InnerSound 2012

Click here to edit subtitle


Sigma Project: UTOPIAS

Posted by innersound on August 7, 2014 at 8:10 AM

 VORTEX | Thursday, September 18


8 p.m. | The National University of Music in Bucharest | The Opera and Multimedia Studio



SIGMA Project Saxophone Quartet

Andres Gomis (soprano sax), Angel Soria (alto sax), Miguel Angel Lorente (tenor sax), Josetxo Silguero (baritone sax)


Works by:


Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) - Sonata in F Major L230 /K350 (Allegro) *

Ramon Lazkano (1968 ) – Jalkin, 2012 +

Carlos Gesualdo di Venosa (1564-1619) - Tu m´uccidi, o crudele (Madrigal) (1611) *

Simone Movio (1978 ) - Zahir V 

Chasses Anónimas del Ars Nova (s. XIV) - Tres dous compains (Chace) *

Diana Rotaru (1981) – Fly in Amber (Romanian Premiere)

José Manuel López López (1956) - Simog / Civitella, 2011 +

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) - Sonata in A minor L223/K532 (Allegro) *


+ Works dedicated to and premiered by Sigma Project

* Salvatore’s Sciarrino Transcription

Photo: Michal Novak



Salvatore Sciarrino – ‘Pagine’ and ‘Canzionere da Scarlatti’

Sciarrino (Palermo, 1947) boasts of being born free and not in a music school. He started composing when he was twelve as a self-taught person and held his first public concert in 1962. But he considers all the works before 1966 as an developing apprenticeship because that is when his personal style began to reveal itself. There is something really particular that characterizes this music: it leads to a different way of listening, a global emotional realization, of reality as well as of one’s self. And after forty years, the extensive catalogue of Sciarrino’s compositions is still in a phase of surprising creative development. After his classical studies and a few years of university in his home city, the Sicilian composer moved to Rome in 1969 and in 1977 to Milan. Since 1983, he has lived in Città di Castello, in Umbria.

He has composed for: Teatro alla Scala, RAI, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Biennale di Venezia, Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Fondazione Arena di Verona, Stuttgart Opera Theatre, Brussels La Monnaie, Frankfurt Opera Theatre, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, London Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Suntory Hall. He has also composed for the following festivals: Schwetzinger Festspiele, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Witten, Salzburg, New York, Wien Modern, Wiener Festwochen, Berliner Festspiele Musik, Holland Festival, Alborough, Festival d’Automne (Paris), Ultima (Oslo). He was published by Ricordi from 1969 to 2004. Since 2005, Rai Trade has had exclusive rights for Sciarrino’s works. Sciarrino’s discography is pretty extensive and counts over 100 CDs, published by the best international record labels and very often awarded and noted.

Apart from being author of most of his theatre opera’s librettos, Sciarrino wrote a rich production of articles, essays and texts of various genres some of which have been chosen and collected in Carte da suono, CIDIM – Novecento, 2001. Particularly important is his interdisciplinary book about musical form: Le figure della musica, da Beethoven a oggi, Ricordi 1998.

Sciarrino taught at the Music Academies of Milan (1974–83), Perugia (1983–87) and Florence(1987–96). He also worked as a teacher in various specialization courses and master classes among which are those held in Città di Castello from 1979 to 2000.

From 1978 to 1980, he was Artistic Director of Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Academic of Santa Cecilia (Roma), Academic of Fine Arts of Bavaria and Academic of the Arts (Berlin), Sciarrino has won many awards, among the most recent are: Prince Pierre de Monaco (2003) and the prestigious Feltrinelli International Award (Premio Internazionale Feltrinelli) (2003). He is also the first prizewinner of the newly created Salzburg Music Prize (2006), an International Composition Price established by the Salzburg Land.

In 2006 his new opera Da gelo a gelo, coproduced by Schwetzinger Festspiele, Opéra National de Paris and Grand Théâtre de Genève, was performed to great acclaim. In 2008 La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra performed his 4 Adagi and 12 Madrigali were premiered in the summer of the same year in a portrait series dedicated to him by the Salzburg Festival.

‘Pagine’ and ‘Canzionere da Scarlatti’ (2002)


Today the transcription has become, or is once again, a noble enterprise. Composers and musicians no longer disdain transcription, and audiences react to them with enthusiasm. For Salvatore Sciarrino, however, transcriptions and compositions occupy an equally important place. Both are elaborations based on existent or non-existent material; both are destined to be played by musicians, whether grouped in a 'traditional' way or not. Sciarrino has been involved with the two activities for thirty years. A parameter that influenced Sciarrino in choosing pieces for 'Pagine' was the fact that four instruments of the same family and of complementary pitches were involved. The Saxophone Quartet is something like the string quartet, although it does not make use of the highest register. Sound plays a considerable role in Sciarrino's works, and is never the result of former speculation. The 'Canzionere' was written after 'Pagine' and is like an extension of the latter. Sciarrino has never before transcribed Scarlatti Sonatas, unlike the other works of the other composers assembled in 'Pagine'. Although Scarlatti's music has profited from the early music movement over the past few decades, it is still relatively unknown to mainstream musicians.


Ramon Lazkano – Jalkin

Ramon Lazkano (Donostia-San Sebastián, 1968 ) studied composition in San Sebastian, Paris and Montreal with Francisco Escudero, Alain Bancquart, Gérard Grisey and Gilles Tremblay; he was awarded a First Prize of Compositionat the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris in 1990 and received a DEA degree (PhD Evaluation Degree) in 20th Century Music and Musicology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. His piano concerto Hitzaurre Bi earned him, at the age of 26, the Prince Pierre de Monaco Foundation Prize and shortly afterwards, in 1997, a jury chaired by Luciano Berio gave him the Leonard Bernstein Jerusalem Composition Prize for his Auhen Kantuak. In 2007 Ramon Lazkano was awarded the Georges Bizet Prize by the French Academy of Fine Arts; he was also a prizewinner of the Institute of Music and Drama Arts and the Colegio de España. Resident composer for the Joven Orquesta Nacional de España in 1998, he had the opportunity of composing several pieces which were performed, among others, at the Auditorio Nacional de Madrid and Berlin Konzerthaus. In 1999 he was resident composer at the Musica Festival and the Strasburg Conservatoire at the same time as Luis de Pablo. His residence in Rome (first at the Royal Academy of Spain, then at the Academy of France Villa Medici) allowed him to carry out a reflection on composition and its meaning, focusing mainly on intertextuality, silence and the experience of sound, all of which giving birth to pieces as emblematic as Ilunkor (2001, commissioned by the Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa), Hauskor (2003, a commission of the Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid) and Ortzi Isilak (2006, commissioned by the Orquesta Nacional de España). In June 2012, the Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester conducted by Peter Eötvös played Ilunkor in the Munich Musica Viva series. Kairos Music published a monography cd with these three major orchestral works (Ilunkor, Ortzi Isilak, Hauskor) performed by the Basque National Orchestra and conducted by Johannes Kalitzke.


Between 2001 and 2011, Ramon Lazkano worked on Igeltsoen Laborategia (The Laboratory of Chalks), a large collection of chamber music pieces divided into various cycles, which echo sculptor Jorge Oteiza's "experimental laboratory" and more particularly the concept of chalk as a matter of inscription, erosion and memory linked to childhood; the aesthetic purpose of the Laboratory led to Mugarri (2010), commissioned by the AEOS Spanish Association of Symphony Orchestras and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra. The pieces of the Laboratory were premiered in Austria, Germany, Poland, Mexico, France and Spain. In 2010, the Ensemble Recherche offered two portrait concerts in Bilbao (BBVA Foundation series) and Frankfurt (Oper Frankfurt); as a result of this close relationship, a monography cd was published in 2012 with the cycles Wintersonnenwende and Errobi, as well as Egan-2, recorded at the Ensemblehaus (Freiburg). In 2011 he was composer in residence with the Ensemble 2e2m, which gave four concerts with his music and published a French-English bilingual monography about his work; the last piece of the Laboratory of Chalks collection, Egan-4 (2010-11), was written and premiered in Paris during this residency.


The Ars Musica Festival 2012 in Brussels honoured his music, premiering the new string quartet Lurralde written for the Diotima Quartet and programming the complete Egan cycle with Musiques Nouvelles conducted by Jean-Paul Dessy. Ars Musica also premiered the final version of Main Surplombe after Jabès for soprano and ensemble in March 2013.


Among the festivals programming his music: Ars Musica Brussels (2013, 2012,1996), Musica Viva Munich (2012), Unerhörte Musikreihe Berlin (2012), Festival de Alicante (2012, 2001, 1999), Festival Hispano Mexicano Puentes (2012), Impuls Halle (2011), Gamper - Bowdoin Music Festival (2011), Salzburg Biennale (2011), Ultraschall Berlin (2010), Festival Internacional de Monterrey (2010), Nuova Consonanza Rome (2010), Novelum Toulouse (2010, 2000), Osterfestival Innsbruck (2009, 2010), Bludenz (2009), Warsaw Autumn (2008 ), WhyNote,Dijon (2005, 2007), Moscow Autumn (2007, 2005, 2003, 1996), Printemps des Arts Monte Carlo (2004), Musica Strasburg (2005, 1999), Présences Radio France París (2003, 1992), RomaEuropa Rome (2002), Europäischer Musik Sommer Berlin (2001), New Music Now London (2001), Philharmonic Green Umbrella New Music Series Los Angeles (1999), International Society of Contemporary Music Copenhague (1996), Musica senza Frontiere Bologna (1995), Youth Music Forum Kiev (1993), Gaudeamus Muziekweek Amsterdam (1991, 1992). His music has been performed, among others, by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Hermitage Orchestra, Orquesta Nacional de España, Orquesta de Radiotelevisión Española, Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa, soloists of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orquestra de Cadaquès, soloists of the Russian National Orchestra, soloists of the Orchestra of Monte Carlo, and the ensembles Ictus, Recherche, Smash, l'Instant Donné, Wiener Collage, Cairn, Taller Sonoro, Trio Arbós, Accroche Note, Plural Ensemble, Les Jeunes Solistes, Sigma Project, ... He has been commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn, the French Ministry of Culture, BBVA Foundation, Société Générale Foundation, Basque Council of Culture, ABRSM London, Radio France, etc.


Ramon Lazkano gave orchestration lessons at the Strasburg Conservatoire and taught composition at the Higher Academy of Music of Catalonia in Barcelona. He is currently teaching as professor of orchestration at the Higher Academy of Music of the Basque Country "Musikene". Since 2003, he is the advisor for the contemporary music series of the Quincena Musical festival in San Sebastián.


Jalkin (2012)

Lazkano wrote it without stridency, in a personal poetic defined by the implementation of a conforming will which, as it is the case –there is already a Jalkin 2–, requi- res the extension of the compositional impulse in a proliferation of works intimately linked, in what is probably his most recognized series, Igeltsoen Laborategia (Laboratory of Chalks); In Jalkin, the poetic brand of Lazkano, student of Grisey in Paris, is highly recognizable: the reduction of the sound to its minimum conditions of possibility, the extremely smooth consideration of auditory development, and the enlivening of a rarefied tonal environment by means of spare and precise gestures, from multiphonics to slap, from the elusive intervallic figurations to a trill, or the precise gradation of air emission.


José Manuel López López – Simog/Civitella

José Manuel López López was born in Madrid in 1956 and studied piano, composition and orchestral conducting in the Upper Conservatory of Music. Encouraged by Luis de Pablo, he settled in Paris in 1986 to further his studies of computer-related composition at Paris University 8 with Horacio Vaggione and at the Ircam with Tristán Murail among other maestros. He has taught at that University since 1992, and currently directs the composition workshop. With a French government scholarship, in 1996 he lived in Kyoto, an experience which led to profound inflection in his way of thinking about timbre and musical time. He was awarded the Spanish Ministry of Culture’s National Music Prize in 2000. In 2004, he premiered his opera La Noche y la Palabra (the Night and the Word), at a time when he began his collaboration with the painter José Manuel Broto. He has also been teaching composition since 2005 in the Upper Conservatory of Music of Zaragoza. Between 2008 and 2010 he was Artistic Director of the National Auditorium of Music in Madrid. In 2011 is appointed music adviser of the BBVA Foundation and participate as "Composer in Residence" for the Master Class Summer Academy "Mozarteum in Salztbourg. He is member of the Densité 93 association in Paris. His works had been published by (Universal Music Publishing Group), Transatlantiques and Enry Lemoine in Paris.


Simog/Civitella (2012)

The saxophone quartet SIMOG / CIVITELLA, commissioned by the Community of Madrid and dedicated to Sigma Project, is made on the basis of temporal and harmonic ideas and processes which are transcended and placed in a field of timbre, micrometric and granulation. Such temporary accumulation of particles reaches the limits of instrumental speed and places our perception between the instrumental and the electronic, in a hybrid between the electronic and granular synthesis. Key aspect of this quartet writing is the circulation over time through metric modulations which, like tunnels or walkways, allow us permeate characteristics and temporary states of energy extremely close or extremely far apart from each other. Modulations and granulation melt, creating what I call Metric Granulation, which gives character and gesture to the work, which also goes by overlapping processes and a chain of multiphonics sounds (multiple sounds produced by monophonic (theoretically) instruments as saxophones). This implies a poetic sound, my poetic sound, which is difficult to describe in words: "Let’s, then, listen to the work” (José Manuel López López)


Diana Rotaru – Fly in Amber

Diana Rotaru (b. Bucharest, 1981) studied composition with Ştefan Niculescu and Dan Dediu at the National University of Music in Bucharest and with Frédéric Durieux at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (Erasmus). She participated in different courses such as Acanthes (Metz, 2008 ), Voix Nouvelles-Royaumont (2002 and 2006), or the International Bartok Seminary (Szombathely, 2003) - - thus interracting with composers such as Sciarrino, Harvey, Ferneyhough, Loevendie or Jarell.


She was a resident at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris (the George Enescu grant from the Romanian Cultural Institute, 2007), and at Villa Sträuli, Winterthur (2011), at the invitation of Ensemble TaG. She has won numerous prizes, among which the Romanian Academy’s George Enescu Award (2010), the ISCM-IAMIC Young Composer Award (World Music Days, Vilnius, 2008 ), the Irino Prize (Japan, 2004) or the George Enescu Prize ex-aequo (Romania, 2003 and 2005).


Diana Rotaru is a member of the syncretic group SeduCânt, artistic director of SonoMania ensemble and co-artistic director of InnerSound New Arts Festival in Bucharest. She is currently teaching at the National University of Music in Bucharest where she also coordinates the Romanian Music Information Center (CIMRO).


Fly in Amber (2010)


Fly in Amber is a mini-suite inspired by Scottish artist Graeme Todd’s paintings, a very powerful personal aesthetic revelation of the past years. Like many of Todd’s works, the three short pieces are three imaginary landscapes, apparently monochromatic, that overlap different levels of perception or memory. The four saxophones (SATB) are treated as an organ, a single voice with different inflexions, the soloistic moments being very rare. The first part, Frozen and misterious, is a slow, repetitive and homophonic introduction that flows through 15 chords and 7 timbrical colours. The second part, Boldly, with nerve and echoes, is centered on melody, on hidden echoes and imaginary folklore. Very delicately but stubbornly hypnotical, the last part, explores another means of hypnotic trance: the repetitive mechanism. Fly in Amber is a comission of the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet. (Diana Rotaru)







Σ (S I G M A)

“Summam in dicabimus signo Σ”. With this statement, one of the most important mathematicians in history, Léonard Euler, inaugurated in 1755 the use of the capital letter sigma (eighteenth of the Greek alphabet) as a sum symbol. Since then, Sigma represents the sum of a finite or infinite series of elements.

Photo: Michal Novak

October 2007: under the name SIGMA PROJECT, four renowned saxophone soloists, firmly committed to musical creation –Andrés Gomis, Josetxo Silguero, Ángel Soria, Miguel Romero–, decided to revolutionize the landscape of Spanish chamber music… and enjoying themselves doing so. Their commitment to renew not only the saxophone repertoire –with particularinterest in symphonic works–but also the space and the staging of concerts, has aroused the interest of many composers, whose close collaboration with SIGMA PROJECT, have produced unusual premieres, such as those created or four bass saxophones!: Lalibela, for 4 bass saxophones and Symphonic Orchestra, by Xavier Carbonell or Chaman for saxophone quartet and electronics, by Thierry Allá.

Always open to new projects, collaborations and interactions with other disciplines, SIGMA PROJECT continues to emphasize its thinking, study and research of sound, constantly seeking and implementing new technologies, without ever despise a good conversation until dawn...

After its debut at the Kursaal Auditorium (69ª Musical Fortnight, San Sebastian, 2008 ), wearing rigorous and Stockhausen-like white clothes (color that would become their usual trademark) Maestro LUIS DE PABLO wrote:

“If I had to summarize in two words the personality of the saxophone quartet SIGMA PROJECT, I would not hesitate: originality and perfection. Originality, in the young inventive way of approaching the ceremony of concert and the performed works; perfection, because that playful, daring spirit not only adds to the rigour and depth, but increases the strength and passion. It is a pleasure, a joy to share music with them: they communicate it, give it life.” Luis de Pablo (Madrid, December 2008 )

Since then, with unanimous recognition of promoters, public and critics, Sigma Project has performed at many of the most important Spanish venues (National Auditorium of Music, Teatros del Canal, National Museum for Contemporary Art Reina Sofia in Madrid, International Music Festival of Alicante, Fundació Pilar i Joan Palma de Mallorca; Ensems of Valencia and BBVA Series of Contemporary Music and Musikaste (Basque Country)… In 2012, they also visited Italy, Scotland and Mexico.

They have surprised the audiences with premieres and first performances in Spain of composers like Sofia Gubaidulina, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Philippe Leroux, Massimo Botter...;they have performed with Maestros Arturo Tamayo (RTVE) and José Ramón Encinar (ORCAM), among others, and have received works by composers of the stature of FelixIbarrondo(Aikan, that earthly force!), Juan José Eslava (sinuous poetic sound in L'Oeil…), José Manuel López López (fascinating his musical imagination in Simog/Civitella!), Jesus Torres, Ramon Lazkano…They have all sent their scores enough in advance from opening day!

Soon, SIGMA PROJECT will "whiten" works by Iñaki Estrada, José Luis Torá, Sergio Blardony, Alberto Posadas, Hector Parra and Raphael Cendo. Essentials: their two self-produced DVD (one of Spanish music and another dedicated to the Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina). SIGMA PROJECT performs with SELMER instruments and VANDOREM accessories.

Categories: Encounters in Time and Space 2014, Performers