On February 15th the new CD of Maxim Shalygin will be released by the TRPTK label: Todos los fuegos el fuego. Be there at the Duif in Amsterdam, starting at 20h…
Two of the Netherlands’ most exciting saxophone quartets join forces to perform Todos los fuegos el fuego by the Dutch/Ukrainian composer Maxim Shalygin. Shalygin drew his inspiration for this work from short stories contained in the book of the same name by the Argentinian writer Julio Cortázar. The eight-part composition is performed by eight saxophonists because, according to the composer, this family of instruments is best equipped to convey the stories – with a combination of subtle and mysterious sounds and furious outbursts.
Back in 2006, when writing Trio for violin, cello and piano, I named the draft after The Devil’s Drool, a collection of short stories by the great Julio Cortázar. Now, eleven years later, the trio is still in its draft stage, but my affinity with Cortázar’s art has only become stronger, and I felt a great need and urge to enter into a creative dialogue with this author. Therefore, the second chapter of the life-long Similar cycle constitutes a mysterious and exciting link between music and literature.
My inspiration was Todos Los Fuegos El Fuego, arguably the most enigmatic book by the great Cortázar. All the short stories in this collection share an exit into a parallel, magic reality, sometimes near to our own, sometimes strikingly different from it. Their forms provoke peculiar musical dramaturgic solutions, whereby an abundance of pseudo-musical forms enables for the creation of a unique atmosphere, using an expanded variety of performance techniques.
The suite’s overall structure consists of eight parts, performed by eight saxophone players — as many as there are stories in the book (and syllables in its title, which, incidentally, sounds like a saxophone phrase by itself). The saxophone is chosen for a reason, since, for all his knowledge and passion for music, jazz claimed most of Cortázar’s attention. Jazz, and accordingly the sound of the saxophone, was his muse and a constant presence in many of his most well-known fiction. Moreover, the saxophone is involved in many mystical moments in music, literature, and, last but not least, cinema — another fascination I share with the author.”
– Maxim Shalygin
‘Devastating, breathtaking. They played with almost superhuman dedication and control. A stirring event, on that the listeners could all agree.’ — Brabants Dagblad