Liquid Soundscapes: a concert of minimalist American music

On January 13 we present a “live” concert of minimalist American music to kick off the winter season.

Throughout the winter and early spring we will offer courses, concerts and events inspired by the production of the Teatro Real this spring, the opera Nixon in China by John Adams.

Liquid Soundscapes: A concert of minimalist American music features works by American minimalist composers: John Cage, Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Paul Lansky. The program has been designed to offer the public an introduction to the variety of these renowned composers. Liquid Soundscapes brings together for the first time the percussionists of the BOOST Grupo de Percusíón with the pianist Dubravka Vukalovic and the flutist Anna Buczkowska.

The idea of ​​minimalism has always enjoyed great popularity due to the belief that true beauty lies in the simplicity of things and that stripping or depriving oneself of pleasure is considered the best way to achieve excellence. “Less is more”, the famous phrase of the architect Mies Van der Rohe could be the motto of the minimalists.

One of the most significant composers of the XNUMXth century, Arnold Schönberg, also submitted to the aesthetics of reduction. The strict rules that governed compositions with a series of twelve notes opened great doors for the development of minimalist music, whose composers strove to achieve everything with little means. They reduced the sound material and the musical structure thanks to the fact that the harmony, rhythm and dynamics hardly changed during the entire performance. However, the cancellation of certain elements led to the application of new resources, such as repetition or the use of mathematical operations, such as addition, subtraction and substitution. The traditional temporal structure of the musical work was abandoned, and it was replaced by the extreme elongation of the tones (very characteristic in the works of La Monte Young and Steve Reich) which also endowed it with a meditative character.

Arnold Schönberg when proclaiming the death of tonality in his treatise harmonielehre in 1911, he gave a clear signal of his rejection of the musical and cultural order of the bourgeois society in which he had lived. Three decades later, his American student, John Cage, also expressed his contempt for the standards of traditional classical music and began to look for other alternatives. He experimented with noise, composed music for instruments he made himself, and invented the prepared piano. At one point he felt attracted to the use of chance and graphic notation, but above all he fled from the "rational" and the norms of conventional classical music. La Monte Young, considered the first true minimalist, also made his initial compositions in the twelve-tone style, following his teacher and Schönberg's assistant Leonard Stein, but over time he abandoned serial music in favor of improvisations and conceptual art. . Similarly, Steve Reich was impressed by Webern's scores, however he gave up writing atonal music and devoted himself to writing complex rhythmic designs and experiment with your phasing procedure.

Liquid Soundscapes (liquid soundscapes) is a concept that refers to the changeable musical reality of the XNUMXth century: once the norms are dissolved and the hierarchies inherited from the past are broken, music is in permanent change. Composers explore thousands of new ideas and develop a wide variety of styles, thereby creating music that seduces the listener.

Anna Buczkowska, January 2023

Works in the program:

John Cage- Living Room Music, In a Landscape, Dream

Philip Glass – Étude No. 6, Love Divided By, Facades, Japurá River, Arabesque in Memoriam

Steve Reich – Clapping Music, Music for Pieces of Wood

Paul Lanski – Threads

About the interpreters:

Since its creation in 2013, the repertoire of BOOST Drum Set covers different music and styles: electronic, contemporary, classical and ethnic. His commitment to contemporary music makes the work of young composers an important part of his repertoire along with the most significant pieces written for percussion (solo or ensemble) or percussion combined with other instruments. Throughout their career, they have offered concerts throughout Spain and participated in the MusaE project, in Las Noches del Monumental and in the Music for the Third Millennium cycle of the Lázaro Galdiano Museum. They currently perform concerts for schoolchildren from the Fundación Juan March, with their project “Noise, Pulse, Rhythm: The World of Percussion”. BOOST Percussion Group plays exclusively with Marimba One instruments and REMO heads.

Born in Croatia, pianist Dubravka Vukalovic He regularly performs as a soloist and chambermaid artist throughout Europe, as well as in Asia, North and South America, Russia, and the Middle East. She received her first piano lessons with teacher Olimpija Vojvoda at the music school in her hometown of Varaždin. She continued her musical education in Moscow and in Lausanne. After her debut with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 14, she in 2000 won first prize at the Zagreb International Competition. Since then she has offered numerous concerts in theaters and at international festivals. Her collaborations with the French violist Christophe Desjardins, with the Swiss-French ensemble Namascae, with the conductor Eduardo Leandro or with the Bahia Symphony Orchestra (Brazil) are noteworthy. She is part of the successful piano duo D & B with her husband Bruno Vlahek. She has made recordings for radio and television stations in Croatia, Spain, the Netherlands, Russia and China, and for Radio and Radio Suisse Romande (Espace 2). She regularly conducts master classes in different countries of the world.

Anna Buczkowska He graduated from the Higher Conservatory of Krakow (Poland), specializing in transverse flute. She completed her studies at the Rueil National Conservatory, Malmaison (France), as a student of Philippe Pierlot. She won first prize for chamber music at the Rueil-Malmaison Conservatory, first prize at the UFAM International Competition in Paris and first prize for wind chamber in Bydgoszcz (Poland). She has been a student of Severino Gazzelloni, PL Graf and A. Marion in improvement courses. She is currently responsible for the Music department at the Santa María de los Rosales de Aravaca School. She is a member of different chamber groups, collaborates with both national and international orchestras and has made recordings for RTVE.

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