Decodificando el Universo : for hyperbass flute, virtual prepared pianoforte, jaw harp, percussion and string orchestra
by Andrián Pertout (2021)
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Decodificando el Universo : for hyperbass flute, virtual prepared pianoforte, jaw harp, percussion and string orchestra / Andrián Pertout.
Library shelf no. 784.724/PER 1 [Available for loan]
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Decodificando el Universo or 'Decoding the Universe' was commissioned by Rodolfo Fischer (Basel, Switzerland) for performance by 'low flutes' specialist Peter Sheridan and multi-instrumentalist/composer Andrián Pertout (Melbourne, Australia), percussionist Claudio Estay (Munich, Germany), and the Orquesta de Cámara de Valdivia (Valdivia, Chile) conducted by Rodolfo Fischer.
The work represents an artistic depiction of an imaginary journey though the Mapuche universe - a cosmos perceived by the Mapuche People (the indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and south-western Argentina) as a dualist entity, or as "two opposite and complementary worlds in one": the natural world (represented by the earth with its people) and the supernatural world (a magical and spiritual world represented by the sky). This duality constitutes a union that frames both their religious beliefs and general perception of the world. According to the Mapuche, the vertical conception of the cosmos is further divided into seven overlapping platforms, or levels that encompass three cosmic zones: supra-world, world and infra-world. In the celestial sphere is 'Wenu Mapu,' or 'Upper Land' ("an organized and balanced region located between the clouds and the cosmos" composed of four imaginary platforms defined as 'Meli Ñom Wenu,' or 'Four Places Above'), which is the home of the gods, benevolent spirits and ancestors, while the adjoining 'Anka Wenu,' or 'Middle Land' (located in the 'Middle Sky' next to the clouds) is the home of the malevolent spirits (wekufe). Another dark, strange and chaotic zone is 'Miñche Mapu,' or 'Underworld,' which is the home of the malevolent dwarf or pygmy men (laftrache). 'Mapu' (Land/Earth), or the 'Natural World' is where both human beings and animals live, and where good and evil coexist "not as fusion, but as a dynamic juxtaposition" - the conjunction of the two opposing forces a requirement for the realization of a dualistic cosmic balance. 'Wallmapu,' or 'All Lands' is the term utilized to reference the Mapuche ancestral territory. As a collective indigenous group with a common social, religious, and economic structure, the Mapuche People represent "80% of the indigenous peoples in Chile, and about 9% of the total Chilean population." A significant historical fact is that in spite of continued efforts by the first European settlers to subjugate the indigenous peoples in the New World, with their incredible resilience, the Mapuche resisted domination for over 300 years. In fact the Mapuche are the only South American indigenous group that until the 1883 'Pacification of Araucanía' remained unconquered by both the Spanish colonialists and the Inca Empire (the largest empire in pre-Columbian America). "The name 'Mapuche' is composed of two parts: 'Mapu,' which means land; and 'che,' which means people," and their language 'Mapudungun' is an Araucanian language related to 'Huilliche' (a moribund branch of the Araucanian language family spoken by about 2,000 ethnic Huilliche people in Chile). 'Decodificando el Universo' celebrates Mapuche culture and their spiritual philosophy that connects man, land and nature.
Instrumentation: Hyperbass flute, virtual prepared pianoforte (IRCAM Virtual Prepared Pianoforte), jaw harp (Vargan Taras, E2, 8.5cm, Yekaterinburg, Russia), percussion (multi-kit #1: vibraphone, mounted finger cymbal, suspended 8” splash cymbal, suspended 20” ride cymbal, marimba (4.3 octave) - multi-kit #2: bullroarer, meinl long wooden waterfall ‘WA1NT’, meinl the night ‘NI1AM’, latin percussion cricket ‘LP634’, bin-sasara - multi-kit #3: suspended 14” splash cymbal, suspended 16” cash cymbal, high and low bongos, nagado daiko medium, doung doung, Bombo legüero, kultrún mapuche, meinl bongo cajón ‘BCA2NT/EBK-M’, meinl foot cabasa large ‘FCA5-L'), strings.
Duration: 17 min.
The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc. of this work:
Mapuche People ; Astronomy ; Chilean Cueca ; Stefan Hollos and J. Richard Hollos Combinatoriality Algorithmic Composition Single- and Multi-State Probabilistic Automatons ; Double Harmonic Major Scale ; Magic Star, Magic Squares, Magic Triangles, Latin Square.
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