Report on Visionas Sonoras
Mexico City and Moralia (Mexico), September 20–28, 2006
University of Manitoba
In September 2006, I attended the first half of the Visiones Sonoras Festival in Mexico City. Organized and directed by composer Rodrigo Sigal, the festival “aims to create links between artists and students, create new audiences and promote the creation of new work.” During the four days of the festival (and an additional four days in the city of Morelia, which I was unfortunately not able to attend) there were a diverse series of concerts, lectures, workshops and discussions related to music and technology.
Activities included: Daniel Schachter (Argentina) discussing new models of interactive discourse between instruments and electroacoustics; a presentation by Stefano Scarani (Italy) on his experiences with the group AGON; a report by Lukas Ligeti (USA/Austria) about his recent work with electroacoustic music in Africa; a workshop given by Pauline Oliveros (USA) on improvisation and the practice of “deep listening”; Hans Tutschku (Germany) speaking about real-time improvisation utilizing electronics.
The evening concert “Electroacústica global” contained the following works:
- Erdem Helvacioglu (Turkey) — Below the Cold Ocean
- Stefano Scarani (Italy) — Oquedades
- Edson Zampronha (Brasil) — Sentimiento plástico
- Tae Hong Park (Korea) — Bass X Sung
- Volkmar Klien (Austria) — Rauschgold
- Javier Alvarez (Mexico) — Temazcal
On the second day of the festival, Daniel Schachter (Argentina) and Edson Zampronha (Brasil) described a collaborative Latin-American recording initiative, La Red de Arte Sonoro Latinoamericano (RedASLA), and Françoise Rivalland (France) gave a workshop on the relation between sound, gesture, text and improvisation.
During the evening concert “Electroacústica humana” the following works were played:
- Pablo Ortiz (Argentina) — Sol de medianoche
- Chih-Hung Weng (Taiwan) — Bardo
- Lukas Ligeti (Austria) — Solo
- Simon Vincent (United Kingdom) — Mosaic
- Javier Alvarez (Mexico) — Acuerdos por diferencia
- Pauline Oliveros (USA) — Pauline’s Solo
On Friday, Javier Alvarez (Mexico) presented a lecture exploring compositional strategies for combining instrumental and electroacoustic sounds, and Thomas Gardner (United Kingdom) gave a workshop on cello and real-time electronics.
The Ensemble S:I.C presented works by Tutschku and by the ensemble itself in the evening concert “Electroacústica en tiempo real.” The ensemble is made up of: Hans Tutschku (Germany), piano and electronics; Rozemarie Heggen (Netherlands), contrabass; and Françoise Rivalland (France), percussion, objects and voice.
- Hans Tutschku (Germany) — Das Bleierne Klavier
- Ensemble S:I.C (Germany, Netherlands, France) — Le son brut
Complementing the concert the previous evening, Hans Tutschku (Germany) presented an analysis of his piece Das Bleierne Klavier. Further presentations included: Francisco Colasanto (Argentina) explored compositional approaches to Max/MSP; Simon Vincent (United Kingdom) spoke about the uses of technology by DJ’s.
The evening concert presented works using electroacoustics and violoncello, with cellists Thomas Gardner and Iracema de Andrade performing.
- Ambrose Seddon (United Kingdom) — Fouram
- Richard Nance (United Kingdom) — Analogies of Control
- Daniel Schachter (Argentina) — Fantasmas urbanos
- Thomas Gardner (United Kingdom) — LipSync
- Sergio Luque (Mexico) — Happy Birthday
- Javier Alvarez (Mexico) — Musique pour les Court-métrages
Overviews of the International Electroacoustics Scene
One of the noteworthy aspects of the festival was the series of regional overviews presented by various guest composers. These provided an excellent introduction to both current and historical activities in many parts of the world. These included Korea (Tae Hong Park), Turkey (Erdem Helvacioglu), Taiwan (Chih-Hung Weng), England (Simon Vincent) and Austria (Volkmar Klien).
On the scene in Latin America a round-table discussion of music education and technology was presented by Antonieta Lozano (Mexico), Daniel Schachter (Argentina), Edson Zampronha (Brasil) and Javier Alvarez (Mexico). Edson Zampronha offered a Brazilian answer to new challenges in recent electroacoustic music.
In addition, the Morelia portion of the festival included presentations on musical activities in Guatamala (Renato Masselli), France (Sebastien Chatron), Greece (Phivos-Angelos Kollias) and Venezuela (Adina Izarra).
On Thursday I presented a lecture on Canadian electroacoustic music. Considering the limited time frame allotted (one hour) I tried to offer some degree of overview balanced with some degree of historical perspective. Excerpts that I played included:
- Hugh Le Caine — Dripsody (1955) [on SONUS.ca]
- Bengt Hambraeus — Intrada: “Calls” (1975)
- Francis Dhomont — … mourir un peu: Thème de la fuite (1984–87)
- Gustav Ciamaga — Pour M (1987)
- Sergio Barroso — La Fiesta (1989)
- sylvi macCormac — penny: a process (1998) [on SONUS.ca]
- Ian Chuprun — “I was very safe… in my dream” (1998) [on SONUS.ca]
- Michael Matthews — Away, tear away (2003)
In addition to playing musical excerpts, I spoke a bit about some of the regional activity in Canada, mentioning many of the studios and giving a bit of background on their history and development. A brief question and answer session closed the presentation.
Visiones Sonoras was well-organized and remarkably diverse. The breadth of the æsthetic perspectives presented was refreshing. I look forward to future editions of the festival.
Visiones Sonoras 2006 http://www.visionessonoras.org
Rodrigo Sigal http://www.rodrigosigal.com
All photos contributed by Michael Matthews.