Javier Alvarez ‘Papalotl’


Transformaciones Exóticas

  1. Acuerdos Por Diferencia (11:30)
    for harp and electroacoustic sounds (1989)
  2. Temazcal (7:54)
    for amplified maracas and electroacoustic sounds 1984
  3. Papalotl (13:15)
    for piano and electroacoustic sounds (1987)
  4. Mannam (14:00)
    for kayagum (Korean zither) and electroacosutic sounds (1992)
  5. Así El Acero (9:10)
    for steel pan (1988)

Total time 55:45
CD released on Saydisc Records, England, 1992

Javier Alvarez (b1956) is a Mexican composer living in England from 1982 to 2007, when he moved back to Mexico. ‘Papalotl -Transformaciones Exóticas’ (Papalotl means butterfly) is a collection of compositions pairing an acoustic instrument with prerecorded or live electronic treatment. Since electronic and tape music have been widely accessible to composers (when electroacoustic studios were launched in Europe, Japan and the US during the 1960s), they have favored this formula of pairing a solo instrument with an electroacoustic background, hence retaining the best of both words. The real-time processing technique strategy also allows live performance of these sound works which otherwise might be available on disc only. Besides, the music community asks for new music scores to be performed by young interprets during concert events. Examples of compositions for solo instrument+electronic treatment/tape can be found in: Pierre Boulez’s ‘Dialogue de l’ombre double’ or 1984’s Répons, Barry Truax, Roderik De Man, Stockhausen, Peter Todd Lewis, Luc Ferrari, etc. The ‘Papalotl’ CD shows Alvarez’s skills in the field. ‘Temazcal’ is based on the relentless, semi-improvised performance of Luis Julio Toro on maracas (b&w picture above, while color picture shows composer) on top of a pre-recorded tape of electronically processed contrabass, harp and folk guitar chords. In this brilliant piece, the mix of vernacular Caribbean+South American popular rhythms with extremely elaborated electroacoustic music is irresistible. The last 2 tracks pair exotic instruments such as kayagum and steel pan against a backdrop of elaborated electronic samples. The sound quality is very good for a CD. Interestingly, Saydisc Records is a folk and world music publisher.

Mediafire or Sharebee.

3 Responses to “Javier Alvarez ‘Papalotl’”

  1. 1 trakl95 January 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    seems that the file deleated.
    any chance to re-up?


  2. 2 continuo January 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Mediafire is down for the day. Please use the alternative link offered.

  3. 3 JG March 6, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Great stuff!

    Never heard of this composer before. A real genius.

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