Ensems festival in Comunitat Valenciana! May 7-16 / September 15 -26

##This is the oldest experimental music festival in Spain.

The programme will open with a performance by Alberto Bernal and Frames Percussion.

Trio Zukan, Colectivo Mortero and Luis Tabuenca are the first artistic proposals of the festival.

The Austrian Schallfeld Ensemble will stage the premiere of the work MAAT ME.

Ensems, the festival dedicated to newly created music, will begin its 43rd edition next Friday. This year, the programme will take place in two different time blocks: from May 7 to 16 and from September 15 to 26. The shows are framed under the slogan islands – shelters – paradises, which reflects the objective of reflecting on the consequences of Covid-19 in our society. Thus, the public is invited to make an exercise of introspection and, at the same time, to approach the outside to discover and experience new sound sensations.

On this occasion, the event will feature more than 20 shows in various venues in the cities of Valencia, Castelló and Alicante. However, the main venue will be the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in the capital of the Turia. With 43 editions, Ensems is the oldest experimental music festival in Spain, held continuously since 1978, and organized by the Institut Valencià de Cultura de la Generalitat Valenciana.

Friday, May 7: Opening
Ensems will open next Friday with the project #OccupyYourself by Alberto Bernal and Frames Percussion. The Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló will host this show that will last for 12 hours, from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. During this period, five people will camp in false homes from which they will perform various pieces until culminating in an intense final phase dominated by percussion instruments. Thus, the artists will offer a proposal that combines newly created music, performance and intervention in public space. Finally, this proposal will come to Valencia in September.

Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 May
Trio Zukan is a formation born in 2014 in the Basque Country from the union of unusual instruments: percussion, accordion and txistu (traditional Basque flute). Their “sonorous looks” are multiple and varied and, for that reason, in their programmes coexist experimental staves along with other more traditional ones. This can be seen on Saturday 8 in the Aula Magistral of the Palau de les Arts de València from 19:30 hours. Thus, attendees will enjoy the pieces Begiratu by María Eugenia Luc; Luggage by heart, commissioned by the Institut Valencià de Cultura to Carolina Cerezo and to be heard for the first time; Lantz by Mikel Chamizo; Desprendida voz by Juan José Eslava, another world premiere at Ensems; Bertso by Francisco Domínguez; and Phobia by Hugo Morales. Invitations to Trio Zukan’s performance are available here:

Zaragozan composer and percussionist Luis Tabuenca will bring to Ensems his work Relay, written specifically for drums and dance. The piece is inspired by palimpsests, that is, ancient reused manuscripts that preserve traces of previous writings. In this way, the work addresses the mechanisms of forgetting and remembering through percussion and choreography designed and performed by Manuel Rodríguez. Relay can be seen on two different stages and at two different times: Saturday 8 at 6:00 pm at the Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló; and Sunday 9 at 7:30 pm in the Sala Matilde Salvador of the La Nau Cultural Center of the University of Valencia. Tickets are free of charge. However, in the second case the ticket must be processed through the website

On the other hand, Colectivo Mortero will perform at the Sala Matilde Salvador of the Cultural Center La Nau of the University of Valencia on the 8th and 9th at 6:00 pm and 12:00 pm, respectively. The quartet will perform a varied program with works by Domingo Chinchilla and David Alarcón, artistic director of the group. Other highlights include Cuando tú me leas dentro de mil años, with a selection of poems by Miguel Labordeta, and Ruidos Poblados, an absolute premiere of the festival. As usual, Colectivo Mortero will mix several elements (radio arts, theater, poetry and music) for a different and attentive listening to our environment from the prism of ecology. Access will be free, but seats must be reserved through the following link:

Monday, May 10: Schallfeld Ensemble
The first days of the Ensems festival will also feature an international presence. Thus, Schallfeld Ensemble, an ensemble based in the city of Graz, will perform on Monday, May 10 at the Teatro Martín i Soler of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia at 7:30 pm. Under the baton of Leonhard Garmin, the ensemble will perform the world premiere of Pierluigi Billone’s MAAT ME. This piece, funded by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, is part of the composer’s exploration of the concepts of solo and ensemble as hyper-instruments, elements that play a central role in his work. Through the score, the Italian composer investigates the concept of sound, the relationship between person and matter and the ritual dimension generated between them.

The program will be completed with Figure / Iconosonics 1 by Clemens Gadenstätter. On this occasion, the Austrian approaches and redefines the notion of musical figure, understood as a sound event to which an image or a meaning has been associated. The composer proposes to free these images from their traditional connotation and assign new meanings through listening. Invitations for this concert can be requested here:

Ensems is organized by the Institut Valencià de Cultura and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía. It also has the collaboration of INAEM (Ministry of Culture), the City Council of Valencia, the Palau de la Música de València, the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM), CaixaBank Escolta València, La Nau Centre Cultural (Universitat de València), Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE), Instituto Superior de Enseñanzas Artísticas (ISEACV), Conservatorio Superior de Música Joaquín Rodrigo de València, Consulate of the Republic of Lithuania, Diputación de València, Diputación de Alicante, Clemente Pianos, ENOA (European Network Opera Academies) and Fundació Visit València.

More information at

Report by ’24/7 Valencia’ team

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