Cancionero sin palacio

Année de composition
Instrumental ensemble [12 musicians]

In 2020 I wrote Lavorare stanca for the ensemble C Barré. It’s a piece about work and fatigue – and unfortunately it’s a minute shorter than the commission. To make up for it, I transcribed for the same ensemble a piece from Cancionero de palacio (a collection of Spanish Renaissance music) that invites to pleasure and relaxation: hoy comamos y bebamos. This maneuver of distraction was successful and the ensemble C Barré revived; the project of a revisited chansonnier was born.


Al alba venid establishes two spaces that do not speak to each other: an interior where the original music resounds to the plucked strings and an exterior where the day awakens the animals.
– In Cucú I have multiplied the humorous (and lascivious) side of the text, embodied by a slide flute and underlined by abrupt loops with a lewd rhythmicity.
Rodrigo Martines is a hieratic collage of different orchestrations of the theme, which gradually discovers its most intense facets.
Descansa triste pastor presents two contrasting religious musics that disappear under the weight of their fanatical pulse.
– My version of Tres morillas is inspired by 2000s techno, as these three Moorish enamors would probably do in a club these days.
– These five arrangements are added to the existing one: the invitation to the pleasures of Cantemos y holguemos, which ends the collection.

To transcribe is to write for different means, but also for a different context. The transition that takes place is both acoustic (the music transits from one form of production to another) and perceptual (it transits from one listening to another). I have subjected these renaissance musics to a constant splitting of the acoustic and poetic signs that constitute them, hoping that in this rebound they will find a new way to speak to us.


Mikel Urquiza

Sponsored by SACEM

Création mondiale
December 21th, 2021 | Les Modulations, saison of GMEM — Centre national de création musicale | Petit plateau of Friche La Belle de Mai, Marseille

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