since the beginning of the quarantine I have dedicated myself to disseminating profiles of choirs, composers and conductors that I find attractive. I think it is a way of bringing people together and supporting each other. I am a person convinced that the solution to many problems of humanity is to unite as a society and create good bonds.
Giulio de Carlo
A few months ago I discovered an immensely deep and meditative music. An Italian composer who really knows how to mix contemporary with Renaissance language and listening to it is like a journey through time towards the past and the present in the same work. His works are really interesting. 2 weeks ago I was lucky to talk to Giulio and start making compositions together. Now we are working together to create pieces that talk about hope. I think Giulio has a lot of music to offer to this world and I recommend that you listen to some of his works and enjoy his music.
Cantala Lawrence University
Many years ago I was on a random YouTube list and suddenly Bum! CANTALA started playing and I said «ah, this is a really different choir!» How to explain? There are choirs that have a perfect vocal technique, choose a good repertoire and have an impeccable work of dynamics. One can listen to 10 works, the 10 excellent performances but at the end of the day they do not finish piercing your heart. This choir has a “soul”, an “aura” or whatever name you want… something powerful that pierces you and floods your heart.
Years later in 2017, a very warm person received my works, it was the director Phillip Swan. A super sweet and warm person. There I understood the essence of this choir: they are incredible people who also have world-class professional performance. So it was that I premiered O Magnum Mysterium in a concert that for me marked a before and after in my professional life. I remember that night of November 10 as if it were today. It was a beautiful repertoire, Ivo Antognini premiered his Dormi Jesu and even Elaine Hagenberg herself was there with her incredible work called Refuge. After that we made more and more music together every year. It really is a relationship that grows and that speaks highly of the people who make up this choir, it is not just music … there are wonderful people there.
This choir teaches us that when there are good hearts, the music sounds different. This choir has the sound of many good hearts making high performance music from the bottom of the soul.
Vocal de Cámara Platense
I selected this choir because they are a first-rate musical and human group. They are making avant-garde in Argentina, it is one of the few choirs that has a great commitment to premiere works and has dedicated a full season to Argentine composers.
To understand the artistic level of this choir that I want you to know, it goes without saying that on April 12, 2020 they had a concert scheduled at El Teatro Colón. I met its director Fernando Tomé (professor at the University of La Plata) when I was studying at the university. I always related to him with great admiration… then the day he said to me «Santiago, we are going to premiere your work on our US tour» I felt a cold running down my back. It was a sensational moment and when I heard my work sung by them … It was like a shrill energy train that was going at full speed.
Fernando has a passion and understanding of musical discourse that is unmatched. The entire choir has a great commitment to the music they make and at the end of the day, it is more than music, it is something that pierces your soul. I recommend that you use part of your day to visit YouTube and write «Vocal de Cámara Platense», then share your opinions in this post.
Sometimes creativity is not only expressed in music but also in initiatives, in the way of carrying out an initiative. Micaela Carballo is the clear example of a fresh, creative and very curious composer. Every time I talk to her, she’s building an original initiative (writing an opera, about to make music in the USA, participating in a film festival) at the highest level of performance. During March, 2020 she gave a concert in one of the best auditoriums in Argentina, La Ballena Azul at the Centro Cultural Kirchner celebrating Women’s Day.
There is an anecdote that describes her fascination and commitment to music: once we got together for coffee to talk about music… it was 5 uninterrupted hours talking about cultural information: musicians teaching master classes around the world, studentships, music on Netflix, competitions, festivals, composition techniques in film… in short, we were two obsessives on the music that we couldn’t stop sharing information! That passion, curiosity / being up-to-date is something that you can hear in her music.
She also has a great commitment to national music. Her sound combines Argentine rhythms and recently started a podcast to introduce Argentine composers dedicated to film music in Argentina. In addition to her career in audiovisual music, one of the reasons why I selected Mica in this review is because she is a source of inspiration to be active at all times. never shield the doors of other composers but to make more composers known, build and pursue every desire, and create high-performance music. If you want, I would like you to use a few minutes of this day to go to her website and finish surprising yourself. www.micaelacarballo.com.ar
In 2008, when I started studying at the University of La Plata, there was a choir that had just started to be created. Some of my classmates signed up for auditions and I started going to see them at their first concerts. Almost instantly I became a true fan of this choir. Later in 2010 they won one of the most important choral competitions in Argentina called Coros Ansilta.
And so I could spend hours remembering the recognition that this choir has received, from its participation in the Tolosa contest in Spain, through its tours in Europe, several concerts at the Teatro Colón, to an award from the Konex Foundation and the list goes on. But nothing on that list of artistic achievements works if there is no human factor.
This choir is a chorus of friends, their waitress feels at every concert, they are all young, histrionic singers and their sound is always fresh and very pure. I do not hesitate for a second to say that its director Emiliano Linares, in addition to being a good friend with whom to laugh, enjoy simple things and make quarantine calls, is a true genius! I have not been in the presence of someone who has mastery of sound planes that he has. When the Tous Ensemble makes Renaissance music, it is simply a matter of relaxing and preparing to enjoy one of the best moments in life.
I was lucky to live 2 blocks from the place where they recorded one of their CDs and it was fantastic to attend that recording night. They performed the best version of Knut Nystedt’s O Crux that I have ever heard. So if you want to start now and listen to something fresh and of a high artistic level, use part of your day to go to their website and enjoy something unprecedented. http://www.tousensemble.com.ar/
In 2013 I met a friend director who told me “I made a commission to Bernardo Latini and he was so inspired that he wrote me a 35-page work! It is beautiful; you have to listen to it!” Seeing the scores, seeing how he represented the sound of nature, birds… that mastery between the simple and the cunning of bringing abstract ideas to life…. I knew immediately that I was in front of a master of choral writing.
That same year we were able to meet in person at a concert of the Estudio Vocal Universitario de Mendoza in the city of La Plata. It was a very beautiful experience because we both had very good reviews of each other. We were two fans!
Although his work focuses on arrangements of popular Argentine works, Bernardo is an excellent composer of original works. He also has a very noble task, which is to write for children’s choirs. In other words, his work focuses on the education of future generations. Wow that is a noble job! He knows the voices and vocal abilities of children like no one else.
I once attended one of his intensive courses in 2015 and it is incredible the resources that he can create in real time. With a children’s choir he improvised a great vocal warm-up. No practicing scales, his vocal warm-up was like little works coming up in the middle of that practice. That shows his wit and freshness. It goes without saying that a composer of this size and cunning has been giving courses and sharing knowledge in various Spanish-speaking countries. I would love for you to use part of your day to listen to some of Bernardo’s works, I hope you are as surprised as I was at the time.
Cantus Novus Femina Epilogi
During the 2017 Choral Symposium,Silvija Pročkytė recommended that I get in touch with a person named Angelina Nicolaidou … Out of curiosity; I sent her an email and a friend request. Everything that happened afterwards is something that to this day I can’t believe! Angelina turned out to be an angel on earth conducting a beautiful choir of warm people committed to art.
We started having Skype sessions and started preparing the world premiere of Almas de Barro in Europa Cantat Festival , Tallinn 2018. A year later they invited me to Cyprus where we spent beautiful moments making music together.
One day, traveling by car with Angelina, I asked her “What criteria do you use to do the auditions? I mean… how come all the singers are such good people? They are very sweet!» and she replied «I like to see what people have in their souls and what they have to give to the world». and it is that without a doubt Agelina is truly an angel that brings together beautiful people with a lot of talent. She is an amazing person who works “56 hours a day” and her energy never seems to run out. Talking to her is a real pleasure, she is very warm! She has a motherly soul and is a golden friend.
Cantus Femina Novus and our history of working for years together reaping great achievements inspired me to write «La Magia del Río«. Without them today that work would not exist. This Choir is too important to me. Without going any further, one of the 10 best moments of my life was with them: when I conducted Almas de Barro at the concert in the main square of Cyprus.
It was an experience of real connection. A moment where I felt that each one of the singers who were singing with me was an extension of our being. It was a hug made of looks and I felt at peace with everything around me. I am grateful to this choir and I would like everyone to listen to them. If you listen to this choir, you will not only enjoy their beautiful music but you will also witness the existence of magical souls.