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L'esmalt clivellat

Xavier Carbonell

Foto Esmalt clivellat

Program

This exhibit journeys through the imprint left by composer and musicologist Xavier Carbonell i Castell (Barcelona, 1952–Palma, 2022). Structured around five tableaux designed by the author, compiling traces of his life history, and in dialogue with a selection of texts and a documentary, the display brings forward a persistent willingness to overcome boundaries by listening, by living, and by writing.

The last forty years of European and American art, imprecisely defined in its limits, might provide a framework in which to set Carbonell’s work – a field defined by an approach to sound art that deviates from the aims and parameters of the 1960s avant-gardes, channelled by authors from a variety of scenes and generations that transfigured the universe of recent music. Although Carbonell belonged to this multi-generational, aesthetic setting, and despite being so close to other artists’ paths, such as Morton Feldman, Giacinto Scelsi, or Gérard Grisey, his compositional corpus reads as a unicum, both locally and within the Hispanic context, and left a profound mark on an entire generation.

Trained as a performer and composer in Barcelona, his apprenticeship with Joan Guinjoan, Corium Aharonian and Luigi Nono takes place with an in-depth study of historical sources and musical iconography, from pre-Hispanic peoples to the present, as well as music of oral tradition of the western Mediterranean area. Strongly involved in the libertarian struggles of the Spanish Transition, in a decisive vital turn he decided to settle in Majorca island in 1981, looking for a fertile desert, a point of inner seclusion, radically removed from the establishment: a place to be able to transcend and struggle, to work and explore in a unique quest from the precise awareness of the limits.
Carbonell created a singular, unique universe, identifiable and palpable as one listens. Erected upon consistent cruxes, his music reads as a means for contemplation, as a risk-filled journey to the landscapes of the soul, and as a central focus towards transcendence. Time suspended in organic sound, ever moving and ever-changing, weaves an austere fabric that oscillates between presence and absence – a gesture of sound, creating resounding spaces and connecting sites, times, beats, and traces of life.

In 2016, on the occasion of the tribute dedicated to the author at the Encontre Internacional de Compositors festival, Carbonell wrote a short collection of poems from which he selected a set of objects from his own collection. This set is in the form of five sections or secular altarpieces, with the following titles I – Beginnings of the way, II – Transforming places or stays, III – Contemplation, IV – Exiles and deserts, V – The activated checkerboard, the path towards the end.

These altarpieces frame the screening of the documentary L'esmalt clivellat -“The crackled glaze”-, which the filmmaker Doménec Boronat dedicated to the composer in 2017.

Presented posthumously in Palma last spring, and now for the first time in his hometown, the exhibition is a recognition of one of the most solid and unique voices in music today.

Curator
Jordi Alomar

Director and author L'esmalt clivellat (documentary, 2017)
Doménec Boronat

  • From September 22, 2022 to January 29, 2023
  • Museu de la Música Entrance
  • Museu de la Música
  • Museu de la Música

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