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Creaci​ó​n de la tierra: Ecos palpitantes de Jacqueline Nova (1964​-​1974)

by Jacqueline Nova

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    Double vinyl edition, limited to 300 copies. Includes a booklet with extensive information written by Ana María Romano G in spanish and english.

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CREACIÓN DE LA TIERRA - Ecos palpitantes de Jacqueline Nova: Música electroacústica e instrumental (1964-1974) (2LP/DL)

Jacqueline Nova (Gante, Bélgica, 1935 - Bogotá, Colombia, 1975), figura representativa de la música de vanguardia colombiana, desarrolló un importante trabajo dentro del campo de la música electrónica e instrumental, como también en formas interdisciplinares.

El presente álbum CREACIÓN DE LA TIERRA - Ecos palpitantes de Jacqueline Nova: Música electroacústica y música instrumental (1964-1974)¸bajo la curaduría e investigación de la compositora colombiana Ana María Romano G., recupera sus obras electroacústicas más importantes: Creación de la tierra (1972), Oposición-Fusión (1968) y Resonancias 1 (1968-69), así como la música para la película Camilo el cura guerrillero (1974), compuestas durante su estadía en el Centro Latinoamericano de Altos Estudios Musicales (CLAEM), del Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, de Buenos Aires, como también en el Estudio de Fonología de la Universidad de Buenos Aires. La compilación incluye también las obras instrumentales Omaggio a Catullus (1972-1974), Transiciones (1964-1965), y Asimetrías (1967), en las que explora la aleatoriedad, las posibilidades tímbricas o el encuentro entre el medio acústico y electrónico.

El interés por la exploración con la voz humana, y el trabajo interdisciplinario con artes visuales, fueron algunos de los aspectos que han definido el trabajo de Jacqueline Nova. Ha escrito Ana María Romano: “Nova vivió en un medio hostil al cambio, al debate y la discusión, hostil a su ser mujer autónoma y lesbiana. Emprendió hazañas que hoy la hacen pionera, sin habérselo propuesto, solo como resultado del compromiso, la entrega y la pasión de una creadora con su sociedad. Jacqueline Nova murió en Bogotá, de cáncer de huesos. Su trágica y temprana muerte no solo truncó una carrera en plena fuerza creativa, sino que afectó de manera directa el desarrollo de la música electroacústica en Colombia: tras su muerte hubo un gran silencio -cercano a los 15 años- en la creación musical con medios electrónicos. Nova retó a un medio conservador y sobrevivió en soledad, en una práctica asociada por prejuicio como de realización masculina, fue una mujer la que afianzó el uso de las tecnologías en la música colombiana. Apuestas arriesgadas que tristemente le representaron un alto costo: Nova fue relegada en su momento, pero sus ruidos lograron sacudir y cuestionar las zonas de confort del medio musical colombiano”.

CREACIÓN DE LA TIERRA - Ecos palpitantes de Jacqueline Nova: Música electroacústica e instrumental (1964-1974) se publica a través de Buh Records, en todas las plataformas digitales y en una edición de doble vinilo, limitada a 300 copias, incluye folleto con amplia información escrita por Ana María Romano G. Masterizado por Alberto Cendra en Garden Lab Audio. Diseño por About Studio. Esta publicación ha sido posible gracias al fondo de Ibermúsicas


ENGLISH:


CREATION OF THE EARTH - Throbbing Echoes of Jacqueline Nova: Electroacoustic and Instrumental Music (1964-1974) (2LP/DL)

Jacqueline Nova (Ghent, Belgium, 1935 - Bogotá, Colombia, 1975), a representative figure of Colombian avant-garde music, developed important work within the field of electronic and instrumental music, as well as in interdisciplinary forms. This album CREACIÓN DE LA TIERRA - Ecos palpitantes de Jacqueline Nova: Música electroacústica e instrumental (1964-1974) [CREATION OF THE EARTH - Throbbing Echoes of Jacqueline Nova: Electroacoustic and Instrumental Music (1964-1974)]¸ under the curatorship and research of the Colombian composer Ana María Romano G., recovers Nova’s most important electroacoustic works: Creación de la tierra [Creation of the Earth] (1972), Oposición-Fusión [Opposition-Fusion] (1968) and Resonancias 1 [Resonances 1] (1968-69), as well as the music for the film Camilo el cura guerrillero [Camilo the Guerrilla Priest] (1974), composed during her stay at the Centro Latinoamericano de Altos Estudios Musicales (CLAEM) , of the Torcuato Di Tella Institute, in Buenos Aires, as well as in the Study of Phonology of the University of Buenos Aires. The compilation also includes the instrumental works Omaggio a Catullus (1972-1974), Transiciones [Transitions] (1964-1965), and Asuimetrías [Asymmetries] (1967), in which she explores randomness, timbre possibilities or the encounter between acoustic and electronic media.

The interest in experimenting with the human voice, and interdisciplinary work involving visual arts, were some of the aspects that have defined Jacqueline Nova's work. Ana María Romano has written: “Nova lived in an environment hostile to change, to debate and discussion, hostile to her being an autonomous and lesbian woman. She undertook feats that make her a pioneer, even though she did not set out to be taken as one, but only as a result of the commitment, dedication and passion of a creator with her society. Jacqueline Nova died in Bogotá of bone cancer. Her tragic and early death not only cut short a career in full creative force, but also directly affected the development of electroacoustic music in the country. After her death there was a great silence —close to 15 years— in musical creation with electronic means. Nova challenged a conservative milieu and survived alone, working in a field thought to be exclusively masculine. But it was a woman who strengthened the use of technology in Colombian music. A risky bet that sadly represented a high cost: Nova was relegated during her lifetime, but her noises managed to shake and question the comfort zones of the Colombian musical establishment”.

CREACIÓN DE LA TIERRA - Ecos palpitantes de Jacqueline Nova: Música electroacústica e instrumental (1964-1974) [CREATION OF THE EARTH - Throbbing Echoes of Jacqueline Nova: Electroacoustic and Instrumental Music (1964-1974)] is published through Buh Records, on all digital platforms and in a double vinyl edition, limited to 300 copies. The album includes a booklet with extensive information written by Ana María Romano G. This publication was possible thanks to the Ibermúsicas fund.

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CREATION OF THE EARTH - Throbbing Echoes of Jacqueline Nova
By Ana María Romano G. – Bogotá, 2022

Jacqueline Nova Sondag (Ghent, Belgium, 1935 - Bogotá, Colombia, 1975) had a brief and very intense career whose legacy we continue to assess and rediscover: a proof of which is the present publication, that compiles historical recordings of works composed by Nova in the decade of 1964-1974.

By 1972, the Di Tella Institute, where Nova had studied and developed part of her electronic output, had already closed. Thus, the Phonology Study of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Buenos Aires, and the CICMAT (Center for Research in Mass Communication, Art and Technology) were the places that made up for the absence of the Institute’s musical facilities: in particular the Electronic Music Laboratory of CLAEM (Latin American Center for Advanced Musical Studies). That year, thanks to a Guggenheim scholarship, Nova returned to Buenos Aires to work in the Phonology Study and to develop a research project on the transformations of the voice through electronic processes. This is how Creación de la tierra [Creation of the earth] was born.

Nova composed the piece working solely with vocal material from songs on the creation of the earth of the U'wa ethnic group (Boyacá, Colombia). During her studies at the university, she wondered about the relationship between her society and indigenous groups, although she was aware that she was not indigenous herself, and that she was an outsider to those communities. In this ritual work, according to Nova’s own words, the voice and the word U'wa are interwoven without exoticism. The indigenous voice is permanently transformed and at times the sound source is unrecognizable, with the purpose of making the words unintelligible (or hardly intelligible). Thus, the voice of a community to which she does not belong and the words of a language that is not her own, take on great symbolic value: they are amplified within a context that has marginalized them for centuries. Nova claims the right to coexist as peers and the need to exist without exclusions.

Throughout Nova's artistic creation we find a great fascination for the human voice, electronic media and mixed instrumental combinations, that is, those in which acoustic instruments are intertwined with electronic media. The work Omaggio a Catullus has these three components. Nova chose a Latin text of the poet Catullus and, once again, she was interested in allowing the text to be understandable only for short moments, maintaining the idea of rendering it inintelligible through sudden or slow changes, dilation or contraction, and other procedures that disassemble words. In the first version of the score, from 1972, the electronic component contemplated the use of sound transformation in real time. However, she revised the piece in 1974 and in the adjustments she ruled out electronic processing in real time, most likely due to logistical difficulties given that the premiere was scheduled for February 1975, and by that time she was very ill. These modifications to the original score and the emphatic request for speaking voices explain why the premiere performance was given by a theater company and not by a choir. Catullus's text gives the work a testimonial character, almost autobiographical, revealing despair and disappointment due to different personal situations.

The first time Nova lived in Buenos Aires was in 1967-1968, as a CLAEM fellow. There she discovered a musical community open to conversation and debate. Her curious spirit allowed her to explore the electroacoustic medium in a self-taught way very early in Bogotá: on the one hand, in the studios of the HJCK station she made recordings and then modified them with radio equipment; on the other hand, at home she had two open-reel tape recorders with which she also experimented. It is important to clarify that she did not discover electroacoustic music in Argentina. However, as a CLAEM student, she had the opportunity to work in the Electronic Music Laboratory in circumstances that she had not known in Colombia: it was an adequate space exclusively for electroacoustic composition. This allowed her to reach a high level of technical refinement that, combined with her compositional searches, places her as one of the leading figures in Colombian and Latin American electroacoustic music. In this context she composed Oposición-Fusión [Opposition-Fusion] (1968), the first of three electroacoustic works for fixed media in her catalogue, once designated “for tape”. In this work, the timbre elaboration is linked to the spectral behavior of the materials generated with oscillators and microphones, that are articulated seeking to connect or separate in terms of textures, densities or spatiality.

Ten years earlier, in 1958, Nova arrived in Bogotá, after living in Bucaramanga, the city of her paternal family. She settled in the capital to study as a pianist at the National Music Conservatory. However, starting from 1963, she concentrated on a career as a composer. Transiciones [Transitions] (1964-1965) belongs to that initial period of her training, a work in which sound inquiries timidly appear that will reveal themselves more fully over time. Like the timbre explorations involving the strings of the piano or the resonances through different uses of the pedal. The temporalities that allow the sound to develop, inhabiting and transforming space, at the same time that very precise rhythmic structures emerge. Or the inclusion of chance elements that herald instability as an essential disposition for creation.

Nova was the first woman to obtain a diploma in composition at the Conservatory. This does not mean that there were no women composers in Colombia before her time. At the end of her studies, in 1967, she won a scholarship to study at CLAEM. From that moment on, very few of her works do not incorporate electronic media. For Nova, electroacoustic resources had to be integrated into the sound universe of contemporary musical creation without mysteries, as any other musical material that can enter into an organic dialogue with acoustic instruments. Another work of her time at the Di Tella Institute is Resonancias 1 [Resonances 1] (1968, revised the following year in Bogotá). Here the piano is interwoven with electronic sounds and the piece is built on 7 structures with timbre indications, leaving each performer to make decisions on how to put the work together, having only the general duration of the piece as a temporal indication. Nova once again opens the doors of chance to feed the imagination.

Along the same line of organization combined with chance procedures is Asimetrías [Asymmetries], composed during Nova’s first year at CLAEM. The work is based on 7 structures that in turn contain groups that give way to different combinatorial possibilities. In this piece, as in those involving chance, the fixed components are usually the parameters of pitch and intensity, which allows the performers or conductor to make decisions about the other elements and finish composing the work. Her closeness to chance is a nod to surprise, to the unknown, to curiosity.

Looking back at Nova's work today, we could understand her as a sound or interdisciplinary artist. Throughout her career she participated in plays, installations and sound sculptures, an oratorio and a movie. Furthermore, several of her “concert” works feature the intervention of audiovisual or scenic elements. For this publication we decided to include the soundtrack she composed for the film Camilo el cura guerrillero [Camilo the guerrilla priest], by Francisco Norden, because it brings us closer to the facet of Nova related to the Latin American social and ideological context of the moment. She connected with the figure of Camilo Torres as a representative character of the revolutionary discourses active in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s. The soundtrack is mono, which contrasts with the searches in spatialization that appeared very early on in Nova’s output (even in acoustic works). For this reason, the version presented here does not modify the materials in terms of timbre or space, it only changes some volumes in the overlapping of the fragments belonging to different scenes of the documentary.

Nova lived in an environment hostile to change, to debate and discussion, hostile to her being an autonomous and lesbian woman. She undertook feats that make her a pioneer, even though she did not set out to be taken as one, but only as a result of the commitment, dedication and passion of a creator with her society. Jacqueline Nova died in Bogotá of bone cancer. Her tragic and early death not only cut short a career in full creative force, but also directly affected the development of electroacoustic music in the country. After her death there was a great silence —close to 15 years— in musical creation with electronic means. Nova challenged a conservative milieu and survived alone, working in a field thought to be exclusively masculine. But it was a woman who strengthened the use of technology in Colombian music. A risky bet that sadly represented a high cost: Nova was relegated during her lifetime, but her noises managed to shake and question the comfort zones of the Colombian musical establishment.

credits

releases December 27, 2022

DISCO 1

A1. Creación de la tierra (1972) - 19’12’’ / Electroacústica para soporte fijo en estéreo. Realizada en el Estudio de Fonología, Facultad de Arquitectura, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

B1. Omaggio a Catullus (1972-1974) - 9’03’’ / Integrantes de la Orquesta Sinfónica de Colombia y de la Casa de la Cultura de Bogotá. Director Karol Bermúdez. Grabación del concierto de estreno el 14 de febrero de 1975, Auditorio León de Greiff, Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Bogotá.

B2. Oposición-Fusión (1968) - 10’54’’ / Electroacústica para soporte fijo en estéreo. Realizada en el Laboratorio de Música Electrónica del CLAEM (Centro Latinoamericano de Altos Estudios Musicales, Instituto Torcuato Di Tella), Buenos Aires, Argentina.


DISCO 2

A1. Transiciones (1964-1965) - 13’56’’ / Para piano. Intérprete: Helvia Mendoza. Grabación del concierto el 30 de marzo de 1966, Radiodifusora Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

A2. Resonancias 1 (1968.-1969) - 3’38’’ / Para piano y sonidos electrónicos. Esta grabación es un extracto del concierto de estreno el 23 de octubre de 1969, Radiodifusora Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. No se cuenta con información de intérpretes.

B1. Asimetrías (1967) - 11’58’’ / Para flauta, timbales y tam-tams. Solistas de Música Contemporánea de Buenos Aires Integrantes del CLAEM. Director Armando Krieger. Grabación del concierto de estreno el 21 de noviembre de 1967, Sala de Experimentación Audiovisual, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

B2. Montaje electroacústico a partir de materiales de la música original de la película Camilo el cura guerrillero (1974) - 8’15’’ / Electroacústica para soporte fijo. Creación de Ana María Romano G. (2022).


Curaduría e investigación por Ana María Romano G.
Masterizado por Alberto Cendra en Garden Lab Audio
Traducción por Alonso Almenara
Arte y Diseño por About Studio


BR172
buhrecords.bandcamp
Lima-Perú, 2022

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