Review of Arauco by Forestare, (2012, ATMA Classique)
After their debut in 2007, the Foresters spend five years before returning to the studio to record this new “Arauco”. If “Foresting” had been a record pointing on Reich and Brouwer’s names to introduce less famous composers, resident in Quebec, this “Arauco” is a much more articulate project that focuses on the suite “Arauco: por fuerte, principal y ponderosa … “by composer Javier Farias, composed to celebrate the heroism and the stubborn resistance of Mapuche people against the Spanish invasion that shocked the South American population in the XVI Century. Based on the epic poem “La Araucana ” written from Alonso de Ercilla y Zuniga between 1553 and 1557, this work in nine parts is conceived as a sort of musical duel between flamenco guitar and Spanish inspirational music and Mapuche rhythms performed by the ensemble and a classic guitar soloist.
The idea of this album was born in 2008, thanks to a musical and cultural exchange with another guitar ensemble, the Ensamble de Guitarra de Chile directed by Javier Farias himself: “Two similar ensembles, at the two extremities of the Americas, both espousing the cause of native rights! It was artistic love at first sight. “writes Alexandre Ethier in the booklet accompanying the cd.
The other three tracks continue the musical development path that began with their first cd: the three composers, Raphael Reed, Pascal Sasseville Quoquochi and Francois Gauthier are all three from Quebec. Raphael Reed is the author of “A Path in the Wood,” part of a work in three movements, based on the story of a man who discovers a new earth, remains excited at the beginning, unless he finds out its internal contradictions.
We have already met Pascal Sasseville Quoquochi and Francois Gauthier in the first record of 2007, Racines of Quoquochi is a journey into the world of trees and their roots, a metaphor for the life force of peoples and their nations, followed by “Chaman” performed in the previous cd. “Mille Pattes” by Francois Gauthier is the name of the millipede, an evocation of the habits of this insect. “Arauco” shows greater maturity than “Forestare” and, above all, presents a series of compositions with a particular flavor between contemporary and folk tradition that can represent a new road a new potential repertoire for contemporary guitar.