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Lula Romero
Concert Saturday at 20:00, Granhøj Dans
External link: www.lularomero.com
Lula Romero
Composer (ES), 1976
"Something very interesting about sound is what I describe as the gap that exists in sound itself. The performance means the actualization of this void."

Lula Romero's artistic practice emphasizes the creation of  complex structures both on the microlevel and on the macrolevel, and a careful treatment of the interrelation between material, structure, and space. This preoccupation with structure and material, without neglecting the sound, stands against the current consensus that claims that the only way possible for the public to understand a piece is for the piece to have a “natural”, simple, and univocal form (or material).

Lula Romero holds degrees in Composition, Piano, Art History and a Master's degree in Composition at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague with Gilius van Bergeijk and Cornelis de Bondt. Recently, she has received the Kompositionsstipendium 2012 and the Berlin–Rheinsberger Kompositionpreis 2011 and the grants/residences GEDOK Gastatelier 2012, the VICC Composer Residence Program 2013 in Visby (Denmark) and the Künstlerhof Schreyahn 2013. She has received the CDMC 2008 composition prize for her composition In Constant Sorrow for ensemble and the Honorable Mention in the Fundación autor – CDMC prize 2010 for her piece profil perdu. In 2010, she has been selected as a composer for the Ligeti Academy 2010, Asko-Schönberg ensemble.

Her works have been performed by contemporary music ensembles such as, KNM Ensemble Berlin, Nieuw Ensemble, Ligeti Academy Ensemble, Vertixe Sonora Ensemble, RadaR Ensemble, Grup Instrumental de Valencia, Grupo Dhamar, Krater Ensemble, NEOSBrass, Rosa Ensemble, Ensemble Espacio Sinkro, Taller Sonoro and by the pianist Alberto Rosado.

3 questions for Romero

What opportunities, qualities or restrictions do you think sound has as an artistic material?

There are two qualities of sound that I find very unique and interesting for artistic practice. First, its well known ephemeral character. Sound is never present and it is related to a process of memory, repetition, and time. But a second aspect of sound I find more important for artistic practice and it is the void that exists in sound itself, that is, the impossibility to grasp it. This void is not (or not only) placed between the description (notation) of the sound and the production (performance) of it, but in sound itself. Even in the production of sounds that are not mediated (electronics sounds, improvisation, etc) there is always a gap between the idea and the real. This elusiveness gives an open character to sound which is very interesting and unique for artistic practice.

What does silence represent to you – in general and in regards to your artistic practice?

Silence in general is something that I need for working and for balance, but it is not so common, and very rare if one lives in Berlin. Of course silence is the framework of the musical event, music being whatever is between two silences. Regarding my artistic practice, I do not identify silence with pauses or stillness. Music can be very quiet and with a lot of pauses and still be very powerful. But I am not interested in the so called “poetic of the silence”, that is, to erase the boundaries between sound and silence. In this sense, to erase boundaries means paradoxically that all at the same time is sound and silence, everything and nothing. Consequently the work of art as event, as a thing in its own is denied. It is to us to reclaim the power of the work of art to create statements on its own.

How do you work with the relation between sound and context?

Something very interesting about sound is what I described as the gap that exists in sound itself. The performance means the actualization of this void. In the performance one of the possibilities inside of sound becomes an act in a certain context. From this perspective of sound, all performances are already a contextualization of it.

”desencuentros” (piece performed at SPOR 2013) reflects the topic of the SPOR festival, when it relates sound and its spatial context, but additionally it proposes another and different reading of the topic. Instead of proposing a univocal discourse/interpretation of a certain context-situation, the piece, along with my latest works, is open, through its kaleidoscopic structure, to interpretation by the listener. In doing so, the listener imposes as well her/his own “context”, she/he is not didactically taught how to read and contextualize certain situations, but she/he becomes an active agent with her/his listening.

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