Jxel Rajchenberg, a second-year MFA performer-composer student at The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, has been commissioned by the Mexican National University’s radio station, Radio UNAM, to write a piece to celebrate the reopening of the school’s Julian Carrillo Concert Hall in Mexico City on Friday (Sept. 30).
Rajchenberg’s nearly hour-long piece, Altazor, includes music, dance and projections and will be performed by an international team that includes Mexican percussionists Omar F. Duran and Eliud Hernandes and vocalists Luz Angelica Uribe and Cecilia Alvarez. Participating from CalArts are Rajchenberg, Robert Halvorson (Music DMA candidate), Odeya Nini (Music MFA 11), Manuel Barenboim (Film MFA 2) and Tarren Johnson (Dance BFA 3).
Here’s Rajchenberg’s description:
This work is inspired by “Altazor,” a poem by Vicente Huidobro and has been created for four singers using a wide range of extended vocal techniques, two marimas, percussion, live electronics, one dancer and projections. The poem travels from language to sound, from meaningful sentences to playful sounds, and so the piece explores the use of words as symbols but also as musical elements. Meaningless sentences and words become a reminder of the essential joy of life, the pleasure of playing, of saying nonsense, of perceiving the effects of chaos in our lives.