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Soul, Memory, Sound

10/10/2022 | 17:30

Hilda Paredes. Interview by Fabià Santcovsky.

Hilda Paredes’ artistic voice emerges through her music with a characteristic dramatic power and a temporal articulation of a poetic sense, with a range of qualities that over the years have made her one of the most important artists in her country, as well as on the international scene. Her thoughts on the structure of discourse and the qualities or material of her music give rise to an oeuvre involving profound reflection on her own work and constant revelation of the focuses of her interest. Her sound imagination and her formal mastery are also the expressive fabric with which Paredes has created a crucial, characteristic feature of her work: invocation, integration, recreation and re-elaboration of the sound, culture and politics of native Mexican cultures and civilisations. Her work in this respect is multidimensional: in the cultural sphere the past and memory are interlaced with contemporaneity and the future through the use of native languages and also through collaboration with contemporary poets who express themselves in these languages, and in the sound sphere poetics from the avant-garde western musical tradition coexist and merge with the imaginary worlds of these cultures in both narrative and sound terms. A clear and especially meaningful expression of this is her extensive vocal music, where the phonetic sounds and musicality of spoken native languages create an extensive, distinctively unique sound and semantic vocabulary. In creating operas – and consequently a mode that combines her poetry with an essence that now makes the dramatic, militant and political sides of her work explicit – has dealt with the conflicts, tensions and events of the history of the Americas in El Palacio Imaginado and in the recently premièred, Ivors Stage Works Award-winning opera Harriet, which portrays Afro-American activist and abolitionist Harriet Tubman. There is something in the resonance of Paredes’ music that refers to, takes up and continues what certain avant-garde composers of the past expressed above and beyond their exploratory languages, to do with feeling the human soul and exploring the most profound, moving level of our humanity. Hilda Paredes’ musical universe therefore stands as a poetic style in cultural and sound terms, making this a powerful, evocative universe. We will be able to discuss her thought at first hand and also ask her about the continuity and future of avant-garde musics and cultures in fusion and diversity.


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