Official web site of Javier Torres Maldonado

article on imagenes de la caida de altazor

Stellar chords.

by Gabriele Bonomo.


The new work to be performed in Strasbourg is inspired by the verse of Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro

"Imágenes de la Caída de Altazor, in three movements, is inspired by the first and second poem on Altazor (1919), the important collection by Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro.

Their subject is Altazor's (presented as the poet himself) fall towards the earth, having launched himself with a parachute towards death. In the first two poems there is the description of the fall and of all the images Altazor sees or imagines while falling, as if he observed the earth from another planet. These are images of rare beauty which would be hard to describe in a few words.

The most surprising fact is that while we read the first two poems we discover that Altazor's fall proceeds at different speeds, or is even momentarily suspended - at a certain point his parachute gets tangled in a star passing by - and still he falls, falls ineluctably.

The first piece (Jeux des étoiles) captures images of stellar-chords - that glow for Altazor, light up, extinguish or change colour. In fact this piece is made only of a play of vertical situations and colour changes of the sequences in the last movement.

The second piece, Interludio, beside creating a better balance in the general form, presents a very simple and interesting use of the strings of the piano (to be played with "toy" mallets), while the vibraphone and marimba are played with the hands, without mallets. The resulting sound is surely seducing.

The third movement, the biggest one, takes its title from a quote of the first poem (Prefacio): "Y ahora mi paracaídas cae de sueño en sueño por los espacios de la muerte" and is inspired by the actual fall of Altazor and its sudden changes of speed, translated in spectral sequences which are superimposed. These spectres are gradually transformed until they lose their spectral identity and are almost always displayed in a descending movement, at first very slowly but with an irregular tendency towards a very accentuated final acceleration.

Page number 52 of Imagenes de la caida de Altazor.
(Reproduced with the kind permission of the Edizioni Suvini Zerboni - Milano.)

© 2003, excerpt of the homonym article published in the ESZ News magazine, Edizioni Suvini Zerboni - Milano.

Listen to an mp3 recording

IMAGENES DE LA CAIDA DE ALTAZOR (2003) for 2 pianos and 2 perc. ( 14’ )
Work in 3 movements:
1. Jeux des étoiles.
2. Interludio
3. Y ahora mi paracaidas cae de sueno en sueno por los espacios de la muerte.
Strasbourg, Théâtre des Lisières, 18.3.2003 - Ensemnble du CNR de Strasbourg.
Score published by the Edizioni Suvini Zerboni - Milano.