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Enigma between two tunings

The pianist Fedor Veselov performed, a few months ago, Homenatges Enigma by David

Llorens i Guillaumes, his first work composed by hybrid piano. As a gift to the audience, the

room was infused with the vividness and light that Fedor Veselov drew from the bells of the

new piano.

David Llorens y Guillaumes decided to be a composer when, while still an eight-year-old

piano student, he saw the small pieces that Mozart composed at four. "If he did this at 4, I

can do it at 8." Then he got excited about the film Amadeus. Later, it is clear, he became a

composer. "Dedicating yourself to songwriting is difficult, especially when you start saying you want to get paid for your work." This led David to find the web of someone named Sergey Gogolev who was looking for composers for his project. He got in touch and sent him some songs. Sergey liked them and invited him to hear the sound of the timbre. Thus, David Llorens i Guillaumes became the first composer for ACOUHYB.

The first concert led him to reflect on which authors would be enriched with the new sound.

"Debussy would fit in his most impressionistic phase, the last Liszt -when he became a priest

and composed religious music-, Satie... Especially the post-Romantics of the 19th century.

Also the minimalist and light music of Tiersen and all his followers. And some composers

from home, I will not say the names because some are already in contact with Sergey and I

do not want to squash the surprise." As for the timbre, "I have read the other articles, and I agree with what all the musicians said; it is a melancholic, crazy, new, nostalgic sound... But I don't think they have taken my word for it yet: movement. For me, the sound of the hybrid piano is alive, I have the feeling that it can never be still. "

I asked him how he translates this sensation of movement to the pieces. "Using accords with

open fourths and fifths, augmented, novenas, slow beats and long notes. It is about allowing

time for this movement to be felt in the vibration. However, this cannot last the whole piece;

it is fortunate to be able to change the bell and make things faster. In the case of the work

Homenatges Enigma, I wrote it when the piano did not yet have the possibility of changing

the timbre by means of the pedal, so the faster and more dissonant movement is almost all

written in the low register of the piano, where the notes have only one string and the sound

"crazy" is not possible. "You have to feel it to understand it. "It's funny that, when you try it

with the interpreters, you see that there are places where you didn't expect the bell to

sound good and it does. Then you change it."

With Fedor Veselov, the interpreting pianist, they got on right away. "He loved his first work.

We have seen each other, we have often met (well, not so much, we do not always have as

much time as we want), we have a similar vision of what art is, how it should be

interpreted... Sometimes I am even surprised by the way he interprets. It is nice to see how

someone contributes to the piece based on what you have done. Naturally, the interpreter

must do his part to overcome the "coldness" of the score. The composer often gets lost in

harmonies, resonances, dissonances ... And it is the interpreter who has to find

expressiveness from the outside. Sometimes I would go beyond pointing out dynamics,

ligatures ... And let the interpreter choose them. "

David has composed about everything for cameras, couplets and orchestra, and has gone

through many types of groups and instruments (curiously, he has created little for piano).

Homenatges enigma (“Tributes Enigma”) is a piece composed exclusively for a hybrid piano.

It has a continuation called Reflexions, a piano and cello duo, which was performed by the

DeLis Duo on May 8 of that same year (in the article about this concert we analyze the piece

more thoroughly). "At Reflexions I no longer thought of any composer, I wanted it to be

more personal and to experience what I could do with this timbre. It is quite different from

everything I have composed. I consider it to be my best work, despite having done others

afterwards." It may be that in a short time we will listen to a trio, composed for a long time,

that has waited for the other two pieces to be released to appear and add one more

instrument to the harmonies of the "crazy" timbre. "I would like to continue experimenting with these and new ringers."

David often proposes ideas to Sergey and he advises him, from the knowledge of the technique. "Maybe it occurs to me to play the strings with my fingers to change the sonority, and Sergey says to me: man, this will fill the strings with grease and they will rust! Well, it's an example, this was done a long time ago, but illustrates the idea. "

David Llorens i Guillaumes defines his style as eclectic. "I am classically trained and I love it,

since I discovered Mozart. Now I no longer take it as much as a reference and I am also

attracted to impressionist music, twentieth century and contemporary music. Perhaps due

to rebellion with the family I went from Stravinski to Ligeti, Stockhausen... On the other

hand, I listen to a lot of modern music, rock, heavy metal, Catalan rock... In the work

Reflections, for example, there is a very heavy metal passage. I confess that I really liked

groups like Metallica and Guns and Roses. Well, Guns and Roses only until I saw how they

played live." "When I compose I am more cerebral than sentimental. I can't imagine neither the green field with flowers nor the terrifying scene. Afterwards some images may come to you, but I start out being cerebral. My composition process is to start looking for sounds. I erase more than I write, I close things. Until there is a moment when the piece takes me and I forget the rest. Then I have to set alarms so as not to forget daily routines. At this moment, the play is in charge, and not me. "

Homenatges enigma is so called because it is inspired by various composers who, according

to David, fit the timbre a lot." It is the least personal work I have because someone always

remembers... Some parts can become plagiarism." I asked who the composers were, and he

emphasized that the second part of the name is "enigma". He couldn't tell me. "In fact, we

made a game for Facebook where we posted fragments and people had to try to get it right. It was funny, because people often told names that weren't what I had in mind, and I found that they might have fit in, too. Anyway, it was not very successful."

Following the anecdote with Facebook, I asked him about the music world nowadays." He is

lost. We have a lot of popular, electronic and independent music of a low level; everything is

prefabricated and repeats the same structures, and therefore, everything sounds the same.

And those who fight for an innovative contemporary music, perhaps vertiginous, are in a

corner and have no projection. Even here there are good works and others that sound

terrible; as in a painting exhibition, not all doodles are well done. And classical music has an

audience with a very high average age, and it will soon run out of it. I think that it should put

an end to the "fuddy-duddy" of the concerts. This aura of ephemeris of the big halls is not

visual; the musicians come out speechless and with bitter faces, always performing the same

works by the same composers. I think that one is needed. more modern staging, with lights

and smoke to catch the audience, and that you can go to see a concert in a more relaxed

way. Maybe even have a drink while listening to the music."

In this context, the ACOUHYB project is trying to make its way. "I think it will be difficult

because nowadays what succeeds is electronics. I like the acoustic better. One thing is to

play instruments, the other one is that the computer makes the music for you. I really liked

the idea of searching for a new sound with acoustics. I love it but it goes against the

current." Or maybe we like it because it goes against the current. "It is still in process; it is

very new. Sometimes, with Sergey we talk, looking for new ring possibilities. Usually, he has

already thought about your new ideas. It is a project which is alive and has a lot of chances

for evolution." The ACOUHYB project has the liveliness of a dynamism always with one foot

against the current: a whole acoustic whirlwind.

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