Standing, dressed in white, barefoot – that is how the members of Sigma Project perform. They are an exemplary quartet of Spanish saxophonists, who last Sunday offered a concert proficiently programmed and performed at the Museo Nacional de Arte (Mexico City). It is not enough to label the repertoire as eclectic. Said repertoire was organized in a historical arc that was elegant, symmetrical and effective at once. On the medieval times topic, Sigma Project started by addressing the remote and long-lasting tradition of the plainsong, with a precise and unified use of unisons and octaves to achieve an admirably homogeneous texture. Sigma Project approached with mastery and top-tier 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 medieval music, Sigma Project performed a refined and very expressive version of one of the madrigals by the flawed Prince of Venosa, Carlo Gesualdo. They drew with equal doses of gentleness and depth the exquisitely morbid, proto-modern harmonies by the composer-murderer, which constitute finished samples of extremely decanted musical and spiritual pain. In the two pieces by Domenico Scarlatti, the Spanish saxophonists succeeded in communicating the difficult translation from the rigid language of the keyboard to the fluent phrasing of their breath instruments.
Moreover, the high quality of Sigma Project’s expert performances in this multifaceted program should be assessed regarding the well-known fact that their specialty is, very specifically, creating and exploring today’s new repertoires. Therefore, they have achieved a twofold merit in this varied, attractive and also fun music program.”
Juan Arturo Brennan
music critic for La Jornada & Canal 22