Summam indicabimus signo Σ. With this statement, one of the most important mathematicians in history, Léonard Euler, inaugurated in 1755 the use of the capital letter sigma (eighteenth of the Greek alphabet) as a sum symbol. Since then, Sigma represents the sum of a finite or infinite series of elements.
SIGMA Project is more than a saxophone quartet. It is the realization of a wish came true, an essential vehicle for instrumental music in the 21st century. Just as the string quartet was the instrument par excellence for art music in past centuries, SIGMA Project claims this role in the 21st century for the saxophone quartet.
During its already long career, SIGMA Project has performed more than 150 concerts across half the world – not only in auditoriums in the United States, Argentina (Teatro Colón), Mexico (Palacio de Bellas Artes), Chile, Germany, Scotland, France, Italy, Poland and Romania but also in festivals such as the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato, the Hannöversche Gessellschaf für Neue Musik, the Gare du Nord in Basel, the ENSEMS in Valencia, the Donostia-San Sebastían Musical Fortnight, the Música(s) Contemporánea(s) in the Teatro Central of Seville, the Temporadas of the CNDM, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Operadhoy-Musicadhoy in Madrid, among others.
SIGMA Project’s members see themselves as creative explorers able to encourage the composers who approach their sound, generating new grammars in a real sound laboratory such as the projects developed with the winners of the Spanish National Music Prize: Alberto Posadas (‘Poética del Laberinto’ cycle), José María Sánchez-Verdú (Khôra cycle), José Manuel López López and Jesús Torres or the exciting collaboration with Félix Ibarrondo on his concert, Izarbil, for saxophone quartet and Symphonic Orchestra. This dynamic has generated more than 40 premieres by composers as renowned as Ramón Lazkano, Héctor Parra, Sergio Blardony, José Luis Torá, Alberto Bernal (Spain), Georgina Derberz, Javier Torres-Maldonado, Víctor Ibarra, Arturo Fuentes, Iván Naranjo (Mexico), Miguel Farías (Chile), Simone Movio (Italy), María Eugenia Luc (Argentina) o Yair Klartag (Israel) and first performances in Spain by Sofía Gubaidulina, Salvatore Sciarrino, Peter Eötvös, George Friedrich Haas or Hugues Dufourt.
The distinct modularity of SIGMA Project covers from the homogeneity in the formation of four equal instruments to its highest instrumental diversity. This quality is highly valued in the current composition trends. Examples of this innovative concern, inherent in the group, are the world premieres of Chaman for four bass saxophones and electronics by Thierry Allá, LaLibela, a concert for four bass saxophones and Symphonic Orchestra by Xavier Carbonell, or the KHÔRA cycle for two soprano saxophones and two bass saxophones by José María Sánchez Verdú.
One leaves their concerts convinced of having attended a real experience for the senses, where never felt before sensations, the acoustic space, the visual liturgy and that sound that reveals itself as authentic surface. This could be experienced in the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid, during the premiere in Spain of La Bocca, I piedi, il Suono by Salvatore Sciarrino, an emblematic work for four soloist saxophones and a hundred saxophones in movement, or in the performance in the fronton Jostaldi in Hondarribia (Gipuzkoa) of Hormen Arteko Oihartzunak by Gorka Alda, an original multimedia spectacle that combines the resounding launches of the cesta punta (the ‘basket’ used in the Basque sport Jai alai) with the rhythmical display of the dantzaris (the dancers) and the electronics merged with the acoustics and echoes of the fronton.
They passionately develop their multidisciplinary work with other arts. Video, dance, literature, theatre or painting are naturally integrated into their concerts, rescuing as well music from the past with which they have an utopian relationship. The premiere of the chamber opera Songs of Innocence and Experience for four saxophonists and electronics by José Vicente Fuentes Castilla, the SIGMACIRCULO Festival promoted by SIGMA Project that took place in the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid or the program devoted to the music from the Ars Subtilior and the Ars Nova are examples of this type of work.
SIGMA Project has its own record label, Sigmarecords, and has edited the CD Utopías: New Music for Saxophone Quartet and the DVD The Music for saxophone by Félix Ibarrondo. Additionally, they have recorded for the BBVA Foundation (José Manuel López López and Gerardo Gombau monographs), Orpheus Classical (María Eugenia Luc monograph), Casa Velázquez-Académie de France in Madrid (Víctor Ibarra monograph) and, invited by the German Foundation Ernst Von Siemens Musikstiftung and with the label Col Legno, the Simone Movio monograph.
In 2017, SIGMA Project will present the world premiere of six new works by the composers Alberto Posadas and Helga Arias (Spain), Hilda Paredes and Javier Torres-Maldonado (Mexico), Simone Movio (Italy) and Rodrigo Lima (Brazil) in their concert tour in the auditoriums of Santiago de Compostela, Madrid, Bilbao, San Sebastián, Badajoz and Seville, as well as Buenos Aires (Teatro Colón and Auditorio CCK), Santiago de Chile (Auditorio GAM) and Mexico City (El Colegio Nacional).
SIGMA Project’s work is supported by the Instituto Nacional de las Artes Escénicas y de la Música, the Etxepare Basque Institute of the Basque Government and the German Foundation Ernst Von Siemens Musikstiftung.