Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Apr 19th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Strange Attractor

ae1 Enrico ChapelaJohannes Moser and Enrico Chapela’s ‘Magnetar’ is a big draw for Cabrillo Festival goers

When it came time for Mexican composer Enrico Chapela to put together a concerto featuring the electric cello, he drew his inspiration from the source of that instrument’s power: electromagnetic energy. Specifically, he based the music on data from flares produced by three different magnetars, an unusual type of pulsar with the largest magnetic field in existence. After compiling a chart of notes that described the shape of each magnetar’s light, he put his guitar in the traditional C-G-D-A tuning of a cello and jammed some ideas that made use of these materials. The resultant concerto, “Magnetar,” can be heard at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on Saturday, Aug. 10 as part of the 2013 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.

In imitation of the cosmic noise that precedes and follows the pulsar’s blast, “Magnetar”’s first movement begins and ends with the sounds of orchestra members rubbing their hands together and stomping their feet. “The blast itself is a huge, sudden explosion that gradually decreases its magnitude, so it looked to me like an audio event when I saw this graph on paper,” Chapela explains. “For the first movement, I thought it was a better idea to put this audio event backward: to start with a crescendo toward a big explosion at the end of the first movement. So the first movement is basically one of the explosions that I had, but read from the end to the beginning.”

Connecting the concerto’s first and second movements is a solo cadenza in which the electric cello’s signal is processed through such effects as multi-tap delay and ring modulation. “The idea here is [to convey the period] when the magnetars are not exploding—when they are ‘chilling out,’ let’s say,” the composer notes. This passage leads into the slower second movement, which is illustrative of magnetars in their normal, cooler state.

Lest the audience get too comfortable, “Magnetar”’s final movement begins with an explosion. Attesting to Chapela’s history as a rock guitarist is a monstrous riff that the composer simply calls “brutal.”

ae1 JohannesMoserJohannes MoserJohannes Moser, the renowned cellist featured in Saturday’s performance, says his involvement with this piece has made him more familiar with some of the heavy metal music that influenced the concerto’s third movement. “Enrico has introduced me to a lot of bands that I maybe was aware of, but didn’t necessarily listen to much, like Sepultura, Apocalyptica, Metallica—all these bands that you might have heard once or twice, but once somebody introduces you to the subtleties of it, it’s a whole new listening experience,” he offers. “I was mesmerized by the virtuosity that some of these bands have: all the changes of time; how extremely locked in with each other the musicians are.”

The German-Canadian Moser, who recently moved to New York from his native Munich, flew to Chapela’s home in Mexico City in 2011 to be a part of “Magnetar”’s creation. “That’s why this piece is so dear to me,” he states. “I could witness the process of how it was born, rather than just receiving an email with a PDF: ‘Here you are. Good luck.’ To see how Enrico is living, what his rhythm in the day is, to meet some of his friends and the people he is working with in Mexico—that gave me a whole insight into how he understands sound, rhythm and all these kinds of things.”

Also featured on Saturday are Andrew Norman’s “Unstuck” and the U.S. premiere of Philip Glass’ “Symphony No. 10.” An outdoor dessert reception follows the concert, helping audience and orchestra members sweeten their palates after enjoying a generous helping of unusual musical ideas. 


This Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music concert begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church St., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $32-$52. For tickets and more information, visit cabrillomusic.org or call 420-5260.

Photos: Bernd Uhlig / Uwe Arens

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?