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An overview of my musical activity


My appreciation of baroque counterpoint and my admiration for the music of J.S. Bach have led me to specialize in harpsichord playing and basso continuo accompaniment. I regularly play with other musicians in my baroque ensemble Harmonia Tangens and I have performed at St Cecilia's Hall in several occasions. I have given guided tours on the history of the string keybaord instrument family with live music demonstrations taking advantage of the fantastic Russell collection of keyboard instruments at St Cecilia's Hall.

Harpsichord and Basso Continuo

Improvisation and Composition

My main interest in music is in developing an articulate musical language at the keyboard. For this reason, since my late training in music started during my PhD years in Edinburgh (I didn't learn any instrument or singing as a child), improvisation has been a constant in my practice. I like to think of improvisation and composition as two extremes of a spectrum that I like to explore naturally. Incidentally, this practice is probably quite similar to how music was made in the classical European tradition; famously most renouned composers were also great performers and improvisers.

To bring back some of the flair and prestige of the tradition of extemporization, which, sadly, has been largely forgotten in the classical music world nowadays, I am organising an Improvisation Competition to be held during the 'Harpsichord en fete' event organized by the French Institute in Edinburgh.

Foundations of Tonal Systems and Music Theory

I am interested in the phenomena of sound generation and sound perception and how musical traditions have explored and systematized aspects of these for aesthetic effect. As part of my contribution to SEMF, I have produced, together with my good friend Pau Enrique, a series of videos where we introduce the basics of acoustics and sound perception.

An interest in the sonic phenomenon in itself and familiarity with diverse historical temperaments from my harpsichord playing have led me to consider the foundations of tonal systems and music theory. I am developing some ideas to formalize a new music theory that is precise enough to capture the richness of physical harmony but flexible to incorporate many of the very successful music systems already used in practice. This could lead to a unified approach towards diverse tonal systems, including microtonality, and open up the compositional possibilities of continuous counterpoint, reference pitch change, dynamic temperament, synthetic harmonies, etc.

Some of my recorded music:

Piano Improvisation 17/10/2020

Piano Improvisation 17/10/2020

A free piano improvisation played at home while a friend was doing creative writing (hence the typing sounds). 00:00 - descending bass, chromatic chord progression 01:25 - quintuplets, 2-voice texture 01:58 - ternary time, arpeggios 03:00 - trills, running notes, ascending chromatics 03:43 - minor, dramatic, dark 04:04 - fast arpeggios, bass lead progression 05:06 - major, 2-voice texture, running notes 06:00 - melodic, light counterpoint, soft accompaniment 09:49 - melodic, modulation 10:37 - disjoint patterns, bass motion 11:20 - melodic, major, modulation, light imitation 12:10 - wandering chord progression, emergent harmonic clarity 13:37 - Motive exposition, rhythmic confusion 14:23 - Motive development, bass driven, pedal note 15:20 - Motive development, high register, crescendo 16:00 - sudden dissonant chord 16:20 - Motive development, light counterpoint, modulation 17:50 - Motive development, harmonic journey 18:32 - Motive development, minor, modulation, harmonic ambiguity 20:08 - Motive re-exposition, modulation, progression 20:50 - Motive development, bass driven, imitation 22:18 - Motive development, melodic, bass driven 23:00 - Motive development, forte/piano contrasts, suspended harmonies 23:38 - Motive development, melodic, running notes, counterpoint 24:28 - trill suspension, minor, Andalusian progression, rhythmic confusion 25:50 - chaconne-like, light counterpoint 26:30 - exploratory/erroneous, modulation, Alberti bass 27:40 - melodic, light counterpoint, turns 28:15 - cluster sonorities 28:42 - minor, low register, hammering, Picardy third, call and response 29:55 - major, running notes, melodic, rhythmically rigid 31:48 - dissonant running notes, sustained sonorities, running notes 32:39 - pivot notes, progression, crescendo 33:33 - thematic exposition and development, light counterpoint 34:23 - oscillating chords, major/minor oscillation, dissonance 35:16 - motive development, third suspension and build-up, bass driven, trill sustain 36:11 - thematic exposition and development, melodic, jazzy harmonies 38:43 - lyrical, soft accompaniment, brilliant chord in cadence
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