Title of the work: Un lume per lo mar (2016-2018).
Composer: Javier Torres Maldonado.
Dadicatee: Jakervine Arditti and the Arditti Quartet.
Publisher: Edizioni Suvini Zerboni - Milano (for more information please send an e-mail to my publisher).
Year of composition: 2016, revised 2018.
Commission: Centro Nacional de las Artes of Mexico with funds of Ibermúsicas.
Prize and Composition residence: Ibermúsicas. Composition residence at the Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico City, 15 to 29 July 2016.
World premiere: 06.12.2018, 40 Foro Internacional De Musica "Manuel Enriquez", Palacio De Bellas Artes, Sala Principal, Mexico City.
Score (only with authorization)
Two world premieres for Javier Torres Maldonado this Autumn. On October 6 (2018) in the Grande Sala of the Teatro Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, during the Foro Internacional de Música Nueva “Manuel Enríquez”, Jake Arditti, countertenor, and the Arditti Quartet will perform ...Un lume per lo mar... for countertenor and string quartet, commissioned by the Centro Nacional de las Artes (Cenart) in Mexico City with the support of Ibermúsicas. Torres Maldonado, in 2016 “composer in residence” at the Cenart, explains: «Three fragments from different texts form the basis of the score of ...Un lume per lo mar...: the first is from the second canto, Purgatorio, of Dante’s Divina Commedia, the second is a short poem by Shakespeare (The Phoenix and the Turtle) and the third is a poem by Francisco de Quevedo (Salamandra frondosa y bien poblada). The link between these comes from the poetic object that characterizes them, namely the impression of iridescence that a bird in flight can give to the observer, due to the reflection of the light or because it really is a phoenix; this produces a very suggestive ambiguity given that it can be associated with processes of transformation of the musical material. The idea of iridescence is not new in my music and in the past it was translated into different techniques I used for the first time in Iridiscente for piano, percussion and electronics, but in the case of ...Un lume per lo mar..., it adds the different resources of the human voice, starting from the timbre of the countertenor. However, the score does not use just the timbre and register typical of this voice, but there are also some “digressions” into the lowest register, which serve to create timbral links of a different nature with the lower registers of the instruments of the quartet, or also ambiguities deriving from the particular amalgams of timbre that involve strict microtonal zones, as well as transitions between different vowels associated with techniques of transforming the timbre of the string instruments that are used to blend the whole into complex luminosities. In addition to these resources, there are ways in which the voice transcends the precise meaning of the text, making it more abstract, thanks to the extrapolations or emphasizations of the phonetic components. The opposition and complementarity of the texts depends not only on the poetic images they contain and on the sound of the languages in which they are written (Italian, English and Spanish), but also on their musical manipulation deriving from their superimposition; at certain moments this translates into a sort of almost liquid fluidity, while in others madrigalistic figures arise, often fragmented in correspondence with segments that filter from different structural levels towards the music».