Timbila Miquel Bernat

Xi for Timbila of Mozambique and electronics by Ricardo Climent

March 2013

(ca 9min) 2012 by Ricardo Climent
The Mbila (plural timbila) is a xylophone-like instrument from Mozambique ancestor of the modern marimba, first mentioned by a Portuguese missionary in the 1300s. The Timbila's orchestras serve many purposes, ranging from religious to traditional ceremonies of the Chopi people. This hand-made instrument and its associated culture were close to extinction since the liberation from Portuguese colonial rule in 1975, which was followed by a horrendous ca. 15 years of civil war. Among a number of efforts to reinvent the instrument's approach, a group of percussionists Drumming-GP from Porto led by Miquel Bernat and with the advice and training of Matchume Zango brought a complete set of timbilas to put together a full Orchestra in Europe and commissioned Western composers to write for these instruments. Xi for timbila (real and virtual) explores the nature and idiom of the instrument throughout live interactive media, composing for solo Mblia, (the Chilanzane, usually consisting of 18-19 keys). The dynamic media part (as tape) including the Dibhinda (bass, usually 10 keys) and the Chinzumana (double bass, with three large keys) is interpreted using a combination of fixed media and 3D virtual models of the latter instruments created in Blender3D game engine and using Audaspace Audio Library (open GL) for sound.

  Xi for timbila <- Click to enlarge sample page / below excerpts
Ricardo works in areas of music composition and interactive media, involving the use of audio and visual metadata. Since 2006 he serves as Director of the NOVARS Research Centre, University of Manchester in UK and previously held a lecturing position at SARC, (Sonic arts Research Centre, Belfast). Ricardo has also served as resident composer and researcher at the JOGV Orchestra in Spain; Conservatorio of Morelia in Mexico; Sonology - Kunitachi College of Music, Tokyo; LEA labs, at the Conservatorio of Valencia; the Cushendall Tower- In you we trust; Northern Ireland, at CARA- Celebrating Arts in rural Areas, cross-border Ireland, N.K. Berlin and at the Push Festival, Sweden. He was involved in the creation and coordination of a number of collaborative projects, such as: The Microbial Ensemble, (sound installation performing microbes, with Dr Quan Gan); The Carxofa Electric Band (a children's project with vegetables and Electronics with Iain McCurdy); The Tornado-Project (a cross-Atlantic set of works for flute, clarinet and computer for American wind virtuosi Esther Lamneck (clarinet) and Elizabeth McNutt (flute)); Drosophila Tour (a dance-theatre work of a blind fly with KLEM and Idoia Zabaleta); Hồ- a sonic expedition to Viet nam, (a 3D interactive piece for game engines), project manager for S.LOW, (a cross-disciplinary project in Berlin) and for locativeaudio.org, in partnership with NoTours.org, escoitar.org and Institutions in UK and abroad. For more visit: www.acousmatic.org

Wooden Mind for 7 timbilas of Mozambique by Jean-Luc Fafchamps


Jean-Luc Fafchamps
Member of the Ensemble Ictus, he participated in numerous projects, both in the field of concert music (creation of works by Lindberg, Reich, Aperghis, Mernier, Leroux, Harada, Francesconi , ...) and in the mixed experiences, especially with dance (many premieres with Rosas).
First designed for theater and dance (with Theâtre Impopulaire, the company Bonté-Mossoux ...), his compositions gradually shifted to pure music. He was hailed by the International Rostrum Composers of the Unesco (for Attrition for string octet) and earned him the Octave of Classical Music 2006. Ictus Ensemble, Music News, TM + Ensemble (Paris), Gageego (Sweden), Danel Quartet, Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, Calefax Reed Quintet, Champs d'Action, Spectra, played his music. His works have been programmed in many international festivals such as Présence (Paris), Ars Musica (Brussels), Vilnius, Nancy, Dijon, Warsaw, Budapest, Venice Biennale, Sidney, Berlin, Lima, Copenhagen, ...
Jean-Luc Fafchamps first devoted himself to writing for various groups in which the piano played a central role (Dynamiques, for two pianos; Melencholia si ..., for two pianos and two percussions ...) before his interest for non-tempered harmonies and polyphony of timbre does lead to other sound combinations (A garden, for wind quintet; Bryce, for clarinet ans string quartet; Les désordres de Herr Zœbius, for string quartet). Since 2000, he is developing an extensive network of cycle - Sufi Letters - a kind of proclamation for writing and the use of open style as rhetoric and of analogical correspondences as a basis for systemic: S(in) for ensemble, K(AF) for orchestra, A(lif) for ensemble and orchestra, Z3 (Dhal) for trombone and electronics, L(am) for orchestra... His taste for the paradoxical constructions and his sense of synthesis thrive in parts that refer to one another. The last part of his triptych for piano Back to ... was written as compulseray work for the semi-finals of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2010. His works engraved on three monographic cd's on Sub Rosa (Attrition, 1993, Melencholia si ..., 2003 and WDGhZ2SA, a Six-letter Sufi Word, 2012), label for which he also engraved on the piano recordings of Morton Feldman, Berio, Liszt, Dallapicolla, Bowles, Scelsi, ... A disc devoted to his music for small ensembles, ... lines..., was published by Fuga Libera in 2008. He teached piano, chamber music and composition. He teaches musical analysis at the Mons Conservatory.

web: http://www.jeanlucfafchamps.eu/

  Xi for timbila
  Xi for timbila
  CLICK ABOVE TO ZOOM SAMPLE (PAGE 21) Excerpt of "Wooden Mind" for 7 timbilas of Mozambique by Jean-Luc Fafchamps - http://timbila.org from NOVARS Research Centre on Vimeo.



Violin concerto with orchestra of Timbilas by George van Dam

George Van Dam
picture copyright ictus

George van Dam
Born 1964 in Windhoek, Namibia. Lives and works in Brussels. George van Dam is a violinist and composer who has worked with leading composers of today, including Aperghis, Eötvos, Hosokawa, Kagel, Kurtàg, Ligeti, Steve Reich, Saariaho, K. Stockhausen and Joji Yuasa. He has worked as a soloist or within the context of contemporary-music ensembles with Ensemble Modern Frankfurt, MusikFabrik or Ictus, the latter of which he is a founding member. Van Dam has composed chamber music, song cycles, a violin concerto with timbila-orchestra, film music and music for theater and dance performances, for James Bowman, Manon de Boer, Josse De Pauw, Ballet de Marseille, Rosas, Ultima Vez, among others.
George Alexander van Dam started studying music in Namibia when he was seven and made his début as soloist in Saint-Saëns’ Third Violin Concerto at the age of sixteen. After studying in southern Africa and North America he emigrated to Belgium in 1984, where he graduated from the Royal Brussels Conservatory in the violin class of Georges Octors. He has also taken master classes from Dorothy DeLay, Albert Markov, Aaron Rosand, Rainer Kussmaul, Zinïda Gilels, György Kurtàg, Lamar Crowson and Irvine Arditti. Since the end of the 1980’s George van Dam has gained increasing recognition for his work in the contemporary music and dance/theatre world. He has worked with some of the most prominent composers of today and premiered several works that were specially written for him, i.a. Violin Concertos by Walter Hus, Thierry De Mey and Homeobox by Misato Mochizuki (with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie.) As violinist he has performed at the Salzburg Sommerszene and Zeitfluss, Festival d’Eté Quebec, Novi Formi (Moscow), Bartòk Festival (Szombathely), Wittener Musiktage, Festival Varèse (Porto), Musica (Strasbourg), kunstenFESTIVALdes Arts in Brussels, Ultraschall and the Berlin Biennale, at the Darmstadt Music Institute, IRCAM (Paris) and in Japan, either as a soloist or with contemporary-music ensembles such as ICTUS (Brussels), of which he is one of the co-founders, Ebony Trio (with Takashi Yamane and Yutaka Oya), MusikFabrik and the Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt). He has accompanied performances by choreographer A-T. de Keersmaeker/Rosas (Achterland, Rosa, Grosse Fuge), Kinok, Amor Constante with Ictus and I said I (Ictus, DJ Grazzhoppa and Fabrizio Cassol). George van Dam has composed music for dance and theatre productions by Wim Vandekeybus / Ultima Vez (Mountains made of Barking, Bereft of a Blissful Union together with Peter Vermeersch and Charo Calvo), of Rosas/Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (I said I), by Josse De Pauw/Victoria (Übung, Die Siel van die Mier with Jan Kuijken), by Tom Jansen, Jan Lauwers/Needcompany (Kind) and music for films by Harry Cleven, Jorge Léon, Manon de Boer, Yvan Le Moine (Vendredi, ou un autre jour, Plateau Prize Belgian Composer 2005), Mary Jimenez, Marian Handwerker, Richard McGuire, Josse De Pauw, Martine Doyen, Wilbur Leguebe, Luc Bourgois, Vincent Lannoo and enjoys working with plastic artists Trudo Engels (randomJimy for kunstenFESTIVALdes Arts 1996), Ana Torfs, Manon de Boer, Robert Suermondt and Martin Schöne i.a. From 2006 he is teaching as guest professor at the Conservatory of Ghent. In 2007-8 he will continue his collaboration as composer and violinist with the Ballet National de Marseille in performances of Silent Collision (for Venice Biennale 2002) and Metapolis II (Lincoln Center Festival, New York 2007).


'Palindrumming', timbila work by Polo Vallejo

Polo Vallejo
-Doctor en Historia y Ciencias de la Música
-Profesor Asociado de Musicología. Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)
-Miembro del MCAM, Laboratoire de Musicologie Comparée et Anthropologie de la Musique. Université du Montreal (Canadá).
-Asesor científico y artístico de la Fundación Carl Orff de Diessen (Munich)
-Colaborador en la Association Polyphonies Vivantes del CNRS, París (Francia)
Reconocido internacionalmente en el campo de la etnomusicología y de la pedagogía musical práctica, sus trabajos de descripción y análisis acerca de los wagogo de Tanzania y actualmente de las polifonías profanas y religiosas de Georgia (Cáucaso), son considerados documentos de referencia en el campo de la musicología experimental.
Fuertemente impresionado y cautivado por la belleza y complejidad de las músicas de África subsahariana, viajó desde 1987 por África del Oeste para entrar en contacto directo con las mismas. Ante la necesidad de profundizar en tan sofisticados sistemas musicales, se desplazó desde 1995 al interior de Tanzania –Ugogo, país de los wagogo- con el fin de realizar una detallada labor de investigación. Sus labores en el terreno, supervisadas en el departamento LMS (Langues Musiques Sociétés) del C.N.R.S. de París, le llevaron a elaborar un riguroso estudio descriptivo y analítico acerca de los repertorios y los procedimientos polifónicos practicados por esta sociedad africana, materializado en su Tesis Doctoral Patrimonio musical de los wagogo de Tanzania: contexto y sistemática, presentada en la UCM de Madrid bajo la dirección de Victoria Eli Rodríguez y la supervision de las labores en el terreno de Simha Arom, con la que obtuvo la calificación de Summa Cum Laude, el Premio Extraordinario de Doctorado 2005 y el Premio de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo Humano 2007 de la Cruma (Conferencia de Rectores, Universidades de Madrid).
Además de numerosos artículos, ha editado documentos de audio CD: Chants Wagogo y Masumbi: musique de divertissement Wagogo, ambos en OCORA/Radio France, y Musiques Rituelles Gogo, en la colección VDE-Gallo del Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève, Suisse. En la actualidad y en colaboración con Simha Arom y el Ensemble Basiani prepara la edición de un CD consagrado a las Polifonías, profanas y religiosas, de Georgia (Ocora/Radio France, 2011). Ha publicado un original libro Mbudi mbudi na mhanga (+2CD, fotos, ilustraciones y transcripciones musicales) dedicado íntegramente al universo musical infantil de los wagogo de Tanzania, con el que ha cosechado un gran éxito de crítica y ventas en todo el mundo. Actualmente prepara la publicación de un libro de Cuadernos de Tanzania, donde se recogen las experiencias –musicales y humanas- vividas en el terreno.
En el terreno audiovisual y de manera conjunta con el colectivo Samaki Wanne (integrado por Polo Vallejo, Javier Arias, Manuel Velasco y Pablo Vega) prepara la edición de un documento musical cinematográfico “Africa: The Beat”, dedicado a los wagogo de Tanzania, su vida y su música, una representación de la identidad de los pueblos de África negra y de su vínculo con la música .
En la actualidad es profesor asociado de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, miembro del laboratorio de etnomusicología y antropología de la Música en la Universidad de Montreal (Canadá) y colaborador de la Association Polyphonies Vivantes de París (Francia). Es asimismo profesor invitado y ponente en Cursos Internacionales, Congresos, Universidades y Conservatorios de todo el mundo donde imparte enseñanzas relativas a Etnomusicología, Pedagogía y creacion musical.
En el campo de la Pedagogía Musical, es miembro asesor –científico y artístico- de la Fundación carl orff de Diessen (Munich) y está encargado de coordinar programas didácticos y de presentar conciertos pedagógicos en el Teatro Real de Madrid, la Fundación Juan March y la Fundación Sur, entre otros.  
Como compositor, su música trasciende más allá de lo formal y lo “vanguardista”, ocupa un espacio muy personal y trata de seguir los pasos marcados tanto por la herencia occidental como por la influencia que el estudio de las músicas tradicionales ejercen sobre su pensamiento. Una fuerte intuición le guia permanentemente al margen de corrientes ad hoc, y su obra, concisa aunque significativa, pervive y se sustenta firmemente sobre una única raíz creadora. La música de Polo Vallejo, miembro fundador de “Música Presente” (proyecto de creación, interpretación e investigación musical), es comisionada por importantes Instituciones y Festivales Internacionales de Música e interpretada por prestigiosos músicos y grupos de cámara en los cinco continentes.
Para Polo Vallejo, investigación, creación y educación musical son realidades que viven fusionadas y en ósmosis permanente sin perder cada una de ellas su propia identidad, reforzando de esta manera el vínculo que existe entre tradición oral y pensamiento escrito.

Jean Ciboure

source: artist website polovallejo.com