The 44th edition of the Ensems festival kicks off today with a party starting at 22:00h in the Ágora del Diseño located in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento in València. Attendees will be able to listen to the sound proposals of DJ Tekiero, Diego Navarro and DJ Cute Aggression in an event that is part of the collaboration between the festival and València World Design Capital 2022. It should be remembered that Ensems is the oldest event dedicated to newly created music in Spain. This year, the event organised by the Institut Valencià de Cultura (IVC) and will run until 25th of September, under the slogan #Finestres and will once again be a showcase for avant-garde proposals from around the world.
The Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía de València, the main venue of the Ensems festival, will open the doors of the Teatro Martín i Soler on Friday 16th of September for the premiere of the chamber opera Zelle: Wenn es dunkel wird (Cell: When it gets dark) by the British-Chinese composer and director Jamie Man with texts by the Swiss writer Peter Stamm. Both have worked on the search for the truth behind reality in a show influenced by the dark surrealism of David Lynch, the narrative montage techniques of the recently deceased Jean-Luc Godard and Japanese Nō theatre. The performance will begin at 19:30h and tickets are available from the Palau de Les Arts website for €20 (https://bit.ly/ensemszelle). The production is part of the European Network Opera Academies (ENOA) project.
From 22:00h, the Plaza Viriato in València will host a tribute to the composer Iannis Xenakis by Alxarq Percussió and Amores Grup de Percussió with the collaboration of the Orfeó Universitari de València conducted by Francesc Valldecabres. The public will be able to listen to Idmen B, a piece for percussion sextet and mixed choir based on the texts of Hesiod’s Theogony, and Persephassa, a reference point in the process of exploring the kinetic dimension of sound. In this way, Ensems wishes to remember one of the most interesting creators of the last century in the centenary year of his birth.
As in previous editions, the Ensems festival will take part of its programme to Castelló de la Plana and Alicante. Thus, the Orquesta ADDA Sinfónica will perform at the Auditorio de la Diputación de Alicante on the 16th at 8:00 pm under the baton of Josep Vicent. The programme includes works by Iannis Xenakis, with the performance of the piece Metastaseis; J.J Peña Aguayo, with the work Mosaicos de arena errante, a fusion of Puerto Rican rhythms and orchestral arrangements with the participation of Spanish Brass; David Moliner, with the concerto for percussion and orchestra Figuratio I. Mein logos; and Óscar Navarro, with the world premiere of the symphonic poem Alí y Cántara. The concert will also be staged on Sunday 18th at 12:00h in the Auditorium of the Palau de les Arts de València.
Diversity of instrumental and vocal projects
The ensemble CrossingLines will perform on Saturday 17th at 19:00 h in the Aula Magistral of the Palau de les Arts with a programme based on the figure of the Greek composer Georges Aperghis. Some of his famous recitations for solo voice will be performed. In this case, the pieces have been chosen for their treatment of the sequencing of rhythm. In addition, the Barcelona-based ensemble will perform the work L4DD by the Valencian composer Pablo Carrascosa Llopis. This is a score of mixed music for voice, clarinet, percussion, piano and modular synthesizers that continues the composer’s previous work in the rhythmic field.
Later on, at 22:00h, SoXXI and Neopercusión will meet again with the figure of Iannis Xenakis in a recital that will take place in the Plaza Viriato in Valencia. These two local ensembles will perform the scores X-intersection, commissioned by the Institut Valencià de Cultura to Esther Pérez Soriano, and Pleiades, by the composer. The first is a piece for percussion sextet specially arranged in X accompanied by the screening of the documentary Oriente-Occidente by Enrico Fulchignoni, Pierre Henry and Iannis Xenakis. The second is dedicated to Les Percussions de Strasbourg and includes the participation of six metallophones tuned microtonally with open basic patterns and where each of the performers must create their own instrument and sound.
Also, on the same Saturday 17th, the percussionist and contemporary creator Luis Azcona will premiere the show /EMPTY/HANDS at the Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló at 7pm. Azcona will perform the pieces unhörbar. unspielbar. Nichts, commissioned by the IVC to Helena Cánovas; Mani.Mono by Pierluigi Billone; and (Neo)liberal sytems #4: Entertainment by Alberto Bernal with the accompaniment of video projections made by Azcona himself. The project reflects the performer’s interest in physicality in the manipulation of sound and the poetic-choreographic play of the hands. /EMPTY/HANDS can also be seen on Sunday 18 at the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM) in the capital of the Turia at 12:00 and 17:00.
Presence of new technologies
The ensembles Proxima Centauri and E-MEX, pioneers of contemporary music, will meet at the Martín i Soler Theatre on Sunday 18th at 19:00h under the Focus project. The nine musicians of both formations will offer a concert with a scenography and lighting that combine current musical writing with new technologies to provide the audience with an immersion in a unique sound and visual universe. The musical programme includes the world premieres of works by Argentinean composer Martin Matalon, French composer Raphaèle Biston, Valencian composer Voro Garcia and French-Swiss composer Mio Chareteau.
On Monday, 19th September it will be the turn of the Lumina Ensemble and the show Escala de blaus. The septet of saxophones, percussion and cello will attack a repertoire of newly created music written by Valencian avant-garde composers such as Ximo Cano, Ángela Gómez, David Leal, José del Valle and Iluminada Pérez, from whom the IVC commissioned the piece Variacions il-lumina. The repertoire will make clear the inseparable relationship between the Valencian land and the sea. Thus, the blue that lasts all year round in our sky and that is present in different shades in the Mediterranean is the identifying element of a culture where music will be the main means of expression.
Admission to all performances, except for the opera Zelle: Wenn es dunkel wird, is free by invitation. These can be obtained through the official Ensems festival website: https://ensems.ivc.gva.es/programa/.
The Composition Meetings and parallel activities
For the past 34 years, the Ensems festival has also hosted the Composition Meetings, a meeting point for professionals from the new music sector. The programme includes conferences, round tables and workshops with the aim of bringing creative work closer to the festival’s audience from a more specialised perspective and becoming a contact point for creators to share their compositional processes. The Encounters will begin on Monday 19th of September at 9:00 a.m. in Room 109 of the Conservatorio Superior de Música de València with the participation of the Argentinian conductor Martin Matalon. In the afternoon, at 4:00 p.m., the German singer Frauke Aulbert will take part.
Finally, Ensems will analyse the phenomenon of the party as a dynamic and complex expression in Party Studies. On this occasion, the activities will focus on a very specific phenomenon: the Ruta del Bacalao or Ruta Destroy. Thus, on Friday 16th at 18:00h at the Spook discotheque, Brandon LaBelle and Pol Esteve will be taking part. A day later, at the same time, there will be a tour of the Spook and Chocolate clubs with a talk by Mauro Benavides and the screening of Es Imposible No Puede Ser, apuntes para una película de vampiros en la Ruta del Bacalao, by Andrea González. In both cases, places are limited and prior registration is required at www.ensems.ivc.gva.es.
Postponement of the B3:Brouwer Trio concerts
The B3:Brouwer Trio will not be able to perform at the Ensems festival as planned… due to the temporary indisposition of one of the members of the ensemble. The ensemble was to perform the show La esencia y lo intangible at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Castelló (16th), at the Auditorio ADDA (21st) and at the Aula Magistral of the Palau de les Arts (24th). These concerts will be scheduled again, in the coming days.
Report by ’24/7 Valencia’ team
Article copyright ’24/7 Valencia’
More info: https://ensems.ivc.gva.es/