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Communauté électroacoustique canadienne
Canadian Electroacoustic Community
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Works » By Title » R » El Reposo del Fuego (17:00 / 1987)

John Oliver

for synthesizers and tape

I visited Guatemala for six weeks in the summer of 1978. Soon after I arrived the earth shook, painting my face with fear. When Mexico City was devastated in 1985, I remembered the horror, anxiety and awe that I felt when the earth shifted, and I imagined the human, spiritual and material devastation such massive catastrophe leaves in its wake. These were the memories reawakened by Sergio Barroso's request to create a piece for the 1988 Electroacoustic Music Festival in Mexico City. I began writing in this sensibility of fear, premonition, and arrested time. The music reveals itself as a book of short poems culminating in a violent and virtuosistic section, temporally based on the Maya calendar, in which a sense of time continuity contains violent upheaval. Order and chaos here coexist. The narrative text lines, read by Antonio Urrello, were selected from poems by Pablo Neruda and from José E Pacheco's “El Reposo del Fuego” [The Resting Place of Fire]. The piece is dedicated to Sergio Barroso and was composed in Vancouver at his IREME studio and at the Simon Fraser University Sonic Studio. Scored originally for DX7(E!), TX7 and tape, the solo part in this recording is the 1988 version for DX7II(E!), TX802 and tape, realized by Sergio Barroso. “El Reposo del Fuego” was awarded the First Prize in the electroacoustic category and the Grand Prize of the Canada Council for the best overall composition at the 8th CBC National Radio Competition for Young Composers in 1988. It was premiered in January 1988 by Sergio Barroso at the Rufino Tamayo Museum in Mexico City. JO

  • Studio: Ireme Studio (Vancouver, British Columbia); Sonic Reseach Studio, Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, British Columbia).
  • Premiere: «Obras electroacústicas de Canadá», Museo Rufino Tamayo (Mexico, Mexique), 31-i-1988
  • Awards: 1er prix & Grand Prix, 8e Concours national des jeunes compositeurs de Radio-Canada, xi-1988; Disponible sur disque compact Société nouvelle d'enregistrement (Montréal, Québec), SNE-556-CD.
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