sonic architectures at Festival SON – musicadhoy, Madrid [ES]

Festival SON – musicadhoy became a sort of milestone in our path. Last March 9th, this important festival in Spain dedicated a whole concert to Ángel Arranz’s music by world premiering sonic architectures. This ongoing series of pieces, started in 2004 with the composition of Esquirlas/vacío for piano and electronics, is based on four avant-garde buidlings in Spain [Bodegas Protos, Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Bodegas Ysios and Bodegas Qumrán], designed respectively by four renowned architects: Sir Richard Rogers, Frank Gehry, Santiago Calatrava and Konkrit Blu Arquitectura. Probably you may know more about it here. The presentation resulted in a technically impeccable combination of three 8-channel tape pieces and three live electronics pieces, much of them with the video projection assistance of Beatriz del Saz.

sonic architectures is a series in which you could combine different pieces in order to make a whole, just in the way of raising up different sound constructs along a timeline. In turn, each piece belongs to different series of pieces, according with the architectural model used for their compositions. For instance, there is a series of three works entitled DK <protos>, another named DK <qumran>, an acousmatic series called [d]espacio, and so on and so forth. In fact, these series conform independently groups of pieces, which could be performed as coherent, separate recitals in a concert situation. In progress is still two of the series to be finished between 2014 and 2015.

Thanks to the great support of musicadhoy and of course the crew of La Casa Encendida, really diligent during the setup, rehearsal and concert time resulted smooth. From our very first minute in Madrid, Rebeca Largo made our visit extremely pleasant.

foto 4 bodegas

Once we arrived to the concert space, the patio of La Casa Encendida, we started to work to recreate the setup we planned few months before. We had in front of us four different setups to be developed in only two days, so you really have to be really tidy if you want to extract some meaninful variety by presenting every proposal really solidly. Concerning to the first set, sonic architectures, we used almost all the technical elements from the venue. In order to take advantage of the room features, incredibly high spaces, we created a sort of double quadraphonic set, probably inspired by our previous concert at Quincena Musical de San Sebastián: one exterior set positioned just close to the corners at 4.5-5 meters height, and one interior set just surrounding the audience, at circa 2 meters from the floor. It is interesting to have this feeling of interior/exterior sounds, specially when you work with the distance sensation respecting to the audience. People from LCE sound department really did their utmost on perfectly positioning the speaker system as specified by not letting one single detail of our rider loose. Nina Kraszewska did an incredibly nice job by programming and handling the mixer control, patching a really complex sheet of instructions. Each one of the pieces was independently demanding in this sense.

SONic+callingHiggs RIDER

It is not frequent, at least according to our humble experience, that you find three comitted musicians at the same time with the same purpose: to get really intelectual, emotionally deep into one’s music. I think the group conformed by Akane Takada, Josetxo Silguero and Ralph Krause represents something like that. Akane’s performance was the first with us and her performance was superb, understanding Esquirlas/vacío for piano and electronics in a very personal way, dualing a sort of combative and hiper lyrical character at the same time. We got breathless during the rehearsals and concert, bravo. Josetxo made a mature version of Qumran, for bass saxophone and electronics; each time I listen to Josetxo to play this piece, I find something more and more atemporal, time-dissolved atmosphere, just the reallly flotant listening that I really wanted during the composition, planned as a kind of traveling from solid matter [concret] to the lightest of the elements [light], represented in the architecture designed by Konkrit Blu Arquitecture. The case of Ralph Krause is really special, it deserves a brief remark. First time he performed Punto Intenso contra Remisso was Salamanca, 2005, Spring time, that was the world premiere. Three years later, Spring 2008, we met again in The Hague; five years later, Spring 2013, following a perfect logarithmic interval sequence, we met in Madrid in order to do again a pendant version of the piece, that is 8-channel diffusion with live electronics written parts, unplayed until the date. it seems that certain development has been worked, as Debussy said, in complete ausence, in silence, during all these years!


Festival SON – musicadhoy

Festival SON – musicadhoy
SON[ic] architectures + callingHiggs

Sábado 9 de marzo, 22h

Patio de La Casa Encendida
Ronda de Valencia, 2

Ya está todo listo para nuestra participación en una nueva edición de Festival SON – musicadhoy el próximo sábado a las 22.00 horas, en el marco de La Casa Encendida de Madrid. Contaremos con la presencia en esta ocasión de tres grandes músicos: Akane Takada, Josetxo Silguero y Ralph Krause, quienes nos ayudarán, junto con Nina Kraszewska en el control técnico, a recrear por ver primera sonic architectures de Ángel Arranz, un ciclo de composiciones electroacústicas y acusmáticas sobre las que se engastan las creaciones de video de Beatriz del Saz. El ciclo está compuesto de un número variable de piezas, basadas e inspiradas en la arquitectura.

esquema planta Protos

sonic architectures es una propuesta creativa de largo recorrido, no finalizada aún, la cual nació en 2006 en torno al núcleo de arquitectura, música y la video creación. Se da la circunstancia que los cuatro edificios tomados como modelos son cuatro bodegas vanguardistas españolas. La aventura comenzó con Bodegas Protos, obra del Sir Richard Rogers [lo cual, atendiendo a la raíz griega del nombre, no deja de ser paradójico que éste fuera el primer edificio], para la que compusimos Piano Concerto. Luego surgió un ciclo entero sobre la misma bodega [DK <sin> para ensemble, Electronic Study, tape a 4 canales] y más adelante vinieron más edificios: Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Bodegas Qumrán y Bodegas Ysios…  y sobre ellos nuevos ciclos.

Presentaremos también callingHiggs, una flashmob donde usaremos telefonía móvil. Se trata de una pieza para 31 pistas diferentes, distribuidas entre los teléfonos móviles del público participante, con el apoyo de una tape a 8 canales que tratará de sacar partido a las peculiaridades del set octofónico que tendremos en la sala.


Si queréis participar, tendréis que bajaros vuestros mp3 a través del ordenador en casa y subirlos a vuestro smartphone, como si os estuviérais subiendo música al móvil. Aquí os podéis bajar los mp3 y os animamos a que participéis con nosotros, creando una pieza conjunta todos a una:

[d]espacio en el Koninklijk Conservatorium de La Haya

Hoy 8 de marzo de 2012 , a las 19.30 h, en la Arnold Schoenbergzaal del Koninklijk Conservatorium de La Haya presentamos  [d]espacio: serie acusmática sobre cuatro arquitecturas españolas. Música, video-arte y arquitectura.

La entrada es gratuita y el evento incluye una cata de vinos.

Still images on De la luz y del espacio by Beatriz del Saz

<<versión en español

De la luz y del espacio (On light and space) [2011]

Video 13′ 46”
Music by Ángel Arranz

De la luz y del espacio is the fourth and last piece of the series entitled [d]espacio, composed by Ángel Arranz and inspired on four different avant-garde buildings in Spain. De la luz y del espacio is based on Bodegas Qumrán, a work by the architecture studio Konkrit Blu from Barcelona. 
The piece takes as a model the resonances of the real spaces, recorded by the composer self.

To this end, a glass of wine was used as a resonator by introducing inside a small microphone. This noise-silence captured by using naturally amplified resonators was taken as a metaphor of light translated to sound. So do video animations. These are based on the real 3D model of the winery. Few colors were used in order to enhance the quality of shapes, while the duality between light and space is represented with the colors black and white. 

The video was created in close collaboration with the composer, and this made possible a special synergy with the musical discourse.

Instantáneas sobre De la luz y del espacio por Beatriz del Saz

<<English version

De la luz y del Espacio 
(On light and space) (2011)

Video 13′ 46”
Música por Ángel Arranz

De la luz y del espacio es la cuarta y última pieza de la serie titulada [d]espacio, compuesta por Ángel Arranz e inspirada en cuatro edificios vanguardistas diferentes en España. De la luz y del espacio está basada en Bodegas Qumrán, un edificio por el estudio de arquitectura Konkrit Blu de Barcelona. La pieza toma como modelo las resonancias de los espacios reales, grabados por el compositor mismo.

Para llevar esto a cabo, se usó una copa de vino como resonador, introduciendo dentro un pequeño micrófono. Este ruido-silencio capturado por medio de un resonador amplificado de manera natural fue tomado como metáfora de la luz trasladada al sonido. Así ocurre con las animaciones de video, las cuales están basadas en el modelo 3D real de la bodega. Unos cuantos colores fueron usados para ensalzar la cualidad de las formas, mientras que la dualidad entre luz y espacio es representada con los colores negro y blanco. El video fue creado en estrecha colaboración con el compositor, lo que posibilitó una sinergia especial en el discurso musical.

De la luz y del espacio, 4-channel tape

<< Versión en español

In few days it will be occurred the world premiere of our new piece, De la luz y del espacio, in Busan, South Korea. The music has been realized by Ángel Arranz and video animations by Beatriz del Saz.

About the visual aspect, the piece is inspired on the 3D plans of the building and a series of gestural suggestions, which start from the musical part. About the music, there is a particular idea of approaching the building through capturing the spaces at silence. The composer self told about the techniques were used:

Ángel went around the winery with the aim of crystallize diverse spaces’s resonances. The extracted sounds conformed the main material for the piece De la luz y del espacio, by using filtered sounds of the specific spaces of the building as a metaphor of the light program deployed by the architects through the winery design.