Ananda Sukarlan To Rectify The History of Architecture Through Music

INDONESIAKININEWS.COM -  The inscription of a collection of eight Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings marks the first modern architecture ...

The inscription of a collection of eight Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings marks the first modern architecture designation on the UNESCO World Heritage List in the United States. 

Before that, the architect who held the world record for the list was João de Castilho , who, judging from his name, could have been (and in fact was) Portuguese. 

Portugal indeed claims him as the nation's greatest architect, the only one in their history capable of having 5 of his works recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO.

But in fact he was born as Juan de Castillo in Castillo Siete Villas, a small village in the province of Cantabria, Spain, around 1470 (his exact birth date is unclear until now).

This fact was demonstrated and published in 2009 by the historian & researcher María Ealo de Sa.

Juan de Castillo was the last of 4 siblings, whose mother died after giving his birth.

Although his early career is not known either, it is possible to assume that he trained in the surroundings of his place of origin, or in various towns of the bishopric of Burgos, to which the village Castillo belonged at that time. 

Various researchers wrote that he ended up in the capital of Burgos, working in the cathedral, constructed shortly before by Juan de Colonia. It could well be in this work where he consolidated his formation, absorbing various elements that would later appear in his Portuguese career.

In 1508 the Archbishop of Braga (Portugal), Diego de Sousa wished to enlarge his headquarters. He was a man of wide culture, a great entrepreneur and patron, promoter of education (in 1531 he founded a free school for anyone who simply wanted to learn but financially deprived) and promoter of the city's urban planning; he was also renovating part of his old cathedral and for this job he called Juan de Castillo. Castillo was already around 38 years old, but the circumstances were very favorable: Portugal under the reign of Don Manuel I "El Afortunado" (1495-1521) the arts, sciences and discoveries developed remarkably; money flowed into the country in huge quantity and everything was renovated, so that job opportunities for constructors and other artists brought in a good number of foreigners. 

In Braga, Castillo was in charge of executing the new main chapel of the cathedral and the portico of the façade, as well as making the tomb of the first Portuguese Count, Enrique de Borgoña and his wife Teresa de León, parents of the first king of Portugal, Alfonso I Henriques. 

According to some historian, he was also responsible for the tombs of this monarch and of Sancho I, which are preserved in the monastery of Santa Cruz de Coimbra and which have traditionally been attributed to his half-brother Diego de Castillo, some twenty years younger from his father's second wife, who, also reaching notable prestige, collaborated with him in his Portuguese works.

Since then, Castillo's career in Portugal blossomed robustly, and he was commissioned to construct other buildings which then became historical landmarks of the country.

The five works of Juan de Castillo listed by UNESCO World Heritage are The Monastery of San Jeronimo (Lisboa), The Convent of Christ (Tomar), Alcobaça Monastery, the Batalha Monastery and the Mazagão Fortress (El Jadida). He also designed and constructed many more buildings in Marocco and Spain.

In the year 2020, different events were held (mostly through online due to the Covid-19 pandemic) in Portugal to commemorate the 550th birthyear of their nation's greatest architect. This year, since we are already freed from the lockdowns and health protocols, Juan de Castillo or João de Castilho, the architect of the world, is celebrated in his birthplace in the province of Cantabria, Spain with the hope that he will be remembered and recognized as one of the great universal characters born in the beautiful northern province of Spain.

Indonesian composer Ananda Sukarlan have been commissioned to write the commemorative piece of music about this great architect, by the mayor of his birthplace, Jose Manuel Igual Ortiz. His music will receive its world premiere in the church of his birthplace, the "Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción". The mayor has asked Spain's leading musicians of their respective instruments to perform it together with the composer on the piano which hopefully will create a buzz for this event.

Sukarlan has decided to use the architecture of this church of late Gothic style (built in the 16th century, therefore it wasn't there during Castillo's younger years), which means that he will distribute the sitting of the musicians to the four points of the cardinal directions of the church. This will produce a natural stereo sound and the audience will perceive the music surrounding them.

The title of Sukarlan's piece is "Castillo Reconstruido" (pun obviously intended!) since "Castillo" also means "a castle". Hence it can also mean "a castle reconstructed". Sukarlan uses a motif from the 15th century Portuguese composer, Pedro de Escobar, which is basically made of the 5 basic notes Sol - Fa - Mi - Re - Do, which is the simple diatonic scale going down. What he does is to put this motif in a "time machine" and bring it to different eras and harmonic languages (including the Javanese pentatonic scale and American pop music), hence it is "reconstructed" all the time, which is also a tribute of how this great architect work: apart from buildings from scratch, Castillo was also commissioned to expand and reconstruct some buildings such as the one in Braga mentioned above.

The premiere of Sukarlan's work will be on June 30th at 8 p.m. Central European Time and the composer, who according to Sydney Morning Herald is "one of the world's leading pianist at the forefront of championing new piano music" will perform it with four prominent musicians of their instruments in Spain. 

Awarded in Rising Star Berlin, clarinettist Luis Fernández-Castelló (what a coincidence with the celebrated architect's family name!) is characterized by “a sound full of warmth and exquisite sweetness” (OPERA WORLD). His performances have taken him to festivals around the world.

He has performed under conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Edmon Colomer or Joan Pons.

Noted for his interpretations of the classical and romantic repertoire, Fernández-Castelló is also attracted to the newest classical music and has worked with great composers of today such as Francisco Coll, Cristóbal Halffter, Leonardo Balada, and Luca Francesconi. He has made more than a hundred premieres, many of them works dedicated to him.

His album The Singing Clarinet has received the praise of the specialized critics (“he plays with elegant phrasing, intention, the right emotion and technical virtuosity” --MELÓMANO Magazine) and with it he presents himself as a versatile interpreter who travels the most varied musical periods. Recordings for Radio Nacional de Espana, Catalunya Ràdio, Transópera, Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos or PrimTON also stand out.

Cellist David Apellániz has appeared as soloist with the Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla, Lisbon’s Orquestra Gulbenkian, the Orchestre National de Lyon, Orquestra de València and Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona at some of the music world’s most prestigious events and venues, including the Salzburg and Lyon festivals, the Berlin Konzerthaus and the Quincena Musical Donostiarra (San Sebastián Musical Fortnight).

He frequently performs with other eminent musicians and ensembles, including the Cuarteto Casals, Nicolas Chumachenco, Gérard Caussé and Paul McCreesh, and has made more than fifteen recordings as soloist for various labels, including Naxos, Sony, Col legno, Neos and RNE, but his most celebrated recording is for the "Verso" label of the music of the Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe, which he recorded with the Bulgarian violinist Ema Alexeeva and Ananda Sukarlan. As a member of the renowned Arriaga Piano Trio, he has appeared on stage at the leading international festivals. A champion of contemporary classical music, he has premiered a number of new works dedicated to him by composers such as Fabián Panisello and César Camarero. Since 2003 he has been Chair of the Cello Department at the Aragón Conservatory, and he is often invited to give masterclasses at well-known music schools around the world.

 Angel Luis Castaño is definitely one of the world´s leading performers of the accordion. Born in San Sebastian in 1969, he was educated at the Paris Conservatoire, where he won the Premier Prix, and at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen. He has won many International Competitions during his youth, including the International Accordion Competition "Coupe Mondiale" in Trossingen in 1990.

He has raised the accordion´s reputation as a "classical" instrument in Spain from its reputation as a "folk instrument", collaborating and premiering the music of the most prominent Spanish composers (David del Puerto, Jesus Rueda, Gonzalo de Olavide, Cesar Camarero, Fabian Panisello, Polo Vallejo, etc…) to allow a deep undestanding of the instrument´s enormous possibilities, promoting their music and teaching young accordionists all over the world.
Since 1993 he has been Professor of the Segovia Conservatory and now he is Director of Accordion Department at Superior Zaragoza Conservatory.

Ananda Sukarlan himself was bestowed the highest knighthood "Cavaliere Ordine della Stella d'Italia" by the President Sergio Mattarella. In 2020 he was elected as the President of the Jury for the Queen Sofia Award in Spain, the biggest competition for new composers in Europe. His celebrated musical works include a series of more than 40 "Rapsodia Nusantara" for piano solo, all based on folk melodies from different regions throughout Indonesia. He also wrote orchestral works, operas, works for choirs and a quantity of music for chamber groups.

Source: indonesiakininews.com


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IndonesiaKiniNews.com: Ananda Sukarlan To Rectify The History of Architecture Through Music
Ananda Sukarlan To Rectify The History of Architecture Through Music
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