Composer and drummer Vicente Hansen Atria has announced the release of his debut album as bandleader on Orlando Furioso, which will be released September 9 via Aguirre Records.
Describing themselves as an “alien folk chamber music” ensemble, the group includes exciting young musicians David Acevedo (trumpet), Andrew Boudreau (keyboards), Daniel Hass (cello), David Leon (woodwinds), Alec Goldfarb (guitar ), Vicente Hansen Atria (drums, compositions), Simón Willson (double bass) and Chilean pop-folk singer Niña Tormenta (vocals on the track “En Tornasol”).
It is a septet project that attempts to reimagine existing, unrelated folk traditions in a distant, otherworldly context, exploring the liminal space of stylistic contradiction. The unique instrumentation pulls in several directions, towards the worlds to which the instruments belong. The juxtaposition of these contexts suspends the listener in a strange post-stylistic space.
“The title of the project is based on the epic poem of 1516 by Ludovico Ariosto”, explains Hansen Atria. “One of the most notable images in the poem is of the main character traveling to the moon to find his sanity. The entire cycle has a cartographic approach, attempting to document the various hypothetical music Orlando might have encountered during In particular, the unlikely inclusion in a Renaissance epic of the sci-fi trope of interplanetary travel serves as a literary equivalent and starting point for my recreation and juxtaposition of musical worlds.
With the opening line of “En Tornasol”, an invisible barrier melts away to reveal an alien landscape.
Early European composers believed that their work reflected in its structure the divine nature of the material world. Through tuning, form and contrapuntal alchemy, these musicians sought to illuminate and edify the complex and perfect order of existence. The music recorded here also reflects the contours of an orderly world, but it’s not a place any of us have ever visited. By assembling distant building blocks from the detritus of a 21st century musical vocabulary, Orlando Furioso draws the listener into a bizarre new cosmos. The result is deeply expressive music that speaks not with the voice of a narrator or memoirist, but with that of a cartographer.
Like a science fiction Dante, the listener is taken on a tour of many diverse and colorful provinces of an extraterrestrial world. Although each composition references its own set of real-world musical locations (from the Andes to Indonesia to Italy to New Orleans), they are bound by stylistic consistency within a cohesive and continuous geography. Permeating this world is an uncompromising commitment to microtonal harmony, rhythmic intensity, and an ability to deploy the esoteric (Nicola Vicentino’s notorious 31-tone temperament) and the obvious snap of the head (a surprise djent breakdown ) with the same conviction. Although Vicente’s compositions lead the ship, serious recognition is due to everyone on the record for their ability to meet these demands.
Our omnivorous musical diets offer true abundance. They enrich our craft by providing access to limitless approaches to choose from – more masters to study, traditions to assimilate and techniques to perfect than are possible in several lifetimes. They can also inflict heavy and often contradictory loads of influence. When every corner of the map has been mapped, it becomes difficult to find a new direction in which to travel. One solution I hope to see more of is the one pursued on this record: breaking down distinct musical worlds into building blocks and reassembling them into a language. When completed with precision and without leaving anything to chance, the seams between the pieces disappear and the listener is deposited in a beautiful and strange place, left to assign their sensations meanings of their own. – lyrics by Mat Muntz
Vicente Hansen Atria is a Chilean composer and drummer based in New York. His music riffs on a wide range of idioms, from renaissance dances to Korean sanjo, creating lucid and futuristic sonic worlds. He has written for groups such as Sun Ra Arkestra, JACK Quartet, Wet Ink Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, TAK Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Bozzini Quartet, Science Ficta and Daedalus Quartet.
He is the recipient of an ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award (2022), an ACF Create Award (2021), The Shed Open Call Commission (2019), two funds from the Chilean Ministry of Culture Fondo de la Música (2022 and 2020), and ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award finalist (2016).
He holds an DMA from Columbia University, where he studied with Fred Lerdahl, Georg Haas, George Lewis and Zosha Di Castri. Vicente currently leads experimental chamber folk septet Orlando Furioso, also performs with collaborative trio Family Plan, improvises electronic music with Buen Clima as Tronador, and designs instruments with Mat Muntz for The Vex Collection, an alternative historical ensemble. .
List of tracks:
In front of
In Tornasol (4’17”)
Raso, Sarga, Tafetán (11’08”)
Bootstrap Bernie (7’56”)
Anticueca N. 6 (10’25”)
Total duration: 41’06”
David Acevedo – Trumpet
Andrew Boudreau – Keyboards
Daniel Hass – Cello
David Leon – Wood
Alec Goldfarb – Guitar
Vicente Hansen Atria – Drums, Composition
Simón Willson – Double bass
Niña Tormenta – Vocals (track 1)
All tracks composed by Vicente Hansen Atria (Vicente Hansen Music, ASCAP) Text for “En Tornasol” by Violeta Parra
Produced by Vicente Hansen Atria
Recorded by Michael Pérez Cisneros at Big Orange Sheep on October 14 and 15, 2020 Mixed by Vicente Hansen Atria
Mastered by Eivind Opsvik at Greenwood Underground
Aguirre Records ZORN94
Original work by Martín Bruce
Design and layout by Amanda Hansen