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BOLANOS, CESAR - Peruvian Electroacoustic and Experimental Music (1964-1970)

Format: do-CD
Label & Cat.Number: Pogus Productions 21053-2
Release Year: 2010
Note: collection of pieces by one of the leading Latin American avantgarde composers
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €18.00

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"César Bolaños is one of the leading artists of the Latin American avant-garde of the mid 20th century. Born in Lima, Peru in 1931, he was part of an astonishing generation of Peruvian composers: Edgar Valcárcel, Olga Pozzi-Escot, Alejandro Núñez Allauca, Leopoldo La Rosa, Enrique Pinilla and Celso Garrido-Lecca, among others. After studying piano at the National Conservatory in Lima, and following classes with the Belgian composer Andrés Sas (who after leaving Europe settles in Peru), he would join the group 'Renovación' (together with Valcárcel, Pozzi-Escot, Pulgar Vidal and Sas); with them Bolaños began a series of presentations and edited a music magazine. He had already composed brief pieces for piano and music for a chamber orchestra. At that time Bolaños is interested in the work of Stravinsky, Bartók and Schoenberg. But he's still far from the sound radicalism that he would reach in the future. In 1957 he traveled to New York City to study composition at the Manhattan School of Music and electronics at RCA. He met the Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera, who offered him a scholarship to study at the Latin-American Center of High Musical Studies (CLAEM) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On his arrival in 1963, Bolaños became involved in the design and development of the electronic music laboratory of the CLAEM. There he composed his first electronic piece and the first work generated in the above laboratory: 'Intensity and Height' (1964), inspired by a poem of César Vallejo. Bolaños also composed 'Interpolations' (1966) for electric guitar and magnetic tape, 'Spaces I' (1966), 'II' (1967), 'III' (1968) for magnetic tape, the experimental audio-visual cantata 'Alpha-Omega' (1967), instrumental and mixed pieces like 'Flexum' (1969), 'I-10-AIFG/Rbt-1' (1968), and, with a commission from Radio Bremen (Germany), 'Nacahuasu' (1970), inspired by the Che Guevara diaries. Bolaños also experimented with computers, and composed two pieces with the mathematician Mauricio Milchberg. 'Sialoecibi' (1970): ESEPCO I (computer sound-expressive structure)* for piano and a recitator-mime-actor (a work that satirizes the organization language initials from the 1950's) and 'Song without words', ESEPCO II (1970) 'Homage to the unpronounced words' for piano (2 performers) and tape. For the composition of these pieces Bolaños and Milchberg introduce into the computer parameters to have the machine generate a composition from the information obtained by the composer's production. These recordings bring together for the first time a definitive edition of his work on CD." [label info]


"Electronic music from Peru? Pogus boss Al Margolis goes with his search for some of the exotic, unknown composers from the most obscure parts of the world. Carlos Bolanos was born in Lima, Peru in 1931, who also composed for piano and chamber orchestra. In 1963, while in Buenos Aires he was introduced to electronic music, which he continued to compose until 1970. After 1973 he was back in Peru, but without any further means to continue this line of work and devoted the rest of his time investigating pre-Hispanic instruments. Now for the first time his electronics appear on compact disc. Only the first piece, 'Intensidad Y Altura' is pure electronical piece; all the others combine electronics with other, 'real' instruments. About one hundred minutes here of what is best called 'difficult' music - the germanic ernste music. I must have written this before, but I am not the most right person to do this music any justice. This is a highly serious mixture of avant-garde classical music in
combination with electronic sounds. My favorite is 'Cancion Sin Palabras, ESEPCO II' for two piano's and tape, which is intense at times, soft at times and has a great touch to it, including some scarping and bending sounds. The other pieces were not bad either, but not all the time worked for these classically untrained ears. Definitely an interesting release, but perhaps I wished for some more electronics."
[FdW, Vital Weekly]