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Music is perhaps the art form that has best represented the social fragmentation of the west, especially from the second half of the 20th century onwards, coinciding with the end of the Second World War. Since then the search for new idioms has been constant, languages that seek to explain a new awareness subject to constant contradiction, not without touches of the nihilism so characteristic of post-modernity, which has led to a loss of historical awareness and extreme neo-conservatism and individualism. Since the tonal rupture of Arnold Schönberg, but in particular through the compositions of Anton Webern, considered the father of contemporary music, music has taken different, bold paths, all of them aiming to understand the solitary awareness that took root in post-war Europe and has continued into the 21st century.

Seldom has music forged such a close alliance with thought, resulting in such a refined expression of the feeling of our time: disorientation, loneliness, lack of communication, searching, experimentation. Music and its Contemporary Expression takes up the reality of this situation. The fact that music, in its newest repertoire, has faithfully described the rupture of an era, gives it legitimacy as one of the most advanced art forms in terms of its creations. Because really “listening” to the music of our times means being open to new sound spaces, spaces that open up in our imagination to create acoustic realities that broaden our mind.

What Ernst Bloch remarked several decades ago is true: that music was the way “towards ethical effectiveness”. This is a possible definition of the role of an art form that has a technological potential which has opened up avenues for new kinds of expression, without forgetting, however, the use of conventional instruments, though these are used in a way that is technically very different from those adhered to up to the mid-20th century. This means we are seeing the birth of new sounds, which is the same as accepting that its language is moving towards a new awareness and a new world.

The Encuentros feature some central figures in contemporary music, world famous maestros who have left a legacy of musical thought and a way of understanding composition. Alongside them are young composers, currently the most advanced, who have already built up an international profile. There will also be debates, dialogues, workshops and sound installations to offer up unknown acoustic concepts and therefore an opening up.