Tuesday, November 22, 2022

World Premiere of Puerto Rican Art Song Cycle “Que tus ojos no se cansen de brillar”

 Gabriel Bouche Caro

The Americas Society will host the world premiere of a new art song cycle by the young Puerto Rican composer Gabriel Bouche Caro and the legendary Puerto Rican poet Giannina Braschi on December 9th 2022 in New York City.

“Que tus ojos no se cansen de brillar” is a new chamber music work for clarinet, violin, flute, cello, percussion, piano, and soprano. This art song cycle focuses on the idea of “puertorriqueñidad” or what makes someone Puerto Rican.

“The style of the music is, at its core, influenced by traditional Puerto Rican music, but it purposefully does not portray these elements clearly. It includes tonal and atonal elements, a variety of textures, and a rich rhythmic structure. The idea behind my work is to represent the wide cultural variety that exists inside the Puerto Rican and Caribbean experience. In this project, it will be evident because of the sonic qualities of the work and also through the variety of styles in text,” said Bouche Caro.

The world premiere will take place as part of the Music of the Americas Series in New York City, directed by Argentine composer Sebastian Zubieta. The chamber music work was commissioned by The Americas Society, a cultural organization founded in 1965 by David and Nelson Rockefeller, to fosters an understanding of the contemporary social, cultural, and economic tides in Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States.

“I want to not only expand the vocal repertoire but to broaden the artistic representation of my generation, who has been faced with the culmination of more than half a millennium of colonialism and oppression—to speak for myself and a generation that has felt excluded, abandoned, and even forcibly ousted and to make something that can give back to where we I come from. My collaboration with Giannina Braschi is also an ongoing one that has allowed me to see some of my ideas about identity clearly represented in text. This has led to a series of compositions (both vocal and instrumental) based on her work,” said the composer.  He selected lyrics from Braschi’s epic poem “El imperio de los suenos” (Empire of Dreams) and the classic Spanglish novel “Yo-Yo Boing!”.  Braschi, in turn, curated a selection of famous Puerto Rican poems for the composer to work with, including works by Julia de Burgos, Pedro Pietri, and Angelamaria Davila.

More about the Boricua Composer

Gabriel Bouche Caro’s chamber music has been featured in the Havana Contemporary Music festival, sound SCAPE, and New Music on the Point festivals. He has been commissioned by the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society, the Canva sounds Collective, and the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts. His authored “Ni Fú, Ni Fa: Los Cuentos de Siempre”, based on the postcolonial novel “United States of Banana” by Giannina Braschi about Puerto Rico’s future. His music has been performed by various ensembles and soloists including the JACK Quartet and Evan Runyon. He is the recipient of the Randolph S. Rothschild Award in Composition (Peabody Institute) and the Augusto Rodriguez Prize for musical achievement (University of Puerto Rico).

More about the Boricua Poet

Giannina Braschi is a trailblazing force in Boricua arts and letters. She writes cross-genre literature in English, Spanish, and Spanglish.  The North American Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE) honored her earlier this year with the Enrique Anderson Imbert Award." Her prolific career, which extends from groundbreaking research on Hispanic classics to her spectacular work as a renowned and award-winning creator, places her among the most innovative and influential voices of Hispanic letters in the United States. She is a pioneer," stated the Academy’s Director Carlos E. Paldao. Her Latinx philosophy and poetry has inspired adaptations to theater, music, short films, painting, sculpture, and industrial design.

For more on Puerto Rican song cycle “Que tus ojos no se cansen de brillar”, click here: https://www.as-coa.org/events/gabriel-bouche-caro-que-tus-ojos-no-se-cansen-de-brillar

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