introduction by Antonio Pierna García
Rebonds (Iannis Xenakis)
Composed between 1987 and 1989 in two movements (A and B), Rebonds has become one of the classic contemporary works for solo percussionist.
“An inmense abstract ritual, a suite of movements and of hammering without any folkloristic contamination, pure music full of marvelously efflorescent rhythms, going beyond drama and tempest.”
Quote of Jaques Lonchampt
Rebonds A is one long metric accelerando, beginning with huge amounts of space and continually adding faster notes and phrases to fill the gaps.
Rebonds B has a totally different style, a constant pulsing groove overlaid with accents, complemented with quick interludes on pieces of wood.
Lu (Hugo Morales)
The work is focused on some inherent possibilities of the vibraphone. On one hand the use of a number of perfomance techniques that explore its possibilities of sound articulation in relation to vibration, and on the other, the physical alteration of the instrument by means of adding simple preparations consisting of objects made of aluminum. The piece is constructed over a recurrent set of three pitches form where a number of different techniques accumulate progressively exploring relationships between consonance, resonance, vibration and complex sounds. ‘ ’ stands for aluminum in the Romanization from the Taiwanese sound.
XY (Michael Gordon)
XY is one of the most renowned solo percussion pieces of the last decades, written in 1997 for five tuned drums.
With literally a ‘blank check’ from the composer, Antonio decided to go one step forward, changing the original instrumentation. Inspired by the recent piece by Gordon, Timber, (2009), where six percussionists play on pieces of wood called simantras, Antonio started developing the idea of creating a ‘solo Timber’, using six tuned pieces of wood.
“I am speaking of the hands of the performer as if they were independent beings, and indeed they practically are. When I was imagining the music of XY, I thought of the double helix of DNA, which wraps around itself and
Quote of Michael Gordon
Aphasia (Mark Applebaum)
Aphasia is a scary word, meaning the loss of ability to understand or express speech, caused by brain damage, like that caused by strokes. Applebaum’s Aphasia (2010) is a 9-minute piece expressly written for a ‘singer’ to perform without making a single sound. Premiered in February 2011, it consists of hundreds of transformed vocal samples derived from the voice of professional baritone Nicholas Isherwood and set to a score of nonsense hand signals coordinated to each sound.
Based on everyday activities, the hand gestures were recorded as a written musical score, using icons with names such as ‘give me the money’ and ‘Post-it Notes’. Applebaum says these gestures are intended to reflect his own fascination with “absurdity that seems to be the consequence of tedious, obsessive attention to ridiculous things.” Or, in other words, how bizarre the actions of the mundane routine of activity seem when they are examined out of context.
While the piece was inspired by a conversation between Isherwood and Applebaum, the idea to write a piece for a mute singer with hand motions was Applebaum’s own ‘obsession’. He says his intention was to have Aphasia come across as a metaphor for “expressive paralysis,” something that unnerves him every time he “confronts the terror of composing a new piece”.