A CHILLIDA, Mercè Capdevila

A Chillida

Details of A CHILLIDA

Contact the composer to acquire it (mercecapdevila3@gmail.com) 10 pages. Duration: ca. 16:10. Fixed electronics and live modulation of the baritone saxophone with an SPX90 II device. Experimental contemporary music.

Level: MEDIUM-HIGH. Range (written): A2-F6 (or the more treble possible)

Technical elements: Altissimo register. Variety of articulations. Slaps. Keys sounds. Flatter. Portamenti and glissandi. Aeolian sounds. Trumpet sounds. Growl. Multiphonics and overtone chords.

Performance: Play with lot of energy. Keep the beat (count well the duration of rests and long notes) to play synchronized with the fixed electronics part (a chronometer can be used).

Mercè Capdevila

MERCÈ CAPDEVILA was born in Barcelona (Catalonia) and studied at the Superior Municipal Conservatory of Music in Barcelona. Simultaneously, she also studied Plastic Arts at the Massana School in Barcelona, as well as at the Kunsthand Werk Schule de Pforzheim in Germany with Professor Edward Mosny. Previously, Capdevila worked on electro-acoustic music in the Phonos Labs of Barcelona with Professor Gabriel Brncic and attended courses on composition with Luigi Nono, Josep M. Mestres-Quadreny, Coriún Aharionan, Lluis Callejo, Carmelo Bernaola, and Luis de Pablo.

Capdevila’s works have been performed in musical festivals throughout Europe, Canada and the United States. She has received many orders from CDMC, the Ministry of Culture in Madrid, as well as the Association of Catalan Composers in Barcelona. During the years 1993-94, Capdevila worked in the study of Aaron Copland from the University of New York at Queens College as a guest composer.

Monographs of her work are on three CDs and others have been recorded for CD collections, as well as playtime on National and French Radios, Kolomna’s Radio Station, Moscow’s Radio, St Petersburg’s Radio Station and Radio Neva-3.

Capdevila is a member of the Association of Catalan Composers and founder of the Association of Electro-acoustic Music of Spain.

Read more on her website.


Comments on A CHILLIDA

You can listen to this work in my album MADE IN BCN

I discovered A CHILLIDA thanks to Josep Maria Aparicio, a saxophonist resident in Barcelona since the 80’s who from then on forwarded the contemporary repertoire for this instrument in Catalunya. In addition, one of the works he promoted was precisely this one, whose composer has always been at the forefront of the new music creation of the country.

I think that A CHILLIDA is a very plastic work due to its rests (that open a temporary space to the imagination of the audience) and to the sound richness generated for the sound modulator and the electronics part as well. This is the main reason why I try to program this work in my concerts with electronics.

The reasons because I recorded this work in my album MADE IN BCN were the quality of this piece, the good relationship with the composer and, especially, in recognition of the great job that Josep Maria Aparicio did towards the contemporary repertoire for saxophone. However, we did not use the sound modulator for which it was originally written, the SPX 90 II, but a patch created by Joan Bagés with the supervision of Mercè based on the original parameters of that device from the 1990’s.

Here is a very interesting comment on A CHILLIDA by the composer herself. If you want to know more about this work, do not hesitate to contact me.

The piece is a simple support for meditation, an artifice to fix the attention, to stabilize and excite the mind.

Upon looking at the totality of the work of sculptor Eduardo Chillida, I imagined how a piece of music could be equal to his space, lines blocks or curves, which would have various meanings, attempting to underline the emptiness of the form, the primitiveness of the material, and a certain sense of the monumentality.

Forging is the procedure of the formation of metals which consists of varying the form of a piece of metal by compression, with heat, between two hard surfaces, one fixed and the other mobile. Forging modifies the structure of the metal, deforming it and dividing it into fractions of crystal.

Therefore, I chose the base saxophone because of its tone-color, because of its thickness, its flexibility and modulation in live time, and the simultaneousness with the electronic sound would give me a direct material, as in the rough, FORGING it by compression, closed and complex harmonies, where it is no longer possible to analyze neither its heights nor frequencies, nor the characteristics of its movements, nor its elasticity.

The score of A CHILLIDA consists of 5 blocks (movements) which represent 5 foundries, whose respective fires create the music of the piece. It could be said that rhythm does not exist here, but pulsations that lead us to perceive a certain sense of the archaic.

Each pulsation or harmony does not wish to be absolutely synchronic or exact, thus giving it an irregular structure, as irregular cement, or iron, or stone can be (when observing it up close). These harmonies contain an emptiness or space in each one of them, as well as an appreciation of its interior form, which, because of its diversity, creates volumes, tremors and masses. Before and after each one of them, the silence changes all perception. The silence is material-space-emptiness of different meanings, and, as in the case of each sound, has more space than material.

Mercè Capdevila

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