An interview with Ezequiel Esquenazi for the album « Conflictos con la metàfora »

Ezequiel Esquenazi


Kr – What brought you to composing experimental music and what draws you to it?

-It arose in a natural way. I used to study in the conservatory A. Ginastera and played rock music, the experimental part complemented that. I met a great musician called Jorge Sad in the conservatory who was a teacher of composition with contemporary technics there. He exerted a big influence and drove me. A couple of years ago I felt the necessity of homaging an idol of mine, an Argentinean musician called Luis Alberto Spinetta. Then I listened a song which I didn’t hear for along time (“Vete de mí cuervo negro”) and I discovered a couple of noises in the song, after the last chord. I don’t know how that was made, maybe a guitar played in a not traditional way or a cymbal rubbed. I took that noise and used it as a sample to the performance of free improvisation that we did with the pianist Ana Foutel who also plays in the album.

I think there is an answer to your question there, I think of continuity and a break that are integreted in a gesture.

Kr – You compose instrumental, electroacoustic and mixed music. How does one genre influence the other?

-This is a very important matter for me, since I’ve had a strong traditional formation in composition (conterpoint, instrumentation, mophology, etc), I think, from long time ago the fundamental part of my work has to do with the posibility of concive sound through listening signed by total absolutely different elements: Improvisation, electronic processes, extended technics. Instrumental writting, is clearly concived from working with electronics, this makes my thing, for instance the writting of an instrumental transformation in function of the concept of filtering in electronics. In conclution I thing that differential experience in each field builds specific knowledge and from that speciality this amount knowledge re set and acquire new meanings.

Kr – Where do you get your inspiration when composing?

-The sounding material itself is a great inspiration. I don’t take it as shuttering in sense, closed for interpretation (this is perhaps my major criticism to the traditional conception). I like to thing the listening from what I’d call “the parameters not formulated yet”. It is not a invention of mine though, it would be something like a transverse conception of the musical knowledge. The spectralism broght up the posibility of thinking the armony as of the tone. I find two parameters there that we’d traditionally think as separate and reduced concepts, but there is place for a third concept, i.e., a chord thought as a proyection in the armonic spectrum. Thus we could set forth the musical material toward an infinity of transverse relations… Another issue is that I think of music as a social fact, I mean that the politics is another very strong influence. A chord is also a very complex semantic information as well as a political fact.

Kr – It seems to me that your music is very articulated and structured; what is it about this type of writing that interests you?

-I never start from structures previously conceived, but on the contrary, the musical material structures itself the syntax progresively. That is why I consider the listening part as a very important step to the composition process, let’s say that it is a fundamental step. A typical situation for me is ‘backward composition’, I seldom start for the beginning of the piece, but I understand how the beginning must be nearly at the end of the work.

Kr – At the same time, you also improvise as a performer, how does this influence the way you compose?

-The composition and improvitation influence to each other as if they were two faces of the same coin. I’ve been making up this two fields lately. I am interested on producing material from the improvisation and then use them in pieces, by including them to more articulated structures, whether by writing a loud resultant or by handling this material. From each I try to rescue something to apply in the other and viceversa: I can afford to reflection in the composition and it arises as a gesture all work of reflection made in the improvisation through the analysis.

Kr – Can you speak a little bit about your upcoming release? What can we expect to hear on the album?

-In “Conflictos…” there are electroacustic and fixed pieces and free improvisation for piano and electronics. What I expect has to do with my own especulations about the listening, I mean with a sort of listener that one images and therefore it is oneself. By the other hand, further the latter I would feel very happy if a knew that somebody had done any kind of experience with this album, I mean it’d be very good that that listener -beyond my regarded speculations- could appropriate of something that is there through his own experience. The performing musicians are very impressive: Daniela Campisi, Ricardo Cuadros Pradilla y Ana Foutel. They have a very personal musical sense and contribute with something that is unique.

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