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On 17 November we premiered at the Fundación Cerezales Antonino y Cinia Tras las Aguas Leteas, a work conceived as a soundscape that tells the story of a fluvial journey through the rivers of the Greek underworld. Its composer is the young Ukrainian Adrian Mokanu, with whom we were able to live and work from 13 to 18 February thanks to the Fundación Cerezales Antonino y Cinia and Juventudes Musicales de España.

Fotografía: Juan Luís García

In Adrian's own words, Tras las Aguas Leteas "evokes the allegories of the rivers of the underworld in Greek mythology, exploring their meaning in a wider context. While the waters of Lethe granted complete oblivion to souls to start from scratch, it was believed that the river Mnemosyne could restore the memory of all previous incarnations, thus allowing the soul to reach the state of omniscience. Based on these allusions, this work interweaves constant fluidity with unchanging serenity, attempting to question the limits of continuity and temporality. Recreating a fluvial landscape that extends into endless dimensions, the sound journey becomes a metaphor that invites us to reflect, beyond myths, on the perception of emptiness after death".

But how do we manage to recreate this landscape and its profound message sonically? On this occasion, we have had to work with multiphonics, a resource very often used by Adrian in his new composition and whose sonority creates the basic fabric of the whole work. On this texture, which we could compare to the moving water of the river Lethe, other sound resources emerge that draw and model the events of the journey: air sounds, tongue rams, reverse slap, bisbigliandi, harmonic spectra and high-pitched sounds produced with the technique of teeth on the reed. As a curiosity, the work does not use conventional time formulas, but divides the musical text into 5-second periods with a life of their own and a small margin of spontaneity. This conception makes it necessary to use stopwatches during the performance in order to synchronise the different voices. Thank you Adrian, for having expressed yourself through our 4 saxophones to draw the channel of your ideas.

Fotografía: Juan Luís García

With this experience, we continue writing new titles in the list of premiered works, in line with our commitment to support the current composition for our instrumental ensemble and to approach young composers to build together the hopeful future of the saxophone quartet. 

Very soon you will have available the recording of Tras las Aguas Leteas, performed in the exhibition hall of the Fundación Cerezales Antonino y Cinia (Cerezales del Condado, León, Spain) last February 16th. We reiterate our warmest thanks to the Fundación Cerezales and Juventudes Musicales de España for supporting young musicians and for doing it with so much love and professionalism, and we are here for whatever you need!


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