Saturday, 27 August · 22.00 h
Cloister of Santo Domingo Convent
Tomeu Moll-Mas: Piano
Albert Díaz: Piano

Remmy Canedo: Live Electronics

A duo of local artists of international renown, Ensemble Alter Face, will bring the festival to a close with a rare musical recipe: piano and electronic sounds. They will present a now-classic piece from the second half of the 20th Century called Mantra. These innovative performers from Mallorca and Chile symbolize in a way the Festival's desire to move beyond merely classical offerings into the contemporary as well.



Mantra by Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007)

Approximate length: 1 hour, 15 minutes (no intermission)

Mantra, piece by Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007)

Mantra, for two pianos, two ring modulators and percussion instruments (cymbals and wood blocks), was composed between Osaka, Japan and Kürten, Germany, in 1970. These piece by Stockhausen is a return to determined music and conventional notation after having experimented with open, improvised music. This is a mixed piece, in other words, a fusion of acoustic and electronic (ring modulators) instruments that interact and improvise.

“Mantra” is a Sanskrit word derived from “manah” (thought) and “trāyate” (instrument). The initial mantra of this piece is a three-note melody – made up of the twelve notes of the chromatic scale – that starts and ends on A. This melody morphs through 156 interval and rhythm variations, exploring the infinite possibilities rooted in the initial idea.

The ring modulator invented by Stockhausen in an analog device that participates in the entire piece producing sounds by multiplying two frequencies: its own sound and that of the pianos. Throughout the piece, the sounds of the ring modulator itself run the gamut of the thirteen notes of the initial melody in thirteen periods that reproduce the microcosm of the initial notes at a large scale, expanding it as far as it will go.

In the Alter Face/Reactive Ensemble version, this modulation goes completely digital. The software created by Remmy Canedo provides the ring modulation by means of a single computer connected to two tablets, one for each pianist, where they can control the frequencies and other parameters of the digital modulator live on stage. We debuted this version in the Musik der Jahrhunderte Stuttgart festival in December 2014.

We imagine Mantra as a huge, three-dimensional sound structure where the initial melody expands horizontally throughout the piece and vertically by the sparks of sound that the ring modulator shoots out. The acoustic instruments, from their position on the “earth”, repeat the mantra like a magical phrase of meditation and the electronics convert it into a “cosmic” reverberation that transforms the real sound into a transcendent vibration.

Alter Face, piano ensemble
Photo Tomeu Moll-Mas
Tomeu Moll-Mas

Tomeu Moll-Mas is a pianist from Majorca, born in Pòrtol. His background includes professors such as Albert Díaz, Jean-Pierre Dupuy and Josep M. Colom as well as collaboration with composers such as Marco Stroppa. He is committed to finding new languages of sound and has consulted with great innovators such as H. Lachenmann, S. Gervasoni, J. M. López López, A. Posadas, and others. He has performed countless original Works in concert halls and festivals in Germany, Brazil, Spain, Finland, France, the United Kingdom and Chile.

Tomeu Moll-Mas is interested in cocreation and artistic dialogue and has participated in interdisciplinary projects that have included dance, sculpture and videocreation. He is currently working on a piece called Peça, involving live sculpting, electronic sounds and piano. He is a member of Espacio Sonoro in Valencia and Morphosis in Catalonia. He is also a founding member of the keyboard group Alter Face, created in 2011. He has collaborated with other contemporary musical groups under the direction of Jean-Philippe Wurtz, among others.

Tomeu Moll-Mas has recorded on several multi-artist CDs and in 2014 released his first album, De Natura Elèctrica, a performance experiment on electronic and digital sound mediums that give life to modern musical aesthetics. This is a continuous project that includes many new pieces for prepared or manipulated piano and in combination with audiovisual digital mediums.

Tomeu Moll-Mas’ repertoire includes some of the greatest works of all time such as Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach, the Sonata for Piano by Jean Barraqué and the Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus by Olivier Messiaen.

His music has aired on Catalunya Música, Ona Mediterrània, Spain National Radio, IB3, TVE and Finland National Radio, among many others.

Tomeu Moll-Mas is currently a professor at the Professional Conservatory of Music and Dance of Majorca.
Photo Albert Díaz
Albert Díaz

Albert Díaz was born in Palma, Majorca where he studied the piano under Emili Muriscot. Later, he moved to Paris where he continued his studies at the École Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot, under Professor Nelson Delle-Vigne.

Albert Díaz received the First Graduation Prize upon graduation from the Conservatory of the Balearic Islands, and also received the first prize, by unanimous decision, at the 5th International Piano Contest in Ibiza. He also received a prize from Miami-Dade County, United States.

Albert Díaz has played at many major concert halls including the Place des Arts in Montreal, the Elebash Recital Hall at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York, The United Nations Headquarters in Geneva (Switzerland), the Accademia di Spagna in Rome, the Alfred Cortot Hall in Paris, The Theater of Umbria (Italy), among others. He’s also played at prestigious festivals such as the International Chopin Festival in Valldemossa, the International Chopin Festival in Caserta near Naples and the Paderewski Festival in Warsaw.

Albert Díaz has performed as a soloist with the Deutsch-Französisches Kammerorchester, the Symphonic Orchestra of the Balearic Islands, the Kammerphilharmonie Baden-Würtemberg and The Soloists of Majorca Chamber Orchestra.

He has performed in Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, Germany, Poland, United States and Canada.

His recording projects have included an album of Chopin’s pieces for piano four hands and a triple CD with the complete works of composer Romano Alís for piano, which was critically acclaimed.

Currently, he divides his time between public appearances and the directorship of the Superior Conservatory of Music of the Balearic Islands. Albert has a Ph.D. from the University of the Balearic Islands.

Photo Remmy Canedo
Remmy Canedo

Remmy Canedo (1982, Santiago, Chile) is a composer, computer music designer & performer. His music explores the manipulation and deformation of sound in real time, being the experimentation and dialog between computers and performers his central point.

He earned his Bachelor Degree in Composition at the University of Chile with Jorge Pepi Alos, Master Komposition und Computermusik and his Postgraduate studies Konzertexamen Komposition und Computermusik, both with Prof. Marco Stroppa at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik and Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart.

He participates actively in several workshops for composition and electronic music like Matrix11 at the Experimetalstudio des SWR Freiburg, Matrix12 Amsterdam & Warsaw, Manifeste Academie New technologies & Computer music design workshops and Cursus 1 & 2 Practical Training in Computer Music at IRCAM Centre Pompidou.

His work is focused in the implementation of algorithmic composition in real time as an expansion of the concept of sound manipulation, but in this case applied to the score, generating interactive networks that involve the compositional process, performers and audiovisual elements to generate multiform music of unique traits.

In 2012 he started making interactive audiovisual installations together with Tobias Hartmann which gave birth to AVAF (AudioVisualArtFabrik), a collective for interactive art. He also founded Reactive Ensemble, an electronic ensemble to make electronic music and multimedia art, active since 2013.