Experimentelle und unbestimmte Lieder Op. 9 (Experiential and Indeterminate Songs, Op. 9) is a Cycle for soprano, piano and synthesizer composed by Julián De La Chica. The music narrates a spiritual experience through the five pillars of internal transit that the composer suggests are the fundamental basis of meditation.
Rachel Hippert is charged with personifying the wanderer that in her dark night and her silence, confronts her fears, her lies, her truths, and her ego. Subtly, Ms. Hippert confronts the void of nothing, of the unnecessary, to become the protagonist that risks everything.
The Cycle Op. 9 is a work constructed with few elements, an austere and diaphanous work that leaves freedom to the listener, the surprising relationship between the flow of our listening and interior life. The piano invites the listener to prepare ourselves for meditation. A sound that seems to disappear with time introduces the voice that invokes darkness as an essential part of the process. We submerge ourselves in a journey of introspection exploring the five fundamental pillars that De La Chica proposes as a guide for discernment and meditation: self-knowledge, acceptance, evolution, coherence, and illumination.
Julián De La Chica: Experimentelle und Unbestimmte Lieder Op. 9
No. 1 Schweigen
No. 2 Unvollkommenheit
No. 3 Freiheit
No. 4 Bescheidenheit
No. 5 Dunkle Nacht
No. 6 Reinigung
No. 7 Diskurs
No. 8 Bewusstsein
No. 9 Barmherzigkeit
No. 10 Erfüllung
Rachel Hippert - Soprano
Julián De La Chica - Synth
Listen to the music in Spotify:
Experimentelle und Unbestimmte Lieder Op. 9
“Minimalism means concentration” - Anton Batagov (2016)
“Remove, remove and remove until only the essential is left.” – Eduardo Chillida
How does Julián De La Chica materialize the question of “being” in sound? Through text and music as sound material: the choice of the German tongue as a philosophic language; in its sonority, the reference to the tradition of Lieder, a form where word and sound construct a system of meanings in search of the essential. Materializing it through sound, the works achieve this “concentration” of the essential, guided by the question of the “being.”
But, how do they achieve it? Long phrases, almost Gregorian rhythmicity, recuperate the capacity for enunciation born of medieval liturgical chant and Buddhist mantras. The concentration of power in the invoked words – to enunciate is to make real what is invoked. The essence is enunciated in the concept, in the construction of the enunciations that constitute the exoskeleton of these songs. The sound materializes the concept; it is sound that creates reality. The sound is in the center of the congealed hurricane. A person that asks the question of “being”, stops time. Their presence is now; only the now exists. That instant is nonetheless a whirlwind that in the meditative act stops in front of the asking person and contemplates their mortal state, unappealable: the state of mortality as illumination.
Piano and synthesizer induce vision. The compositional technique of the author is almost sculptural, tuning in with Eduardo Chillida: “Remove, remove and remove until only the essential is left.” In this way, it achieves what Anton Batagov (2016) summarizes in a sentence: “Minimalism means concentration.”
Rachel Hippert weaves an ontological experience with her voice. The soprano understands the underlying magma underneath the Gregorian tradition, mantra, and Lieder at the conceptual level. Her work is rigorous, contained and subtle. The dissonance between her voice and the sculptural piano and synthesizer can materialize flashes of something seen for only a moment.
The voice is a hologram of the sonic imagination, of the intellectual process of Rachel Hippert. “The quiet and still persists," Mr. Chillida wrote. In times like ours, where speed and media urgency seem to demarcate thought and creation, she stops, and with her voice, shows the density of space. Ms. Hippert seems to explore the quality that Mr. Chillida imagined in his sculptures: “I want my works to be still and quiet, the only way of escaping in part the influence of time.”
Susan Campos - Fonseca, PhD
Musicologist and composer
American Soprano Rachel Hippert has recently performed with the Amore Opera Company of New York as "Violetta" in Verdi's La Traviata, “Micaëla” in Bizet’s Carmen, “Rosalinda” in Die Fledermaus. She has also appeared with the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (NJAVO) as the “High Priestess” in Verdi’s Aida.
As a Goodwill Ambassador for We Care for Humanity (WCH), Ms. Hippert has performed at the UN Headquarters as well as for the ceremony of the 4th and 5th Annual Global Officials of Dignity Awards and the 2016 Concert for Humanity presented by WCH. She has also had the pleasure of traveling with WCH founder H.H. Princess Maria Amor Torres to perform for dignitaries in Nairobi, Kenya.
Ms. Hippert serves as the resident soprano soloist for the Brooklyn Philharmonia Chorus and is a staple performer with the Opera Collective, an organization dedicated to making opera accessible to all people.
Julián De La Chica is a Colombian composer, pianist and record producer based in Brooklyn, NY, whose influences range from American minimalism to the alternative and electronic scene. His work, most of the time inspired by everyday images, the search of personal spiritual reflection and the inner darkness, mixes piano, strings, and classical singers, with electronic keyboards and controllers, crossing over from classical to ambient/electronic music.