On 20 October, L’Auditori will kick off the second edition of the Sit Back series with American singer/songwriter Damien Jurado. The start of the Jazz Sessions will follow on the 28th of the month, with pianist, composer, arranger and musical director Christophe Chassol. The Jazz Sessions are testament to L’Auditori’s commitment to regular jazz programming, presenting around 20 projects and commissions.
Sit Back, modern music to facilitate quality and artistic innovation
As a key public institution dedicated to promoting and projecting music in all its guises season after season, L’Auditori establishes new events that expand its offering and bring it to increasingly diverse audiences. The Sit Back series presents 10 concerts offering the public the opportunity to relax and enjoy music in the best possible acoustic and performance conditions.
Sit Back premièred during the 2017-2018 season and highlights L’Auditori’s ability to promote and produce music events with specific characteristics that require acoustic, performance and listening conditions that other spaces cannot offer.
American singer-songwriter Damien Jurado will be in charge of opening Sit Back 2018-2019. With a nearly 25-year career behind him, you can’t talk about the urban singer-songwriters of the past 15 years without mentioning Jurado’s heartfelt, pained folk rock. The Seattle native will come to Sit Back thanks to the L’Afluent cultural services cooperative, as part of the tour that will also take him to Madrid and Valencia. He will be presenting his latest album, The Horizon Just Laughed, released on 4 May.
The second collaboration will be with Barcelona’s In-Edit International Music Documentary Film Festival through the Indiamore project from the artist Chassol, with whom we’ll also be celebrating 50 years of the Barcelona Jazz Festival. In Indiamore, Chassol travels to the Indian cities of Calcutta and Varanasi, from which he draws out ambiences, sounds and music that he translates and produces live, and that he also turned into an essential album and documentary that you can listen to and view at L’Auditori.
Everything Nils Frahm touches turns to gold. In the hands of this German composer and producer, keys, knobs, buttons and faders all turn into beauty switches. Whether his own albums or collaborations with other artists, there is always a common denominator in any project he takes part in: the desire to transform the music into something intangible and ethereal, into relaxation. The charm of this music that floats suspended between different worlds will feature again on 20 November at 9 pm in Hall 1 of L’Auditori, in a concert curated jointly with Primavera Sound.
Jai Alai Vol. 02 is the second volume from the Jai Alai project from Refree. This project started last year with an instalment on guitar improvisation, and its only self-imposed limits are that there are no limits. Jai Alai Vol. 02 has also ended up being a kind of soundtrack for the film Between Two Waters by Isaki Lacuesta, a recent Golden Shell winner at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
Composer and guitarist MAVICA forms part of a new generation of women who are making their mark on the Spanish music scene. She recorded her first EP Gone in London, where she currently resides, and was influenced by the sound of artists like Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, Daughter, Ben Howard and Amy Winehouse. The first single, Hot Sand, talks about time and distance, closing old chapters and starting new ones.
Recorded and produced by the artist himself, Blanc is the third solo album from Ferran Palau. It’s an album influenced by soul, hip hop, vaporwave, Twin Peaks and Julio Iglesias, with a subtle, delicate beauty that we will be able to enjoy on 21 February in L’Auditori’s Tete Montoliu Hall 3.
Joana Serrat is one of the most international Catalan singer-songwriters. Her first album The Relief Sessions got the attention of Nashville, while the second, Dear Great Canyon, featured Howard Bilerman as producer. With Cross The Verge, she matured artistically and with Dripping Springs she has enhanced her merits even further: composition, performance and the captivating aura given off.
On 12 April 2019, it will be the turn of Sun Kil Moon, a one-of-a-kind project fronted by Mark Kozelek. His inimitable voice has accompanied texts that are always brilliant, intense and uneasy, with a lyrical everydayness and a startling sensitivity. At L’Auditori he will be presenting some of the songs from the new album This is my Dinner, recorded between Europe and San Francisco and released this November.
Something special for this year is that the Sit Back series is joining in the celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the MUTEK festival in Barcelona, in collaboration with the A/Visions programme that will be presented at L’Auditori and will include two shows with uncompromising sound and visual impact, both of which are premières in Spain.
Herman Kolgen returns to MUTEK with ISOTOPP, his work of sound, projection and scientific fusion. Working with corridors of light and radioactive data received in real time, the black-and-white ISOTOPP is a hard-hitting, sensorially adventurous bombardment of matter that will amaze viewers with the detonations of pulses of light and energy before their very eyes.
The other event is from Line Katcho, merging different styles, genres and applied technology methods to create electroacoustic compositions with visual landscapes. In her live audio-visual presentation Immortelle, Katcho links light and sound in a constant, dramatic metamorphosis as she explores the changing relationships between image and music and between human beings and our environments.
The Sit Back series brings us musicians who work based on multiple sound, aesthetic and conceptual layers, forming a programme linked by a common theme: listening. With Sit Back, L’Auditori reclaims the quality of listening as an essential value and highlights the need to consider not only what we listen to, but also the way in which we do it.
The programme is created jointly between L’Auditori and well-established promoters of the Catalan modern music scene, such as Barcelona’s In-Edit International Music Documentary Film Festival, cultural cooperative L’Afluent, the Primavera Sound festival and cultural platform Lapsus.
The first edition of the Sit Back series presented around 10 projects that were very well received by audiences – three of the concerts sold out and at least half the tickets were sold for 83% of the concerts – with memorable nights such as the concerts from Jóhann Jóhannsson; GoGo Penguin’s revisit of the soundtrack from the documentary Koyaanisqatsi as part of the In-Edit Festival; the presentation of the latest works by Hauschka and Wolfgang Voight (better known as Gas); and the live performances by Exquirla, Newton Faulkner, Núria Graham, Maria Rodés and Pau Vallvé.
The best Spanish and international artists and emerging stars can be found at the Jazz Sessions
For the past three seasons, L’Auditori has featured an extensive and varied jazz programme under the title Jazz Sessions, starring the best international artists, great Spanish musicians, young emerging talents in Spanish jazz who appear year after year and its own productions with newly commissioned works.
One of the season’s main projects is the Retrat d’Artista (Artist’s Portrait), which we are dedicating this year to pianist and composer Brad Mehldau with two important projects: the commissioning of a piano concert featuring the OBC and the concert the orchestra will perform alongside tenor Ian Bostridge. The piano concert forms part of an ambitious co-commission where L’Auditori stands together with important institutions such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Luxembourg Philharmonic and the London Jazz Festival.
As part of the Jazz Sessions, L’Auditori is committed to new creation and commissions through revisits, which offer a new look at a classic repertoire or essential recordings in the history of music while passing them through the prism of jazz. This season, we will have a concert from saxophonist Gianni Gagliardi, working with the music of Claude Debussy; a re-reading of Isaac Albéniz’s Iberia Suite with a stunning big band led by the maestro Lluís Vidal; and a revisit of Pink Floyd’s legendary album Dark Side of the Moon with composer and guitarist David Soler.
In autumn, L’Auditori will join in the 50th anniversary celebrations for Barcelona’s International Jazz Festival, producing and hosting several concerts featuring Ignasi Terraza, Omar Sosa, Chicuelo and Mallu Magalhães.
The spring will again see the return of the intense week that is the Emergents Festival – the most important time of the year for discovering new talents in jazz and flamenco first-hand – in collaboration with the ESMUC, Taller de Músics and Conservatori del Liceu music schools. The return of the good weather will also bring the traditional Vermut Jazz events in the outdoor spaces at L’Auditori, with a selection of the best local artists produced jointly with the Catalan Jazz and Modern Music Musician Association.
Finally, jazz will provide the theme for the Sampler Sèries, dedicated to new music, with two projects that will visit contemporary art centres in the city. The first will be Knknighgh, the piece for quartet by trumpeter Nate Wooley, one of the most interesting musicians on the improvisation scene at the moment, taking place at the Contemporary Culture Centre of Barcelona. The second, Phosphorescence, the latest album from improvised music quartet Dans les arbres, will be at the Antoni Tàpies Foundation.
Aleix Palau | 16 October 2018
The Sit Back and Jazz Sessions programmes put L’Auditori at the forefront of Barcelona’s modern music scene
Sit Back promotes modern music in a format that champions the artists’ presentations and the quality of the concert experience. L’Auditori is firmly committed to regular jazz programming, presenting around 20 projects and commissions.