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Aleix Palau | 21 September 2022

The Museu de la Música inaugurates the exhibition "Xavier Carbonell. The Crackled Glaze" and opens its new exhibition space

The exhibition, which can be visited from 22 September to 29 January at the Museu de la Música in Barcelona, reviews the life of the late composer and musicologist, Xavier Carbonell i Castell.

The Museu de la Música inaugurates the exhibition 'Xavier Carbonell. The Crackled Glaze' and opens its new exhibition space

The exhibition Xavier Carbonell. L'esmalt clivellat (The Crackled Glaze) is a journey through the life of composer and musicologist Xavier Carbonell i Castell (Barcelona, 1952 - Palma, 2022). Structured around five tableaux designed by the artist, accompanied by a selection of texts and a documentary, the exhibition displays his constant desire to blur the borders between his music, life and writing.

For this event, the Museu de la Música has reopened the remodelled Hall 4, which will be used to house small-scale exhibitions linked to audiovisual projects.

At Xavier Carbonell. L'esmalt clivellat, visitors will be able to view items from the artist’s personal collection in the form of five secular tableaux. The 2017 documentary dedicated to the composer, L'esmalt clivellat by filmmakerDoménec Boronat , will be screened alongside these objects.

Presented for the first time posthumously in Palma last spring and in the city of his birth on this occasion, the exhibition recognises one of the most important and unique voices of modern music.

The exhibition opens on Wednesday 22 September at 7.00 pm with a concert by pianist Neus Estarellas performing works by Carbonell in the Keyboard Room of the Museu de la Música.

Carbonell's work can be placed roughly within the framework of European and North American musical creativity of the last forty years: a field that takes the art of sound far away from the goals and ideas of the avant-garde movement of the 1960s, forged by artists from many genres and generations who have transformed modern music. Although Carbonell does belong within this multi-generational and aesthetic framework, following closely in the footsteps of composers such as Morton Feldman, Giacinto Scelsi and Gérard Grisey, his compositional corpus is unique, both locally and in the wider Hispanic context, which has profoundly influenced a whole generation.

Educated in Barcelona as a performer and composer under teachers such as Joan Guinjoan, Corium Aharonian and Luigi Nono, he carried out in-depth research into historic sources and musical iconography from pre-Hispanic times up to the present day, and into the music of the oral tradition of the western Mediterranean. Having been deeply involved in the libertarian struggles of the Transition period, in 1981 he made the life-changing decision to settle in Mallorca, seeking a fertile desert, a place to gather his thoughts, far from establishment circles, where he could transcend conventional limits and take the offensive, work and explore a unique undertaking with a clear understanding of its limits.

Carbonell developed a unique personal universe, identifiable and obvious to the listener. Built on solid foundations, his music can be understood as a route to contemplation, an adventurous journey towards the landscapes of the soul and as an ego to be overcome. Time is suspended in an organic wave of sound, constantly moving and changing, weaving an austere fabric that oscillates between presence and absence: a gesture in sound that creates resonant spaces linking places, time, heartbeats and traces of life.

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