Acclaimed guitarist and artistic director of SMASH ensemble, Bertrand Chavarría-Aldrete, came up with the idea of starting an “archive” – at once a series of albums and a physical collection of repertoire – encompassing contemporary Spanish guitar music, simply because there wasn’t one. Born in Lyon, France, Bertrand has been resident in Spain for more than a decade, and believes fervently in the celebration of Spain’s wealth of contemporary music, highlights of which he presents with integrity and passion on this disc.
This CD presents contemporary Spanish guitar music in all its diverse and vibrant colours. In Gabriel Erkoreka’s Fantasía the guitar-writing of Flamenco music is transformed into a modern guise, while the ‘imperfections’ of the authentic cante jondo (‘deep singing’) at the heart of Flamenco music are relished via guitar techniques such as pitch bends.
Alberto Hortigüela’s Tres tientos de Antonio de Cabezón are based on the wonderful music of that Renaissance composer, and Mikel Urquiza’s Belarretan for guitar and tape was inspired by works including Titian’s Concert champêtre. Elena Mendoza’s Breviario de espejismos reflects Los Caprichos by Goya, while Joan Riera Robusté’s Poética (supongo) draws on more recent inspiration in the form of poetry by contemporary Spanish poet Julieta Valero.
In Ezkil by Ramón Lazkano (whose music is featured on Chalk Laboratory on Odradek, ODRCD320), the composer distorts archetypes of guitar writing: the instrument’s ambiguous harmonies, scordatura tuning effects, jangling sonorities and fragile harmonics barely sound like a conventional acoustic guitar at all.