REKA World premiere in Milan's MiTo SettembreMusica Festival !!! great photos by Andrea Mariniello !
Third rehearsal in Milan - crowd & soloists, Conductor Dario Garegnani, percussionists Simone Beneventi & Lorenzo Colombo meet and interact. Great photos of Nora Roitberg !
The entire frame of REKA, composed of a huge organic of performers is held within a frame created by 2 virtuoso percussions players, the Italian soloists Simone Beneventi and Lorenzo Colombo. Both of them are dear colleagues with whom I've worked in the past (Lorenzo played in my icon-sonic symphony OTOT and my solo percussions Utopie and both had performed in my Opera "Noise for Syd"), and now are taking this not simple challenge with great dedication. Simone had also invented 2 sets of multi functional mallets, which he calls the "REKA mallets" !
the "REKA mallets" of Simone
Lorenzo and conductor Dario Garegnani looking at the bass drum part
Omar Bandinu, the Bassu (low) singer of the renowned vocal ensemble Tenores di Bitti Mialinu Pira is a unique figure of the Sardinian culture. The musical style of "Canto a Tenores" is a part of Unesco's intangible treasures of humanity and his group is the main ambassador of this musical style, defined also as a pure polyphony of timbers. Omar is also a talented piano player, a musicologist, an electronic musician and an eager researcher of the Sardinian culture. With Omar we speak always in two levels - in the traditional context and in the universal level of creativity. Omar feel's this project unites of these aspects, and I'm happy about it.
In few days the rehearsals of REKA will start.
Conducting in two is far more complex than conducting in one...especially when the major part of the performers don't read musical scores :)
Me and Dario are really getting into this project into the vains
Help us choosing the right dress for Sofia Kaikov for the world premiere of REKA !!!
WORLD PREMIERE :
16/09/2014 - MiTo SettembreMusica Festival, Milan, Italy
24/09/2014 - Warsaw Autumn Festival, Warsaw, Poland.
Sofia & Jasek Kaikov are a little confused in the beginning when they view Sofia's score. Little by little we get to work. A lot of things connected to the Bukharian tradition, many new things that we need to find. But at the same time I am not only a composer working with a soloist on a score but also a guest. And aguest in the Bukharian tradition needs to eat - and to eat a lot !
Even though I come from Milan, Sofia treats me as if I haven't eaten for 2 years - and for the first time I try the magical Bukharian "Ushpilau" (rice with carrots & meat that you eat strictly with hands). At the same time, we choose an amazing exile song for an important section in the opera. There is such an beautiful connection between emotion, life and art in this culture. So, great music & Great food. Sometimes my life is really quite nice !
If you never heard the voice of Sainkho Namtchylak I envy you, since you are going to have a unique musical experience - of wonder and beauty. I know Sainkho since 2009, when I invited her to my Trialogo festival in 2009 (link). Since then we have become good friends.
In her home in Vienna we look together at her score which is a kind of an ultimate challenge of an extended vocal techniques master. I can count with my fingers of my two hands (maybe of one hand even) the soloists I know of that could hold the challenge of her part.
Sainkho is going to be the first soloist in REKA, and will need to navigate between extremes of the human voice, to create sounds, rhythms and chants, using almost every possible method of vocal production.
What a lucky composer I am to have such a great artist on board !
I know Joe Legwabe for almost 10 years. Each time he surprises me with his poetic vision of music, sound and life. He goes with me to every sonic experiment or research I wish to try, much more open minded than most of the so called "experimental" or "contemporary" vocal soloists one can meet in the scene.We work on the score and - its not easy. At a certain point he invents on the spot a new whistling technique which I needed for a section of the work, and it is just amazing. REKA work in London with Mister Legwabe is a rare treat !
Last day in Karlsruhe, we decide to work in nature. Epi is ready for the world premiere - he is going to be amazing.
Sometimes I feel I have the best job in the world.
Learning the Xhosa click language of the Zulu tribe of South Africa with one of my favorite singers in the world - Joe Legwabe.
Mid July I'm going to London to work with Joe, will be a vocal adventure !!!
Elena Casella's Choir , Musica Aperta & Conductor of REKA, Dario Garegnani are going to be the demonstrators of each part of the CROWD within REKA.
Videos will be online next week - stay tuned !
Experimenting harmonics glissando techniques of contemporary music on the Mongolian fiddle the Morin Khoor is challenging and fun !
Next week Enkhjargal and me will start rehearsing in Karlsruhe, its going to be so much fun !!!
Departing from Tradition and going to new experimentations can be a lot of fun. This is really about "playing music" & "playing with music".
It has got a lot to do with the sounds of of my hometown, where tens and sometimes hundreds of people sing in various occasions the same prayer, but each one slightly different. The end result is a vibrating intense sonic cloud which grows around you (in music it is called Heterophony).
Opposite to the western concept of choir, which is build on hierarchy, “clean”
musical performance based on accuracy and on an a priori musical knowledge, the voices of the crowd in REKA should be various and individualistic, becoming through unity an environment, a texture which covers, uncovers and indicates a sonic ambient in which the events are born.
Working with LAMA SAMTEN YESHE RINPOCHE on the 5 elements Mudra - the challange is to adapt it to time, score and conductor's indications.
Cannot wait til he will sing it with the crowd - will be fantastic !!!
I am literately working day & night on the crowd part of REKA....In one week I'm done ! please stay tuned for online tutorials, downlodable score and much fun !!!
The mantras, mandalas, chants, prayers, rituals of cleaning the the karma, breathing meditations are anchored in the voice. The human voice is a vessel in which the Bön priests are putting verbal and non verbal metaphysic meanings of their beliefs regarding the essential functions of their reality.
It is interesting to reflect about the use of vocals in the Bön culture and in Buddhism in general, in comparison to the musical use of "Amen" in the European Cristian liturgy - while both carry a function of a meditative word rather than an informative word (even though that in Hebew the word "Amen" carry many meanings deriving from its root A.M.A.N - which could hint art, practice, faith, artist) the Catholic tradition use its AMEN either as a closing pattern (all musical parameters go down) or as a rich base of musical movement and decoration (Melisma in musical terms), the vocals demostrated by Lama Samten are a rapresentation of the constant, the invariable, the eternal. This opposing difference - or complimentary relations if you wish - makes me think of the great debate between Heraclitus of Ephesus and Parmenides of Elea:
Working with a LAMA
Lama Samten Yeshe Rinpoche is around my age. He was born in a small village in Tibet and from the age of 8 had entered the Bön Buddhism as a monk. he studied with great masters, and also had been the music Master of 400 priests in a temple. He hold a Doctor in philosophy degree and is teacher of the sacred masks dance of the Bön tradition. Now he is based in Paris and travels all around Europe to teach meditation and philosophy. I meet Lama Smten in the apartment of Judith, his assistant and a new dear friend of mine. In 2 minutes we become friends. He tell me that he will donate his payment for the concerts to his order and that the project has a lot in common with the Bön belief of peace, dialogue and compassion between men beings. It is important for him to explain me his motivation for the project, since some of the things I ask him to do are very sacred and also sometimes secret within the Bön culture.
The score of REKA has notes, textual indications, graphic indications and also 10 visual artworks that soloists, percussionists or the CROWD interpenetrates with their instruments or voices.
HERE is REKA n.8 - Birds background - from the CROWD part
REKA CROWD SCORE IS READY - YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE ENGLISH SCORE RIGHT NOW !
I first met Sofia and her husband Yatzek when we collaborated on my opera KOLOT in 2008 (for the curious ones, you can check it out on : http://kolot-opera.com/). Bukharian Jews are fantastic. Their food is great, their clothings are great, their stories are great - and Sofia & Yatzek are my favorite Bukharians in the world ! during the years, each time I came to Tel-Aviv I tried to jump for a coffee at Sofia's house. Each time the coffee had transformed to a fantastic dinner. Sofia is a great singer, and a daughter of a great singer.