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DISCOVER THE MAGIC REALISM SOUND OF JUAN ARROYO

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Juan Arroyo was born in Lima, Peru. He studied composition at the Conservatories of Lima and Bordeaux and at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris. He deepens his musical knowledge in formations like Voix Nouvelles and the program of studies of the IRCAM. He has been guided by eminent composers such as Brian Ferneyhough, Heinz Holliger, Henri Pousseur, Kaija Saariaho, Mauricio Kagel, Michael Levinas, Luis Naón and Stefano Gervasoni.

His work is rewarded with numerous awards such as the prize of the Francis and Mica Salabert Foundation in 2013 and the prize of the Académie de Beaux Arts de France in 2015. He receives prestigious commissions from the French Ministry of Culture, the Center Henri Pousseur, the SACEM, the Ensemble Proxima Centauri and the Tana string quartet. His works are regularly performed by eminent ensembles and performers such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, L’Itinéraire, Linea, LAPS, L’Arsenale, Regards, Sonido Extremo, Feedback, Peru National Orchestra, Claude Delangle, Jeanne Maisonhaute , Antonio Politano and Maribé Charrier. His music is broadcast in renowned festivals such as the Festival Ars Musica, Archipels, Cervantino, La Chaise-Dieu, Manca, Mixtur, Rhizome, Transit Festival and ¡Viva Villa!

Composer in residence at the Center Henri Pousseur (2014), IRCAM (2015), member of the Academy of France in Madrid, Casa de Velazquez (2016/17), composer in residence at the Art Zoyd Music Creation Center ), he is a member of the Académie de France in Rome, Villa Médicis for the year 2017/2018.

In 2014 he began a new stage of his artistic work with the construction of new instruments capable of transmuting their sound, the TanaInstruments. Indeed, his aesthetic approach consists of mixing two highly contrasted musical cultures: Western culture and Latin American culture. This is reflected in the hybridization of the perceptual indices of the sounds in order to reveal their evocative and irrational nature of their substance, sometimes making them enigmatic.


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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.