About my new album

(Updated in April 2018)

#MadeinBCN is the result of several years of work with different composers who have or have had any kind of connection with Barcelona, city that has often been the meeting point between creator and performer.

The singularities of Barcelona have made it one of those few cities in the world that go beyond borders and make itself known and recognized abroad.

The recorded works come from a very careful selection of original pieces for baritone saxophone, solo and with different types of electronics, written in the last 20 years. Each of them will pose a very personal approach to the instrument and extracts an extraordinarily rich timbre result.

I hope you appreciate this sound universe and that this disc does not leave you indifferent: each work is capable of creating different moods if you listen to them with your ears and mind open.

Watch the video-teaser:

The Repertoire

As I told you above, the repertoire is a selection of lots of original pieces I worked on last years. Here is a personal comment on each work:

A CHILLIDA, for Baritone Saxophone live modulated and Fixed Electronics (1997) by Mercè Capdevila

For me, each beat is like a blow with a blacksmith hammer. The baritone saxophone and the electronics produce multiple resonances that make me imagine sparks, flashes and other bright and sound effects. I imagine small tools for accurate tasks in the sections where the pulses are softer, and big machines that bend and shape large stoned or ironed structures in the most hectic sections.

TIME FIELDS I, for Baritone Saxophone solo (2002) by Hèctor Parra

When I perform this work, I focus the attention and tension (that’s not just a play on words) in the tempo, since the fluctuations and constant interruptions distort their perception. It is said that the extreme difficulties of the music of the “New Complexity” (which could include this piece) create a strong link between performer and work. Surely this will be one of the reasons why I recorded it in the disc.

SOUND PORTRAITS IV & IVb, for Baritone Saxophone solo (2014) and Live Improvised Electronics (2016) by Enric Riu 

This piece led me to do a detailed work of experimentation on the sound possibilities of the instrument and on a kind of improvisation guided by some indications of the composer who, instead of developing melodies on a harmonic base, rather suggests a search of timbres. In the electronic version I include different rests in order to make room for the electronics to create a sort of sound trail.

VIA, for Baritone Saxophone solo (2013) by Joan Magrané

This piece suggests something magical, oneiric to me. It starts and ends in the limits of sound and silence, integrating the air and breath in a faint and sinuous musical discourse. The closer to the middle section (the climax of the work), some short descendent excerpts, like small cries, appear giving a perturbing atmosphere, and the sound of the saxophone becomes more present. The central part is burning like fire (as spoken in the recitation, extracted from the Virgils’ Aeneid) and hard like a strike.

HOLOFONIA v1.1, for Baritone Saxophone and Live Electronics (2015) by Joan Bagés i Rubí

Whenever I play this piece I imagine myself inside the tube of my baritone saxophone circulating among the turbulences generated by the different ways to blow, the beats of the keys and a great amount of noises that exist but are not perceived in a standard way of playing the instrument. This game becomes even more exciting with the interaction of electronics, modifying, amplifying or distorting this broad spectrum of sounds creating, at the same time, a richer universe.

18, for Baritone Saxophone and Tape (2009) by Joan Arnau Pàmies

I wanted to close my second solo album with a work that give some pause and rest, necessary to think of and put in place everything heard in the disc, in addition to have a not conclusive ending in order to let the imagination of the listener flow. According to my way of thinking, 18, a work of apparent simplicity but no less interesting artistically, contains these elements.

INTERLUDES AND POSTLUDE

The idea of including a short piece between each work instead of the usual pause, was no other than to create a common thread to the disk. These interludes lead to the Postlude in the very end of the disc. This has been my humble tribute to one of my most admired artists, Frank Zappa, whose records and concerts were a musical discourse continued, surprising and with a great coherence.

Watch the Teaser 1 (Postlude):

Read more about each work on the COMMENTS section from the Blog.

I wish you enjoy this album!