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program note on figuralmusik


About the cycle Figuralmusik.

by Beth E. Levy.



Torres Maldonado's Figuralmusik is a trptych of works for increasing numbers of instruments: the first one is a quintet, the second existis in two versions (Figuralmusik II requieres ten players, Figuralmusik II/a is composed for the same 10 players and digital electro-acoustic support) and the last is for three soloists and string orchestra.

According to the composer, "The three-piece cycle Figuralmusik" (1996-1998) originates from the fascination that I have always felt for perceptive illusions, translated into impossible objects in physical reality, and, above all, for the results of the interlacing planes and perspectives used by Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Escher."




Giovanni Battista Piranesi: ''Drawbridge''. Etching from ''Carceri'', Rome, 1745.



In all three pieces the composer seeks "the maximum reduction of elements" that can constitute a given object, comparing his own paring down process to that used in Escher's monofigural lithographs, which create entire pictures from a single "figure" or shape:


escher


For Figuralmusik I and II, Torres Maldonado draws his basic unit from three simples elements, he writtes, "grace notes, chords, resonance or absolute silence. By expanding, contracting, and transforming these basic materials, he alters the way we perceive the musical events as they unfold. The rapid juxtaposition and superimposition of different temporal schemes -fluctuations in tempo and meter, but also changes in the relative density or scarcity of sounds -allow Torres maldonado to achieve aural effects akin to those of an optical illusion.

(2001, text by Beth E. Levy for a program note for a concert performed by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.)

Listen to mp3 recordings of Figuralmusik I and Figuralmusik II/a



Figuralmusik I (1996.)
Ensemble (flute, Bb clarinet, violin, violoncello and piano.)
Duration: 6'.
Mexico City, Auditorio “Simón Bolivar”, May 1995 - BSM Quintet.
Score published by the Edizioni Suvini Zerboni - Milano.


Figuralmusik II (1996.)
For 10 players (10’)
(Fl. - Ob. - Cl. - Fg. - Perc. [Vibr., Glock., 2 Ant. cymb. , 2 G . Jav, Tt., Ps., Fr., Bass drum] - Pno. - V. - Va. - Vc. - Db.)
Siena, Palazzo Chigi Saracini, August 1996 - Ens. dell’Accademia Chigiana di Siena, dir. G. Garbarino.
First Prize, International Composition Competition "Ad Referendum II" of Montreal.
(See also: electro-acoustic with instruments.)
Score published by the Edizioni Suvini Zerboni - Milano.


Figuralmusik II/a (1996.)
For 10 players and CD (10’.)
(Fl. - Ob. - Cl. - Fg. - Perc. [Vibr., Glock., 2 Ant. cymb. , 2 G . Jav, Tt., Ps., Fr., Bass drum] - Pno. - V. - Va. - Vc. - Db.)
Madrid, 12.03.2007, Auditorio 404 of the Museum "Reina Sofia", CDMC concert season. Laboratorium Ensemble, cond. Aurelian Azan Zienlinski.
Score published by the Edizioni Suvini Zerboni - Milano.


Figuralmusik III (1998) for flute, oboe, clar. and string orchestra (8/9’)
Milano, Palazzina Liberty, 10.05.1998 - fl. C. Tasini, ob. F. Rizzi, cl. A. Giandomenico, Orch. Milano Classica, cond. F. Meloni.
Score published by the Edizioni Suvini Zerboni - Milano.


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