24/7 VALENCIA: Could you tell us more about how the experiences of self-discovery influenced the creation of your project?
FEDERICO NATHAN: I have always been passionate about people’s roots. Somehow, this subject connects me with the essence of life and the fact that we are all one, but still, we feel different from each other since we all come from different backgrounds.
As a musician from Uruguay with German, Jewish, Spanish, Turkish, and Indigenous roots (and that´s what I know so far), I have always been fascinated by the idea of Diaspora and the way it shapes our identities.
This project started as an exploration of the different musical traditions that have shaped my identity and how they can be brought together to create something through my musical vocabulary. From the human point of view, ‘Diáspora’ is a response to everything and everyone that abandons and has abandoned their place of origin and a reflection about exiled people from different cultures and ethnic groups throughout human history
How did you go about selecting the musical elements and compositions to create this unique blend of music?
The first piece I composed was a Symphonic Suite called “Salsipuedes´´ (2020) which is a tribute to the indigenous cultures that have suffered genocides throughout human story. What a subject! I was so amazed by the Uruguayan Indigenous culture (Charrúas) and all the controversy around this particular genocide that I got so inspired and wanted to promote their story with my music. “Salsipuedes´´ is part of ‘Diáspora’ and will be premiered with the Montevideo Philarmonic Orchestra on the 29th of November in Uruguay as a celebration of the Charrúa Culture.
A couple of years after I wrote ‘Salsipuedes’, I felt something different about paying tribute to just one particular culture. Even though it is impossible to involve in one concert every single country that have been affected by the Diaspora, exile and genocides, I wanted to be less specific about which country I’m referring to and focus more on the area that these cultures come from. This is the reason why I changed the idea of just paying tribute to Uruguay Charrúas but instead, I do include all South American Indigenous cultures.
The same happened with my recent piece ‘Abraham’s vibes’ that ended up referring to the Middle East region, and not to a particular culture.
Selecting the musical elements and compositions for this project was a challenging but rewarding process, so I drew on a wide range of musical traditions, including klezmer, Arabic, Armenian folk music, South American folkloric and classical music too.
For ‘Diáspora’ I also enjoy collaborating with other great musicians who brought their own unique perspectives and experiences to the project.
How do you see music’s role in addressing social and historical issues?
Music has always played an important role in addressing social and historical issues. It has the power to bring people together, to inspire change, and to give voice to those who are marginalized or oppressed. In this project, I hope to explore some of these issues through music and to create a space where audience can feel the ‘Diáspora’ experience from a humane and spiritual point of view.
How do you hope the audience will connect with the theme of your project?
I think the audience will connect on a personal level…especially in these times, with all the terrible news coming from the Middle East situation at the moment.
‘Diáspora’ is something that affects many people around the world, and I believe that music has the power to bring us together across cultural and geographic boundaries. I hope that this project will inspire the audience to think about their own identities and how they are shaped by their cultural heritage. On a deeper level, I expect to reach the soul of each listener and transmit a feeling of unity, compassion and love by the end of the concert.
Can you give us some insight into your future musical plans?
On the 24th of November, I’ll be releasing ‘Dialogo’, my first album as a duet…together with my brother Maximiliano (Vibraphone). This is a very exciting project in which an amazing Chamber Orchestra from France and Macedonia contributes too.
My String Quartet (the Cuareim Cuartet) is also releasing ‘Jazz Stories’ album in December. We are planning our album presentation European tour for 2024.
Meanwhile, I´m arranging for an orchestra all of the ‘Diáspora’ music. Montevideo Philarmonic will perform part of it this November, but I´m looking forward to promote more of this material in order to cultivate a bridge between the international Classical music and popular scene.
You can buy your tickets for the concert here: https://movingtickets.com/Entradas-Federico-Nathan-Project-concierto-en-Matisse-Club-Valencia/
Interview by Konrad Leśniak
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
FEDERICO NATHAN PRESENTS ‘DIÁSPORA’
C/ de Campoamor, 60,
Phone: 685 24 00 14