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DISCOVER THE MAGIC REALISM SOUND OF JUAN ARROYO

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Born in Lima, Peru, Juan Arroyo studied composition at the Conservatories of Lima, Bordeaux and later at the CNSM in Paris. He furthered his musical knowledge during training such as Voice News and IRCAM Cursus. He was guided by distinguished composers such as Brian Ferneyhough, Heinz Holliger, Henri Pousseur, Kaija Saariaho, Mauricio Kagel, Michael Levinas, Luis Naón and Stefano Gervasoni.

His work won numerous awards like the price of the Francis and Mica Salabert Foundation in 2013 and the price of the Academy of Fine Arts of France in 2015. He received prestigious commissions from the French Ministry of Culture, Center Henri Pousseur, SACEM, Proxima Centauri and the Tana Quartet. His works are regularly performed by eminent ensembles and performers such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Linea, Ensemble LAPS, L’Itinéraire, L’Arsenale, the National Orchestra of Peru, Claude Delangle, Jeanne Maisonhaute and Antonio Politano. Maribé Charrier. His music is played in renowned festivals like the Festival Manca, Archipels, Mixtur, Rhizome, La Chaise-Dieu, Cervantino Festival, Ars Musica and Transit.

He was composer in residence at the Center Henri Pousseur in 2014, at IRCAM in 2015 and member of the Academy of France in Madrid for the year 2016/17. He just got a commission to the Art Center Music Art Zoid for a new hybrid string quartet.


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Juan Arroyo has synthesized his work on the hybridization around three fundamental fields related to perceptual indices: gesture, space and timbre. Hybridization is a central element in the deformation of these indices. The expression “deformation of causal listening” encompasses different listening situations.

On his hybrid string quartet SMAQRA, although the initial musical object is inscribed in a percussion ring, the listening codes refer us to stringed instruments. The singularity and interest of this work are these games of displacement, of movement between a causal listener and a reduced listener, passing through numerous intermediary states of perception. Juan Arroyo explores in them different states progressively erasing sound sources such as a photographer or a cameraman that makes us travel from the concrete to the abstract, from materiality to immateriality through the play of the focus of his objective.

Thus, the search for the development of reduced listening, generally favored by electronics, constitutes a trajectory towards the unheard of whose border between sound reality and unreality is in total correlation with the literary inclinations of Juan Arroyo on magical realism.”

FABIEN HOULÈS
Profesor Agregado de la Universidad Jean Monnet de Saint Étienne,
Le premier quatuor à cordes hybride, l’exemple de Smaqra de Juan Arroyo,
publicado en la primavera de 2017 por la editorial L’Harmattan.