Mariza Ryce Aparicio-Tovar

Homer and Unalaska
2023 Project AwardMusic/Music Composition

2023 Project Award

Aparicio-Tovar will create an album of original music titled “600 Years,” exploring her rage, grief and visceral responses to past and present-day colonization. She will employ electric cello, stringed instruments, synthesizers, percussion, and her own unique voice to create a multi-genre project with drone, atmospheric, and indigenous folk influences. This award will allow her to move from using makeshift hand-held recorders and a minimal understanding of mixing software to more professional and accessible recordings. She will hire a sound engineer and pay for studio musicians, allowing her to produce material that adequately communicates the heart and soul of her work.  

As a displaced person of Indigenous descent in a world that promotes erasure, Aparicio-Tovar explores themes of loss and recovery of identity. Aparicio-Tovar’s family came to the United States from Mexico legally in the 1970s. In her 37 years as a first generation immigrant, she has witnessed the many ways dominant culture advocates toxic narratives, and she creates music as a means to bridge the gap, share awareness, and expose authentic layers of healing. This body of work is intended to be a journey that inspires connection and hope.  

Listen to “Born in the Wind,” an impromptu sample composed and recorded on Feb. 26, 2023. It represents the serenity and grounding her new album will convey. The vocals are influenced by ceremonial songs from her upbringing. Aparicio-Tovar says they aren’t from any language but are like a dandelion seed transported to a new place with loss of land and place but still finding wholeness.