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Edgar Valcárcel Composiciones Electrónicas Para Los Andes (1967-2006)

Edgar Valcárcel (Puno, 1932-Lima, 2010) is one of the most important composers in the tradition of written music in Peru. He belonged to a crucial generation, the Generation of the 1950s, which also included César Bolaños, Leopoldo La Rosa, Celso Garrido-Lecca, Enrique Pinilla and Francisco Pulgar Vidal. These musicians were responsible for introducing locally the new languages of the international musical avant-garde, in a meeting with the legacies of Peruvian native music, where the folkloric material was used under very free and abstract conceptions. Inspired by the traditional music of the Andean highlands, as well as the avant-garde indigenism of the puneño poet Gamaliel Churata and the modern oeuvre of his uncle, the composer Theodoro Valcárcel, Edgar Valcárcel moved very young to Lima in order to enroll in the newly founded National Conservatory of Music, where the Belgian composer Andrés Sas was his main teacher. Valcárcel's work took a new direction after studying with Donald Lybbert at Hunter College in New York, and attending as a fellow the Latin American Center for Advanced Music Studies (CLAEM) of the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1963-1964), directed by Alberto Ginastera, whom he had as a teacher alongside great names of the international avant-garde such as Olivier Messiaen, Luigi Dallapiccola, Riccardo Malipiero and Bruno Maderna. In 1966 he won a scholarship from the Guggenheim Foundation to pursue studies in electronic music at the Columbia–Princeton Electronic Music Center in New York. Although Valcárcel distinguished himself as a prolific and remarkable composer of orchestral and chamber music, as well as a notable pianist, his interest in electronic composition was registered in four pieces that are a good example of his musical obsessions. "Invención" [Invention] (1967), composed in Columbia under the watchful eyes of Vladimir Ussachevsky, represented an outstanding beginning in these new languages and can retrospectively be considered as one of the masterpieces that sprung from the New York research center. There he also began the composition of "Zampoña sónica" [Sonic Zampoña] (1968-2006), a visionary work, initially designed for magnetic tape and flute, revised after his appointment at McGill University in 1976, until its final form in 2006, which was premiered in Lima in a version for native instruments processed live with the original electronic track. In this piece the composer uses several traditional melodies of the Andean highlands, which are articulated in sequences and interact with a wall of dissonant electronic sounds and feedbacks. "Canto coral a Túpac Amaru II" [Choral Song for Túpac Amaru II] (1968), for choir, percussion, projections, lights and magnetic tape, a work based on the poem "Canto coral a Túpac Amaru, que es la libertad” [Choral Song for Túpac Amaru, who is Freedom], by the Peruvian poet Alejandro Romualdo, is inspired by the indigenous leader of the largest anti-colonial rebellion that occurred in Latin America during the eighteenth century.
  • Composiciones Electrnicas Para Los Andes (1967-2006)
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