Utopias

Concert program with ancien and sacred music:
Gregorian – Ars Subtilior – Carlo Gesualdo – Domenico Scarlatti

When we learn to speak, we are learning to translate, Octavio Paz claims. As an essential action that entails transfer and dependency, translation is a tool for tolerance that opens the door wide to other visions, other sounds, other ways of naming. It opens to new worlds. At the same time, language itself is constantly creating new dialects or slangs. It takes time for these new movements to be added to the dictionary, but they are the beating heart of a language, whose color is mainly perceived in the teeming streets of a city. Language breaks through.

SIGMA Project, in its task of sound research, understands the language of musical transcription as this constant and enriching growth of the music. They present in Utopías a sound space where tradition and contemporaneity intertwine through the sound of the saxophone, translating acoustics and expressing ancient meanings with new languages.

SIGMA Project has presented this program in the main Latin American auditoriums (Mexico, Argentina, Chile), as well as in its European tours in France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Romania, Scotland and major Spanish cities such as Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla, Bilbao, Badajoz, Donostia-San Sebastian…

Sigma Project in Bilbao (2016)
Sigma Project in Ordizia (2016)

“… Standing, dressed in white, barefoot – that is how the members of Sigma Project perform. They are an exemplary quartet of Spanish saxophonists, who offered last Sunday in the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City a concert proficiently programmed and performed. It is not enough to label the repertoire as eclectic. The repertoire was organized in a historical arc that was elegant, symmetrical and effective at the same time. Regarding the medieval times, Sigma Project started by addressing the remote and long-lasting tradition of the plainsong, with a precise and united use of unisons and octaves to achieve an admirably homogeneous texture. Sigma Project approached with mastery and a first-rate technical resolution the strange and intricate harmonies and the crude rhythmical labyrinths of Johannes Ciconia’s music, the highest representative of the fascinating musical style that was the Ars Subtilior of the Middle Ages.

Masterly linked to the medieval music, Sigma Project made a refined and very expressive version of one of the madrigals by the deceased Prince of Venosa, Carlo Gesualdo. They drew with equal doses of gentleness and depth the exquisitely delicate, proto-modern harmonies of the composer-murderer, which constitute completed samples of the most decanted musical and spiritual pain. In the pieces by Domenico Scarlatti, the Spanish saxophonists succeeded in communicating the difficult translation from the rigid language of the keyboard to the flowing phrasing of their breath instruments.

The high quality of the expert performances by Sigma Project in this multifaceted program must be additionally evaluated regarding the well-known fact that their specialty is, very specifically, to create and to explore new, contemporary repertoires. Therefore, it is a dual merit what has been achieved in this varied, attractive and yes, fun music program.”

Juan Arturo Brennan (music critic for the newspaper La Jornada & Canal 22 TV Mexico, 2017)