The title of these compositions is related to the painting Cabeza de la montaña (The Mountain Head), of the Ecuadorian painter and sculptor Oswaldo Guayasamin. Although this is not a descriptive music, the poetic idea and the confined force in Guayasmin’s painting impregnate the imaginary around this piece
“I met Jean-François Laporte for the first time in May 2012. I went to his atelier in Montreal in order to choose one of his instruments and to make some records for my new piece. During this meeting, Laporte showed me one by one all of his inventions. I was genuinely impressed with his research and with the sonorous qualities of his new instruments.
At first, the choice of the instrument seemed very difficult. I found in each one of them unique sound qualities and technical possibilities that have caught my attention. However, bit by bit, the choice became obvious as I became extremely captivated with the Siren Organ. Its power, its richness, as well as imposing qualities of its massive sound determined my choice. The first mental image I had of my new composition was a sonorous monolith built around these characteristics.
A few months later, I met Marie-Chantal Leclair for new exploratory sessions with the instrument. During these meetings, we explored a register that was different from the one of massive sounds: the Siren Organ operating at minimum or medium pressure producing harmonics dressed by colored air sounds. This has revealed to me an intimate dimension of the instrument’s personality, a blending of beauty, fragility and instability contained in sounds that nonetheless remained rich.
After these ultimate experiences, my choice of the sound material and the vision of the soul of the new piece began to transform themselves into a project of a more meditative music. This change has initiated several working versions of the composition, each one of them seeking for the best adjustments between the possibilities of the instrument, the musical material and the new spirit of the music. Two new concert pieces were born from this composition process: Cabeza de Montaña I for tape, and Cabeza de Motaña II for Siren Organ, tape and live electronics.”
The electroacoustic part of Cabeza de Montaña II was released at the electroacoustic studios of the Mexican Center for Music and Sonic Arts (CMMAS), with the financial support of the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affaires.
Cabeza de Montaña II is dedicated to Marie-Chantal Leclair and Jean-François Laporte. The piece was commissioned by Productions Totem Contemporain and Ensemble Vortex, with the financial support of Foundation Nicati-de-Luze.