CONTEMPO[R]AN[EUS] 20[23]

 

A CONTEMPORARY MUSIC DAY IN REUS

I had in mind for long to carry out an activity about contemporary music for all audiences. With the experience and complicity of my partner of adventures, composer and sound artist Joan Bagés i Rubí, we at last organized a day to give visibility to the music composed nowadays.

As its name implies, CONTEMPO[R]AN[EUS] was ideal not only because it is the Latin translation of “contemporary” but also because it contains the name of the city where host this meeting.

Reus has a wide range of cultural and leisure activities (Trapeze Festival, Mime and Physical Theatre Festival COS, European Short Film Festival, etc.). However, the city hadn’t any contemporary music festival since 2011, after the fourth and last edition of CONTEMPORÀNICA Festival.

Reus also has the ideal venue for all kind of experimental and multidisciplinary activities: Centre d’Art Cal Massó (which already hosted Contemporanica Festival). Cal Massó is an old liquor factory with excellent acoustics and design and spatial configuration to this style of music.

Watch the video teaser:

As you have already watched above, CONTEMPO[R]AN[EUS]  will take place on Saturday 28th October 2023, afternoon/evening and it will be divided into three sections or blocks of varied formats and contents:

Block I – OPEN DOORS, from 4pm

CONTEMPO[R]AN[EUS] starts at a concert with works of small format (solo and with electronics). The programme consists in works composed mainly in the XXI Century which contains some world premieres (*).

Fàtima Hidalgo, Joaquim Subirats, Nil Arcas, Joan Bagés, Carles Martí and myself will play works by Juanjo Villarroya, Cindy McTee, Joan Arnau Pàmies, Hideki Kozakura** and Elena Leonova*, respectively.

Block II – OPEN MINDS, from 5.30pm

We also wanted to include a dissemination activity at CONTEMPO[R]AN[EUS]. This way, the second block will be a talk with composers from the region Carlota Baldrís, Josep Maria Guix, Ramon Humet, Joan Magrané and Joan Arnau Pàmies. They will give us their own artistic and personal outlook on new music.

We would love that performers and the audience would take part of this discussion to give a wider and larger vision about music nowadays.

Block III – OPEN EARS, from 7pm

CONTEMPO[R]AN[EUS] will finish with the performance/concert of SPIDER for baritone saxophone, trumpet and electronics by Joan Bagés. Joan, my brother Carles (it is always a pleasure to play with him!) and I will play the final version (we already premiered it in Barcelona in August 15th) of this amazing work.

As the composer says:

The work explores the space as a container of depending relationships between sound and gestures. It is a kind of spider web where musicians, electronics and audience will interact among them. As well as musicians pass through the space, the audience is also invited to explore the byways of Cal Massó by producing some sound actions. The whole work is the result of the fragility of the current moment, where psychological strain becomes tangible due to the interdependence of the different elements that will take part in the performance.

In this work/sound installation, Bagés explores our too much interdependent world where the individual and collective freedom decrease, despite what some may think. Loss of control and inability to take free decisions generates violence, anguish, depression and hopelessness.

To finish, we would like to thank to the City of Reus Cultural Department, to Associació d’Amics del Jazz de la Ribera d’Ebre and STIM (Svenska Tonsättares Internationella Musikbyrå) Forward Fundation, for supporting CONTEMPO[R]AN[EUS].

Joan Martí-Frasquier
Reus, September/October 2023

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