Alex Buck Wins First Prize at Métamorphoses Acousmatic Composition Contest

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Et les gagnants du 11ème concours de composition acousmatique Métamorphoses sont: 1er prix ex aequo: Aurélien Chouzenoux pour sa pièce « A journey through the prism of an Indian love story » et Alex Buck @alexbuck___ pour sa pièce « A Revolta dos Xapiris » 2nd prix: François Buffet pour sa pièce « HOLOS » Prix du public: Loup Mormont pour sa pièce « Ultramarine » Bravo à tous!!! And the winners of the 11th contest of acousmatic composition Métamorphoses are: 1st price ex æquo: Aurélien Chouzenoux for his piece « A journey through the prism of an Indian love story » and Alex Buck @alexbuck___ for his piece « A Revolta dos Xapiris » 2nd price: François Buffet pour sa pièce « HOLOS » Prix du public: Loup Mormont pour sa pièce « Ultramarine » Congratulations!! #acousmatique #contest #competition #concours #composition #gagnants #winners #bravo #congratulations #espaceduson #espaceduson2020

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Composer Alex Buck (Music DMA 23) took home first prize at the 2020 Métamorphoses Acousmatic Composition Contest, which occurs biannually within the international acousmatic Influx Festival (L’Espace du Son).  This year’s Métamorphoses concert presentation took place at Théâtre Marni in Brussels.

Buck was awarded at the competition’s 11th edition for his composition, A Revolta dos Xapiris, and shares the first prize with Aurélien Chouzenoux’s A journey through the prism of an Indian love story.

A Revolta dos Xapiris (“Xapiri’s rebellion”) refers to the xapiri, the word for “spirit” used by the Yanomami people of Buck’s native Brazil. According to a description of the work on Buck’s Bandcamp, the xapiri are believed to be the “true owners of nature.”

Listen to A Revolta dos Xapiris below. 

The composition serves a continuation of his earlier piece Screaming Trees, which won the 2019 Musicworks Electronic Music Composition Contest. Both pieces were inspired by Davi Kopenawa’s book The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman, a compilation of interviews with indigenous leaders, as well as the Amazon rainforest and indigenous populations still under threat in Brazil. The composition includes samples of Kopenawa’s vocals from a recording of Xapiri ritual, which comprise the main material and the entirety of the work’s voice sounds.

“Through the use of recognizable sounds, I tried to build a musical structure full of symbolism and analogies with the real world,” Buck explained on his website about the composition. “I explored the constant tension between oppositions such as culture-nature, sacred-profane, scholar-popular, and civilization-wildness. Even though the piece is full of real sounds, it is highly abstract in the sense that it represents no linear narrative whatsoever.”

Buck is a performer, composer, and educator from São Paulo, Brazil who has taught at the EMESP Tom Jobim and the Colegio Oswald de Andrade in Brazil, and currently teaches as a DMA lecturer at The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts. He is also a member of experimental jazz trio Trio Ciclos, alongside Bruno Migotto (bass) and Edison Sant’anna (piano).

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