I arrived in Mexico city and was whisked off to a concert at El Colegio Nacional. It was the spanish quartet of 4 saxophones SIGMA Project playing the world premiere of Alberto Posadas’s new three piece cycle ‘Poética del Laberinto’. This was wonderful opportunity to catch up, with the magnificently accurate, inventive and awe inspiring performance by the spaniards. I thought this sort of precision could come only from a quartet of strings.
It was a real pleasure to have Sigma Project in the program of the Ciclo de Conciertos de Música Contemporánea of the BBVA Foundation in Bilbao once more. They performed an impressive concert that included two wonderful world premieres by Alberto Posadas and the young composer Helga Arias. It was an unforgettable concert for many reasons. My most sincere congratulations to Sigma Project!
It’s been five years, I think, since Josetxo Silguero got in touch with me for the first time to ask me to write a piece for Sigma Project. At that time I didn’t know the quartet, but I was excited with the idea of writing for four saxophones. They sent me a link to the rehearsal that they had recently had with Jose Manuel López López in which I could appreciate the professionality and seriousness with which they addressed the challenges given by the composer. As a result, I became even more attracted to the possibility of working with them.
This project has been delayed several times and we hadn’t had the chance to meet until very recently, in Mexico, where both Sigma and I participated in the Foro de Música Nueva. There, I was able to listen to them live in a concert that immediately triggered my imagination in different directions. I started to dream with the possibilities of these instruments in the hands of these extraordinary musicians that address accurately and certainly the different languages of each composer.
Some weeks later I met Josetxo and Andrés in Madrid and, between tapas and wine, we agreed to make this dream come true.
We hope to share our dreams in this 2017 that is about to start.
Any established contemporary music festival can only dream of the large public that Sigma Project gathered in the premiere of the opera for soprano saxophones by José Vicente Fuentes Castilla (1986), Songs of innocence and experience. The stalls of the Auditori Germanies in Manises, Valencia, were almost full the first day of the first festival of contemporary music organized by the Ateneu Cultural.
Songs of innocence and experience […] moves between the innocence of an infant and the gaze of someone with silvering hair who calls upon the “children of the future age”. It is a large conglomerate of texts and ideas that talk, whisper, blurt out, sing or whistle to each other. This textual structure results in a series of poetic sequences where the four saxophonists play, in addition to their sopranos, tam-tams, bells that remind us of the Big Ben, electric guitars with a bow, plastics with their feet, chains and basins full of water. They also set several metronomes in motion from different heights, both physical and harmonic.
This “sigma” of elements and ideas leads to an ending in which the voice plays the leading role – it is an opera.
[…] The result is extremely attractive and, as it has already been mentioned, very poetic. The creativity and virtuosity of Sigma Project are self-evident. In addition, the appropriate use of the lightning and the staggered stage contribute to immerse the public in the listening of this multi-colored world of sounds.
Songs of innocence and experience ends with a voice-over playing in the distance when the musicians leave the scene. Do not forget this name – José Vicente Fuentes Castilla. We will have to be on the lookout for him, not only regarding his music but also everything else.
Attending a concert by SIGMA Project is to experiment a musical journey, where the joy and wonder are always present. It is also to notice a sort of a new virtuosity, understanding this term in its original meaning of “virtue” and “virtuoso”, and not just as circus show of technical and personal skills.
A virtuosity that covers not only the hand that touches but also human breath.
Furthermore, there is in this splendid Spanish group poetic virtuosity whose exercise does not necessarily mean exhibitionism. So, thanks to them, come alive agile winged virtuosity, next to one material earth, another more outgoing and bright, next to one intimate and secret. Listen to Sigma Project is, no doubt, one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.
Incredible this saxophone quartet! By dint of subtle timbre, Sigma is keen to find the whole universe within the saxophone. An they find it! I said I would inform about it when their CD, including Jesús Torres’ Tenebrae, was launched. Here it is now. It is called Utopías and it is a very special album, as everything that they do. And also very special – as everything he does – is this score by Torres, which makes saxophones play with a reponsory from the Office of Holy Week by the great Tomás Luis de Victoria.
[…] All of those not aware of Jesús Torres’ achievements in his previous works for saxophone, will be amazed at how he domesticates the color of this instrument. The same will happen to those who have not listened before Andrés Gomis’ saxophone, alone or within Sigma Project. Do it now, you will not regret it, except for some fault in the receptor of their art. Another day we will talk about other works of the disk, also of great richness: Germán Alonso, Ramón Lazkano, José Manuel López López, Félix Ibarrondo and Juan José Eslava
Five years ago –or more, depending on the time when you read this text – a new musical collective was born in Spain: SIGMA Project. The idea was beating in the restless minds of a group of contending artists from at least ten months before. However, we had to wait for a concert in the 69th Quincena Musical Donostiarra to see four saxophonists, dressed like angels or some martial-art fighters (barefoot and rigorously in white), showing for the first time in our geography. It was August 27, 2008.
Their second artistic appearance concerns me personally in my capacity as former Director of the extinct CDMC. It was at the Auditorio 400 of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, on October 27 of that same 2008, at the Series I had the honor to program. Since then, they have not stopped offering concerts in Spain and the international scene.
Five intense years have passed. We have suffered, for instance, an economic and social crisis. But we have also seen the fecundity of a project, unusual to a certain point as every good project is, and which seemed to be born already very mature and complete.
The truth is: if the adventures of SIGMA Project were a crime, they would have prescribed. And it may be somehow a wonderful crime to be born with that desire and illusion and, at the same time, boast of seniority and high professionalism.
[…] So, I congratulate SIGMA Project for maintaining their commitment with strong pulse, and I am pleased to see that the white bud (a “stockhausean colour”, as they say and have chosen for the majority of their clothing in concerts) is already a strong stem, and that its five years and what comes, are already a part of the history of Spanish contemporary music. Some may not care much about this but, for me, it is Life itself, and I am sure that is also for them. For this reason, infinite thanks and lots of encouragement for the rest of their artistic lives.
The saxophone quartet SIGMA Project is one of the ensembles dedicated to contemporary music more peculiar at our scene. Their high level of artistic commitment, the ethical dimension of their work, the audacity of their proposals transcending music itself, and their huge rigor have made them an indispensable and coveted tool for a number of composers they usually work with. Its four performers can presume of a solid mastery over the instrument and of a huge mutual understanding.
I have had the huge privilege and satisfaction of premiering “YUN”, for saxophone quartet, with SIGMA PROJECT, to whom it is dedicated.
I have rarely been provided with the opportunity to share a work so meticulous, introspective and creative like that the one offered to me by every one of the quartet’s members: Andrés Gomis, Josetxo Silguero, Angel Soria and Miguel Romero.
I am deeply grateful for their availability to research, for the experimentation and their commitment to interpretation of a composer’s universe; their inventiveness, their uninhibited force. All of it framed within an exquisite musical sensitivity and an enormous technical capacity.
It is because of that that I consider SIGMA PROJECT one of the most relevant and necessary groups of the beginning of the 21st century.
Welcoming Sigma Project for its fifth anniversary, after having seen their ‘birth’ in our Contemporary Musical Fortnight Series, has been a pride and a great satisfaction this August 2013. Once again, the group was distinguished by the richness and versatility of their livelihoods, addressing an eclectic and demanding repertoire, adapting and appropriating the space in which they were positioned, to serve music with passion and imagination in front of an dedicated and thankful audience, with an unquestionable loyalty to the creators, and the enthusiasm and energy of who just started a demanding and fruitful journey. Zorionak eta urte askotarako!