Arder Aprender. (2012)

Creation place and date:
“Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris; Salle d’art lyrique.”
October the 23rd, 2012.
Composition for obtaining a master’s degree at the Paris Conservatory

Performers: Conductor: Jean-Philippe Wurtz / Countertenor: Rodrigo Ferreira /
Musicians from “L’Orchestre des Lauréats du Conservatoire”
Running time: ca. 21′
Instrumentation: Soloist: Countertenor / Flute in C (doubles Piccolo) / Oboe / Clarinet in B-flat (doubles Bass Clarinet) / Bassoon / Two Horns in F / Trumpet in C (doubles Trumpet in D) / Trombone / Two Percussionists / Harp / Cymbal / Piano (doubles Celesta) / Violin / 2nd Violin / Two Violas / Two Cellos / Contrabass.
Electro-acoustic sounds
2-channel diffusion system

“Arder Aprender” (second piece of the “Dos son un Jardín” cycle) was inspired by “Coda,” final poem of Octavio Paz’s book “Árbol Adentro” (1976 – 1988). In some of Paz’s brighter verses, he expresses the learning behind all communication, and especially, in any love bond. The nomadic pathway through the world; the silence between the beings; the gaze that learns to discover. All that might help to communicate and love. To the other’s gaze that seeds as a tree’s roots in the poet’s heart, the poet corresponds with words.
The piece is written for countertenor, 20-instrument ensemble, and electro-acoustic sounds. The entire poem functions as the coda of the piece. However, the singer takes part from the beginning, uttering phonetic fragments of the poem, incomprehensible language and incomplete phrases, as efforts emphasizing the hardships in any communication—perhaps its impossibility.
The harmony provides structure to this work. The main chord bases on the combination of two multiphonic notes by the bassoon, and their progression toward the bass and treble registers. But these won’t be heard but almost till the end of the piece, just when the countertenor begins to enunciate the poem. For us to remain in the metaphor, we could say that these two multiphonics are the seeds from which the harmonic foliage develops.
“Arder Aprender” follows “Sin Nombres,” the first two pieces from the “Dos son un Jardín” cycle. Just as in “Sin Nombres,” the electro-acoustic part mostly complements the instrumental textures, enriching them, to achieve a new and blended soundscape.

Antonio Juan-Marcos Cavazos


Arder aprender
  1. 1. Arder aprender

Tal vez amar es aprender
a caminar por este mundo.
Aprender a quedarnos quietos
como el tilo y la encina de la fábula.
Aprender a mirar.
Tu mirada es sembradora.
Plantó un árbol.
Yo hablo
porque tú meces los follajes.

Octavio Paz , Arbol Adentro,1976-1988.

Loving is perhaps to learn
[how] to walk through this world.
To learn to settle down
as the oak and the linden of the fable.
To learn [how] to see.
Your glance is a seeding one.
It planted a tree.
I speak
for you rock the foliages.

Octavio Paz , Arbol Adentro,1976-1988.