Experimentelle und unbestimmte Lieder Op. 9

We live in a world where silence has been lost. We live in the constant search for social acceptance, and our universe revolves around social networks. "How can we talk about what is happening today in the world, if we do not know what is happening within us?" We do not know our hearts, natures, and potential, and most of us are too afraid to confront our true selves. This work: Experiential and Indeterminate Songs, Op. 9 (Experimentelle und unbestimmte Lieder Op. 9) is a call to silence, to the exploration of our inner processes, and to the search for fullness.

 
 
Rachel Hippert
 
 
 

Intro

Experimentelle und unbestimmte Lieder Op. 9 (Experiential and Indeterminate Songs, op. 9) is a cycle for voice, piano, and synthesizer, inspired by reflections and experiences that I have had through the years, from which I began to consciously construct a spiritual interior life. I explore the sound of the interior voice that speaks to us in our daily intimacy, a voice that questions and challenges us. A voice that is conditioned by the world and its egos. The system.

Distanced from a religious vision, apologetic and ascetic, I work with processes that in my personal opinion have helped me in attaining self-knowledge, acceptance, and finally, plenitude. It is a method based in the Buddhist meditation Vipassana, whose process of self-purification is realized through self-observation.

I consider the search for individualism not from a moral egotist perspective but from the perspective that relates us with the collectivity that saturates and critiques. We know ourselves, re-cognize ourselves, re-discover ourselves when we decide to live freely. This brings us to a deep and raw understanding of our misery. We walk completely alone in the darkness. In the coherence of consciousness we define ourselves and evolve.

Julián De La Chica

 
 
 

Album Notes

“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

 
 
 

Tracks

Experimentelle und unbestimmte Lieder op. 9

01. Präludium: (Aufruf) Gesegnete Dunkelheit
02. Schweigen
03. Unvollkommenheit
04. Freiheit
05. Bescheidenheit
06. Dunkle Nacht
07. Reinigung
08. Diskurs
09. Bewusstsein
10. Barmherzigkeit
11. Erfüllung
12. Epilog: Wir sind tot

Bonus Track

13. Präludium, Feat. María Clara Vargas Cullell (Harpsichord)