|TODOS LOS DÍAS...NINGUNO (EVERY DAY… NO DAY)
Written circa 1977/78, just arrived in Caracas for a second time, and not for the same reasons as the first time. It was very stimulating to meet again old friends from the 1960s. Sharing ideological points of view about social and aesthetic aspects, to the support given by all of them, favoured the composition of this work. During most of those two years he had not been able to get a piano for his studio in order to confront part of the sonorities piece, which made him to do so at friends’ houses or workplaces.
Passages excerpted from the premiere program:
…”Regarding his composition Todos los días… ninguno, which was awarded in the Music Composition Contest at the Universidad Simón Bolivar Anniversary in 1979, his author says: “...it is framed within certain ways of working that were already emerging in Música para Elda (1966) and in Ambientes (1967). These new work patterns become clearer and expand in the years to follow, as a consequence of team experiences aimed at examining the sonorous-musical space and the types of distributions and actions in group improvisation groups. After almost three years, these studies derived in the piece Cuando estamos …cuando no estamos, from the 70s. These, as well as other pieces, are a product of the image that arises from story-telling and/or poetically translating that set of things (intellectual, sensory and sentimental) that I produce as a living being or with the illusion of being one.
Todos los días…ninguno is a way of saying that things are always the same, there’s no way out, and that there is a way out and there isn’t, and that everything always returns and doesn’t return, and that it depends on “something” that each day be one. This work, as well as my previous ones, has action forms that recur almost unchanged, sets that repeat immediately, gaps of silence, abrupt cuts, timbres that emerge and then sink, and legible thematic elements (either a timbre, or a melody), -their existence depends on the image; that is to say, not planned in a speculative way (even though they are planned). The piece is completely written but its performance is flexible, and depends, to a great extent, on how the conductor handles it and the different levels of response he gets from the instruments (the way it works with most compositions of our time)…”
THAT AFTERNOON IN THAT HOUSE
Written in Caracas in 1990; a masterpiece, not easy at all to assess. And any reflection you may add, implies a risk, of toning it down and diluting sensations and emotions when you wish to relive that moment.
Translated by Nicolás Maximiliano Perrotti
…Although you cannot deny a character prevailing in the whole composition: the fiery emotional and dynamic attachment it provokes on both players and listeners.
Attachment distinctive of the “symphonic” (acknowledging the ambiguousness of the word). Franz Liszt –a sublime creator- helped. A symphonic poem, I thought. A poem.
We may bring light to another aspect: “melodism”. Condition or trend Zubillaga himself made his own from the beginning. With this purpose it seems necessary to go to the fascinating introduction of this work. A gleaming, distinguished by a very special “melody” (timbre melody) of short string emissions slightly sustained by the percussion. How could you describe this initial passage using non-musical –associative- terms? As a choice made among many others, a picture of climates. Or a wide acoustic space teeming with an intense life. So much life, so as to move its listeners to another space. I have thought too of a paused, adjusted and sensitive walking of a feeling seeker who guesses the presence of something near but unusual, something he does not get to see, a presence, maybe a white wall. And an unexpected visitor arrives, a B flat, high-pitched, long and penetrating, emitted by a trumpet. It is unnecessary to point that the presence of this B (seventh note of the classic scale) that we knew beforehand without warning touches the wall I mentioned, penetrates it and opens at the top a window. When this B flat and its task end, a window with a pointed arch, the initial climate, starts to dilute. The strings –magnificently handled by the author and the conductor with their “da camera” qualities intact, however the character or symphonic drive of the work- perform this task.
Meanwhile the piano –Diana Lopszyc- contributes with its chords as aquatic reflections at first and later with the slight touch of the strings. Also with the timbres of the beginning, almost diluted by the whistling and mumbling of the players themselves – magical instant - ; the lengthened emission of the trumpet which for a brief passage broadens to the whole of the ensemble (symphonic elaboration in full swing); the wise and slow preparation of a new climate, resource always masterly used by L.Z.; a “silence hollowness”. And now, yes, the song at its height: the central or defining passage or section , which in Liszt, a romantic , appears as “triumphant”. Neverthless it will sound differently in the case of Zubillaga.
Partial analysis: on one side the trumpet (Enrique Garate). The long B flat was an announcement of what was to come: a drawing of crotchets, in eight notes that as they go high in their last whirl they become an E, a minim, an “hornero” with its beak high standing on his nest. It follows its design for eight more bars. A very beautiful singing (even if the “hornero” has left us for a moment). It is like that, I felt it. And the Orient taking its place.
On another level, the percussion with its repeated five-beat rhythmic drive. In the in-between voices, violas and violoncellos, which add their own voices, and syllables (telling,- not tuning ) to the pizzicatos ordered by the author. Although not “random” syllables. On the other hand, they are syllables that speak a hermetic tongue we have forgotten . “Fa-ta-pa-ta-ta-ti-di-di---“ in its “natural” voice, not “expressive” at all (How can we express what we have forgotten? I am referring to the essence of our golden age and the stuttering; documenting it with our current timbre, “for a better and necessary confusion”.
The finale. A great variation. The theme, now played by a violoncello (an inspired Martín Devoto), is re-verted, re-formed, re-created. A ”long” silence: just a suspended form: the pointed arch. And the final bar, with four sounds, the last is an A (natural sign), third note of a triad, that has made people talk a lot in a field L.Z. has nourished. Since he was young.
Excerpts from a text by Alfredo Gialdini.
At the closing date of the consejo de la música
Premiere of Argentine works
“In numerous presentations in Buenos Aires we could notice how well prepared the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil of La Plata is, and their most recent performance was at the closing of the festival organized by the Argentine Council for Music, in which various works were premiered.
Radio Municipal gave a live transmission of the concert from its major studio, which should be followed by many more similar ones…
..."Escena", by Luis Zubillaga, portrays a dramatic and even visual development that rightly justifies its title. Radio listeners undoubtedly had more freedom than the people present in the studio to reach the character suggested by the tightly braided flow of sonorous episodes which were skillfully instrumented and were not lacking in fantasy”… (Napoleón Cabrera, Clarin Newspaper, Argentina, December 19, 1987).
His works are the outcome of permanent research distinguished by a severe self-criticism and analytic rigour that prevent him from falling into procedures imposed by current fashions. His piece "Escena" for instrumental ensemble adopts language procedures that are related to improvisation, a problem he has already treated in earlier works such as "Ambientes" for piano, written in 1967” (Walter Guido, El Diario de Caracas, Venezuela, November 3, 1982).
Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal
Música Total First National Contemporary Music Festival
Commemorating the Ateneo de Caracas 50th Anniversary
José Félix Ribas Auditorium
Sunday, February 21, 1982 6:00pm
Presently a teacher in the Escuela de Arte of the U CV and a researcher in the Instituto de Investigaciones Musicales Latinoamericanas “Vicente Emilio Sojo”, Luis Zubillaga has had a vast experience in the musical life in his home country -Argentina- where he has contributed to enrich his adjustment to the country he chose to live in some years ago: Venezuela…
…Regarding Escena, the piece that will premiered today complying with a special request made by the Festival, he says:” Escena continues with the method of composition that begins in Ambientes (1967) and develops with the work we did with improvisation ensembles, a method of work based on forms of actions that recur often unchanged within a context of images emerging either from continua or in an abrupt way separated by gaps of silence. Segments that repeat, an inclination towards a lack of mobility and themes that can be read directly are some of the work’s features. Excerpts from the concert's program.