Deep Blue. This work is intended as a competition between musician and machine, although in reality, the musician is enhanced when merged with technology.
In 1997, the supercomputer Deep Blue defeats the greatest chess player of all time, Garry Kasparov. What many see as a defeat for mankind, others regard as a further step in the evolution of the species. Among the latter is Ray Kurzweil, a scientist, inventor and renowned futurist, who predicts that by the middle of that century Artificial Intelligence will be so superior to human intelligence that it will be able to perfect itself. This would lead us to a peculiar situation in which changes would happen so fast and so fundamentally that they would represent a rupture in evolution.
Igarkizuna is a Basque word that best approximates in meaning to ‘enigma’, ‘puzzle’, ‘riddle’, although it is also commonly employed in another sense as ‘prediction’, ‘guess’, ‘premonition’.
I have approached the work as a collage of strange sound objects, of a rare beauty, as if found in exotic and inaccessible places, populated by enigmatic personalities with extravagant and contradictory characters. This translates into contrasting sections that quickly follow one another, appearing at different points in the work, like the characters in an opera.
The piece is structured in such a way as to juxtapose different well-differentiated parts that form the discourse. The treatment of the instruments, the lines in which pitches and intensities are displayed, define very characteristic fragments. Each fragment is interwoven by links formed by sound elements that are born thanks to the interaction of the instruments; these points of union possess a spatial as well as a temporal logic.
The title refers to the fascination that in many ways I have always had with the desert. Environments in which the absence of visual and acoustic references, to which we are accustomed, spark our imagination. It is an apparent state of instability that changes our perspective and causes all our senses to be stimulated. They are places for authentic introspection that allow for personal discovery – the incursion into unknown territory. It is a hypnotic landscape, a metaphor of an endless sea where the wind blows and time stands still.
In a working session in Gênes (Belgium) with the ensemble eWave, we recorded several effects with the flute: whistle-tones, key noises, wind sounds imitating breathing, animal imitations, etc. It was very suggestive timbre material, but it also contained extremely distinct differences.
I added the recitation of two texts and various city sounds (traffic noise) and nature sounds (wind, rain, etc.) to these flute materials.
The first text is an extract from "La transformación" [The transformation] by Pascal Fourvel. The second I took from "The travels" of Marco Polo. The narrators were Jean Marc Chouvel and Diego Sáiz. The narrations are the common thread of the music, and their sequences form several contrasting pictures in the piece.
A song may be too short to be able to describe the feelings that you have for a person.
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It was my interest in the therapeutic power of music and the relationship between high and low frequencies, between colours and sounds, that inspired the title.
I worked with the violinist Agustí Coma on various technical aspects of the violin for the composition of "Meditación Azul" [Blue meditation]. I wanted to create a human and spiritual piece, prolonging the glissandos like breathing, with a fragile sound that leads to questioning, to the unspoken, towards an inner journey.
Sound fluid that advances, empowering itselve, getting timbral registers and propousing transformations until it achieves its sound fullness.
In this work, I set out to fragment the entire maximum scope of piano. An enormous scope is offered by the piano, which I use as a starting point as the entirety of the mosaic that represents its fragmentation. The first and purest fragmentation occurs through the division of its scope in octaves, establishing immediately afterwards the major seventh interval, as the unit of fragmentation for the entire work. These units are shrinking and superimposing, giving rise to different but interrelated structures, forming a great set of sounds, allowing us to say that they share the same genetics. The process of narrowing becomes gradually exacerbates, multiplying the process of fragmentation, until the entire area becomes almost fully saturated. The musical discourse is also fragmented into sections that cater to the nature of each structure, while saving a relationship between the patterns that make it possible to identify the set as part of the same family.
The work sets up a dialogue between the many sonorities of the cello and of electronics, a fundamental aim being to explore the articulation options of both elements. The work's musical discourse is structured by the varying lengths of a network of heights and intervallic series. The harmonic fabric is composed of materials both from the cello's own sonority and from electronics, deriving from the application of various resonators.
Urbia represents the idealized place, where one feels especially connected to one´s natural environment, without ceasing to be oneself. The Urbia terrain is a region of outhouses and pastures, surrounded by the Elgea and Aizkorri mountain ranges, the Oltza forest and the San Adrian tunnel that with its ancient causeway connects the lands of Guipuzkoa and Álava, crossing old beech and oak forests, riddled with ancestral dolmens and megaliths, and caves inhabited by goddesses and mythical queens. All of this, the forests, mountains, rocks, and caves, create a magic that makes Urbia a very special place in our land and in our ancestral culture.
Danba II offers an auditory path through the acoustic characteristics of various instruments. It sets out a commitment to each instrument, exploring its timbral characteristics and attempting to dispense with traditional hierarchies. A search for affinities between the qualities of each one, both in timbral aspect and spatial behaviour: frequency height, intensity, timbral-harmonic spectrum, duration, directivity and acoustic environment. The materials occur throughout the piece, sometimes time-shifted to manifest a heterogeneous discourse. The electronics allow sound analysis and processing, re-creating each in an outward and inward path where the sonic result of an instrumental gesture in turn causes a new interpretive treatment.