Angel Illarramendi

Composer

España

Author

About

Ever since his entry into Spanish cinema in the mid-80s, facilitated by producer Elías Querejeta, Ángel Illarramendi has composed the music for some of the most outstanding films of the last twenty years. In the field of concert music, he is a leading figure in Spain. Composer of a long list of chamber and choral music.

Angel Illarramendi Larrañaga, was born in Zarautz (Gipuzkoa) in April 1958.

At the early age of six, he took his first steps into music, singing at several festivals around the Basque Country, introduced by Manolo Urbieta.

From 11 years on, he started composing his first songs, playing the guitar self-taught. At the same time, he studied music and piano with Maria Barbara Aranguren, as well as secondary education.

At the age of 16 he begun harmony, counterpoint, fugue and composition studies with Francisco Escudero at San Sebastian's Music Conservatory.

In 1978 his first recording was published, containing not only songs -it was a singer-songwriter album mainly- but also his first instrumental pieces. He embarked then on a tour around the Basque Country in order to introduce the album, from which the concert performed at "la Trinidad" Square in San Sebastian. The album stood out, due to a string quartet accompaniment.

In 1981, once finished musical studies, he started a brief but fruitful collaboration at the new-born Basque Theatre School "Antzerti". He composed the score for various scenic works (more information at "Work > Theatre work" section) as well as his first soundtracks, while teaching harmony at different music schools.

From the 1990's on he withdrew from teaching to dedicate entirely to compose both concert and cinema music.

Amongst his various concert works, the following; nine symphonies, his "Concerto for clarinet, piano, viola and orchestra", both his symphonic poems "Espacio sonriente" ("Smily space") and "Zarautz", his suite "Una historia reciente", his "Mass for 4 mixed voices and organ", and also the chamber opera "Zapatos de mujer"- are noteworthy, together with his chamber music output ("Work > Chamber music" for further information).

As a filmscore composer, he has worked with several directors and proucers ("Work > Film scores" for further information), being his collaboration with the producer Elías Querejeta remarkable.

Among several rewards he has received, the following awards and nominations must be mentioned:

"Premio del Circulo de Escritores Cinematográficos" (C.E.C.) (Cinematographic Writers' Circle Award), "Premio EL MUNDO DEL PAIS VASCO" (Basque "EL MUNDO" Award -newspaper-) and a nomination for the Best Soundtrack at the 1996 GOYA Awards edition for "Robert Rylands' Last Journey", by Gracia Querejeta.

Nominations to C.E.C. and GOYA in 1999 for "Cuando Vuelvas a mi Lado", by Gracia Querejeta.

2001 C.E.C. Prize Nomination for "Aunque tú no lo Sepas", by Juan Vicente Córdoba.

2002 CONDOR Prize Nomination (Argentina) for "Son of the Bride" (El Hijo de la Novia), by Juan José Campanella.

" Teledonosti" Prize 2003 (award given by a Basque TV channel) to a professional career.

CLARIN ESPECTACULOS 2004 Nomination and Argentinian CONDOR Prizes 2005 Nomination for Juan Jose Campanella's "Luna de Avellaneda".

Prize C.E.C. 2005 for "Hector" by Gracia Querejeta.

Nomination to GOYA 2005 for "Hector" by Gracia Querejeta.

Nomination to CONDOR 2005 (Argentina) for the film "Luna de Avellaneda" directed by Juan Jose Campanella.

The "7th Symphony" receives Best Spanish music record of the year "CD Compact 2009" award.

14th Toulouse Film Festival chose "La Buena Nueva" (an adaptation of the 7th Symphony) as best soundtrack in October 2009.

2011 - Illarramendi is awarded best classical music author by the Academy of Musical Arts & Sciences for his 3rd Symphony "HARRI ZURIA".

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

La música es mi lenguaje más íntimo y personal. Lo ha sido siempre, desde que tengo consciencia de mí mismo. Un lenguaje con el que puedo expresarme con naturalidad y soltura.

Music is my most intimate and personal language. It has always been, since I am aware of myself. A language with which I can express myself naturally and easily.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

La música es esencial y genuinamente humana, y la fantasía vive muy presente en los humanos.

Music is essential and genuinely human, and fantasy lives very present in humans.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

Tal vez marino, o astrónomo...

Maybe marine, or astronomer ...

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

La música clásica tiene dos virtudes con mucha fuerza: su gran belleza y su poder escénico. Solistas, grupos de cámara o una orquesta sinfónica sobre un escenario tienen un gran impacto visual. La complejidad de los instrumentos, la atmósfera mágica de un teatro o un auditorio y la puesta en escena de los cantantes y músicos en general, ya en principio es un espectáculo a nivel estético. Eso solo en lo visual; que luego viene lo mejor, lo que vamos a oír. Claro que creo que tiene un gran futuro.

Classical music has two virtues with great strength: its great beauty and its scenic power. Soloists, chamber groups or a symphony orchestra on stage have a great visual impact. The complexity of the instruments, the magical atmosphere of a theater or an auditorium and the staging of singers and musicians in general, is already a spectacle at the aesthetic level. That only in the visual; that then comes the best, what we are going to hear. Of course I think he has a great future.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

La música va con los tiempos y siempre está viva; forma parte del ser humano. En el siglo XX en el seno de la música clásica hemos tenido corrientes muy intelectualizadas. No olvidemos que si bien la música es también matemática - la matemática está en todo - la matemática no es música. En este sentido, creo que en el siglo XXI está habiendo más libertad y menos prejuicios. También creo que vamos a entrar en un tiempo más espiritual.

Music goes with the times and is always alive; it is part of the human being. In the twentieth century in the bosom of classical music we have had very intellectualized currents. Let's not forget that while music is also mathematics - mathematics is in everything - mathematics is not music. In this sense, I believe that in the 21st century there is more freedom and less prejudice. I also believe that we are going to enter a more spiritual time.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Todo ser humano es creativo, y en el arte la creatividad es como la harina en el pan. El artista debe estar receptivo, creativo, ser valiente y con una buena técnica para olvidarse de ella y ser libre.

Every human being is creative, and in art creativity is like flour in bread. The artist must be receptive, creative, brave and with a good technique to forget about it and be free.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

Hay que divertirse; la diversión es contagiosa, como la risa. Hagamos buena música y disfrutemos de ella creando una dinámica fluida, viva, apasionante.

We have to have fun; Fun is contagious, like laughter. Let's make good music and enjoy it creating a fluid, lively, exciting dynamic.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

No tengo una pieza favorita. Cada obra tiene su momento y su tiempo. Una vez que tengo una idea, la dejo crecer; voy trabajándola, desarrollándola, manteniendo el equilibrio..., es toda una aventura llena de encuentros, sorpresas, dificultades a superar, mucho trabajo y mucha emoción.

I do not have a favorite piece. Each work has its moment and its time. Once I have an idea, I let it grow; I'm working it, developing it, maintaining balance ... it's an adventure full of encounters, surprises, difficulties to overcome, a lot of work and a lot of emotion.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Que no le tengan miedo ni tanto respeto. Que empiecen a abrir puertas y que disfruten de un mundo apasionante.

That they do not fear him or so much respect. Let them begin to open doors and enjoy an exciting world.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

El primer público soy yo, y me tiene que emocionar lo que escribo. Cuando lo consigo, pienso que se puede dar esa comunión con el público.

The first audience is me, and I have to get excited about what I write. When I get it, I think that communion with the public can be given.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

Mi última obra es una Cantata para Orquesta, Coro y solistas que se titula "Homo Spiritualis".

My last work is a Cantata for Orchestra, Chorus and soloists that is titled "Homo Spiritualis".

Así mismo, dentro de unos días se edita un doble Disco con mis obras: "Zarautz", Concierto para Clarinete, Piano, Viola y Orquesta y Séptima Sinfonía con la Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi, Orfeón Donostiarra y Coral de Zarautz. Se trata de la grabación en directo de un concierto monográfico que se me dedicó en Zarautz en septiembre del pasado año.Y ahora tengo entre manos una obra de cámara. Es un sexteto con Cuarteto de Cuerda, Txistu (flauta vasca) y Trombón.

Likewise, in a few days a double disc is published with my works: "Zarautz", Concerto for Clarinet, Piano, Viola and Orchestra and Seventh Symphony with the Euskadi Symphony Orchestra, Donostiarra Choral Society and Zarautz Choir. This is the live recording of a monographic concert that was dedicated to me in Zarautz in September of last year.And now I have a camera work in hand. It is a sextet with String Quartet, Txistu (Basque flute) and Trombone.