Writings and Thinkings

Humanism in music

"One of the most beautiful phrases that a listener has said about my music is the ability to feel in a state of emotional catharsis to which it will never return unless it is heard again. Therefore, we, the composers start from an obvious premise: the communicative dialectic of the sound code itself is the necessary engine for the transmission of our message. Numerous scientific studies corroborate this; these analyzes affirm that the aforementioned visual interaction has a definite influence on the final sound result; between the conductor and an orchestra, between the musicians of a chamber formation, between the composer and the artistic director ... if we keep this statement in mind we can deduce that a musician who truly esteems music and values it as a noble and pure, must take into account the human value implicit in it, so it is their moral duty to act with human values towards musicians who perform their creative vision. As I write this review, a phrase resounds in my memory that one of my main professors, the French composer Pascal Dusapin assured in Geneva; "I treat musicians as if they were my children, the better I treat them, the better they respond to my music and consequently perform it better. The human treatment of closeness and warmth with those around me is essential for me, we benefit from all... ". Similar facts when I attended last week in Berlin, (with reason of my artistic composer residency), to the rehearsals of my mentor Jörg Widmann where he premiered his new work Labyrinth IV under the baton of Daniel Barenboim along with the Boulez Ensemble and where I could discover the high degree of esteem that the Berliners have to Widmann not only for his indisputable musical quality, but for his affable treatment towards them, creating a unique golden between them...

And that it is evident that we, the composers, have as one of our deepest aspirations the transcendental value of our artistic production; In my personal case and recognizing my youth as a composer, I am already assimilating the musical art not only as a way of transcendental communication between society and the artist, but as a moral value that not only affects the artistic virtue, but also the judgment human being that is implicit in it. Virtue that on the other hand leads us, the artists, to a way of inexorable rebellion against the masses; against the slavery of thought to which contemporary society advances with fervor; as a cultural force that helps to become aware, courage impulse to human beings through the power of the will, (as Schopenhauer would say). Behind it there is an obvious premise: art, whether we like it or not, is in itself an action of rebellion from the creation of a work to the public exhibition, through the production of the event. In this, the artist, producer, cultural manager and even the recipient implicitly have an insult to create, produce, present and admire.

But as Edward Said would say, humanism is the only form of rebellion we have against inhuman practices, which can also be applied to musical art; the creators and interpreters can decide to ride together towards this rebellion or not depending so much on the human treatment of the composer, director as of the interpreters themselves. Of the first if they manage to create an ideal environment for the second ones to feel unique and essential in their work of transmitting a sound ideal; and of the interpreters themselves because even though these are one of the most faithful professions, (always under the orders of a teacher), they can revolt at the stroke of unshakeable firmness and thus destroy batons, creative minds and so on, (as happened in social political context in the French and Industrial Revolution respectively).

So humanism is the most powerful social communion to feel valued in a given environment, whether social or in our case music. A simple dirty look of incomprehension, anger or contempt can make the sound change remarkably,..., to avoid this we must all work together a bond of communion and understand that music itself needs our deepest humanism for its full existence."

Idealism and entertainment

"The German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel says about music: music must elevate the soul above itself, create a region where, free of all anxiety, can take refuge without obstacles in the pure feeling of itself.

In fact realism and art do not belong together. Since from the social separation of art promoted at the end of the 19th century by the bourgeois revolution, art itself has become an escape route for the society in which it was created. It is not less nowadays, it increases remarkably, in a world in which entertainment prevails; in fact the difference between both has been increasing until now in which we find authentic musical calamities ....
So what is art? art is an action of rebellion, (from the creation of a work to the public exhibition, going through the production of the event). The artist, producer, cultural administrator and even the receiving public must have a minimum of idealism to create, produce, present and admire.
Why do I say that he is rebellious? Because art and culture make the human being develop a critical judgment, we can expand our mind to new horizons and have new patterns of sensitivity, in a few words it gives us freedom in many ways. This means that those of us who have the opportunity to see, create or spread the culture, we become more aware of our world, we can question life and propose new idealistic visions.
On the other hand, we have entertainment, which is understood as those activities related to leisure, events or actions that serve to distract and relax the mind. These may be related to artistic manifestations, sports, new technologies, etc ...

So, what is the difference between art and entertainment? Art makes us think and forget entertainment. Art makes us criticize the system in which we live, entertainment makes us admit the reality we want to impose. Therefore, any creator, (whether musician or not), must have a certain dose of idealism in his philosophical conception of the subject to which he is dedicated. Such idealism is necessary to open horizons and expand its aesthetic approach to the rest of humanity."

Visualization in music

"Sound is relative for each of us; the purpose that each composer wants to give about his message is very personal; if we analyze, however, the evolution of musical history until the 20th century, we observe a path where precision in musical notation is increasingly accurate and seeks a path in which the performers have a perfectly understandable code that speeds up the sound interpretation process. It happens the same with corporality, but the only difference is that the history evolution not only relate the musicians but also the public. If a certain composer needs the public to reach an optimum and objective degree of understanding his work, it is necessary to use visualization as an organic part of the work since only by hearing we cannot reach an objective message from it.
If we therefore understand that visualization is as important as sound itself, we will determine that music is no longer only sound physics, but also a corporal visual field.
This is the premise with which the school of instrumental corporality started. 

Perhaps some composers differ from such an aesthetic approach, because they may not seek such a conception of total art, but those who do look for it, (at least in Richard Wagner or in my own case), if we interrelate our musical message with the emotional one, (since our own thinking emotionally, our sound result must inevitably be, so music has an inevitable emotional component), we will come to shape an artistic universe in which for the first time if the material will have a clear and objective component for the public; (if we see a violinist crying tornly while performing a certain passage, the music will inevitably sound sad for public and vice versa; is clearly verified by scientific studies).

However, there are some obvious premises that must be remembered in order to preserve the sound autonomy of music: first, musical quality must preserve its firmness with respect to emotional conceptual genius and second, as is evident, the composers are dedicated mainly to sound treatment; to work with all these visual questions, it is important to create collaborations with other visual artists so that they can enrich our approach when it comes to artistic conception."