Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

MUSIC REVIEW

Latin America flavors fresh CalArts program

February 05, 2003|Josef Woodard | Special to The Times

Before Monday's Green Umbrella series concert at Zipper Hall, conductor David Rosenboom paid homage to American maverick Lou Harrison, who died Sunday. The annual downtown appearance by Rosenboom's CalArts New Century Players was dedicated to Harrison, a fitting gesture for a composer who crossed borders and embraced music's universality.

Crossing borders was key in the spicy and heady program of new music by Latin American-born or -based composers in mid-career. At its center was "Planos," by the late, and increasingly respected, Mexican iconoclast Silvestre Revueltas. Its suspenseful juggling of elements veered from Modernist brush strokes to bits of vernacular music in the string writing, bass riffs and beaming trumpet melodies, warmly played by Edward Carroll.

If there was a recurring theme here, it had to do with conceptual rather than ism-istic leanings. Argentine composer Ricardo Dal Farra's "Civilizations," a world premiere, presented engaging percussion ensemble writing, working gradually from primal to machine-like to chaotic sounds, a wary microcosm of civilization. Victor Varela, from Venezuela and now based in Sweden, offered another world premiere, "Axle-Asimetrica," a smart, nervy puzzle requiring bravura ensemble playing. Cellist Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick handily mastered her mercurial solo role.

Mexican composer Hilda Paredes' "Tres Piezas in Memoriam L.J." tempered its requiem with emotional twists and multicultural instrumentation, including tabla (Elyssa Shalla) and saxophones (Eric Barber and Damon Zick). "Torus," by Ecuador's Juan Campoverde, was an abstruse yet fascinating quartet in which events are flung into the air, drifting slowly downward. Brazilian composer Edson Zampronha's "Modelagem VII" was an anatomy of a deconstructed chord, systematically smashed and then subjected to attempted reassembly. It was an evening of fresh ideas from a part of the music world slowly gaining due recognition.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|