couldn’t count the walls that separate us, they’re numberless...
The collection of songs Ura patrikan was created when we were looking at those walls.

Once upon a time, I learnt to build walls in order to separate my space, my way to play the violin, my being, from yours.
Since then, you and I have been apart: this is me and the person outside the wall, you.
But what’s really on the other side of the walls?

I had a neighbor in the building and I asked him.
“What is there on the other side of this wall between us?”
He replied with silence.
And then I shouted:
“Hey, neighbor, what is out there, beyond the wall that separates us?”
But there was no answer; it was unbearable! What could I do to make my words go through the mortar in the walls?
So then I sang the question:
“Neighbor, nunzare? What’s that there, by your side?”

Suddenly, I heard the sound of a guitar.
I was in my room, and Josh was on the other side of the wall, but my voice and his guitar put a song together, quite unexpectedly.
Even though there was a wall between us.
Even though we didn’t go through any door.

That’s how we started writing our songs, wanting to destroy those walls.
We used one song, another song, this and that instrument to break down the walls. I called the wind, took water from my pocket to wear away the wall; I sang sadness and happiness to the brick, loud sometimes, whispering others.

But the wall just stayed there, firm.
I wasn’t going to be able to destroy it, it was useless, and I stopped singing.

It was right then when I realised that the wall’s colour had changed. And not just the colour, the substance of it too: “Wasn’t there wallpaper with green rhombuses on it before?”
Suddenly the guitar woke me up: my neighbor was with me too. I started singing again and, immediately, the wallpaper with rhombuses on got covered up by wood.
The wood became stone, the stone, glass, the glass, black colour that peeled off and turned white, the white paint got replaced by the wallpaper with circles on from my grandmother’s house, and there was more wallpaper below that, and more, and more and more, and more...

How many walls, how many small universes, how many differences, how many beings, how many boundaries.
And how much I love everything, you walls, make me sing.

Maite Larburu & Josh Cheatham