Franz Liszt and tropical sounds?
„The technique becomes a synonym for expressiveness, from the spirit the technique is achieved, not from the mechanics.“, Franz Liszt’s words became the guiding principle of piano art for his students and followers. It enables the pianist to reach a great variety and richness of sound, from brillant pearls to lyric voicing, from orchestral majesty to ringing bells – not only to master the complexity of his works but the entire piano literature. We claim to extend this principle! Thought to the end, as long as sincere and deep human expressiveness is the source, his idea applies to all kind of musical sounds. Music is not the sheet of paper it is written on, or the sound programmed in a digital processing system. It is meant to translate the idea and the inspiration of the human being behind to sound, to express what couldn’t be said or visualized.
One may not recall Liszt’s principle in the first place when dealing with tropical music. But the modern piano and chamber music of Colombia opens a treasure trove once the artist decides to search for the spirits. When the colourfulness of sound derived from the Liszt-tradition meets Colombia’s rhythmical and melodious heritage, a tremendous flow of energy is released, reaching to the deepness of our being and taking us nearer to Beethoven’s mystical deity, in an innovative cross-cultural experience.
„Colombia Tierra Querida“
„Colombia, Beloved Earth“ has become the motto for the inspirational musical experiences originating from this fascinating country. From the coasts of the Carribean to the peaks of the Andes, from the Pacific Ocean via the cool highlands to the Amazonia, the variety of landscapes and cultures gave rise to the great musical ingenuity of the poeple. Already during baroque times the academic music in this tropical part of America encountered its specifc forms and expressions when the mediteranean ecclesiastic tradition arrived at the New World. Composers and performers of modern times have often traveled to Europe and vice versa, and until far into the 20th century late romantic and modern age music has influenced their ideas. However all of them integrate strong elements of the regional traditions – until today still perceptible in the population – to their works, making this the unique and enchanting character of their music. Genius talents like Adolfo Mejía, Uribe Holguin, Luis A.Calvo, Antonio María Valencia, Javier Fajardo Chavez, Maruja Hinestrosa and many artists of present time have created a tremendous oeuvre. The expressiveness, diversity and richness of this contemporary music can be attributed to the main cultural fund of this country: the indigenous, african and mestizo human heritage and the warm hearted poeple of today. So much to learn for the Western society!
Malte Darko and Colombia
A tour in 2002 made Malte fall in love with this country. Ever since he was inspired by its culture and people, which has initiated several concerts, composition projects and lectureships. He worked at the universities UNIBAC (Cartagena de Indias), UNAL (Bogotá), Conservatorio del Tolima (Ibagué), UdeA (Medellín). The Museo Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá regularily invites him to give recitals. He acquired a certificate in Colombian percussion playing at the UNIBAC in Cartagena. The UDENAR (Pasto) is publishing his paper „Tradiciones Olvidades en la Interpretación Pianística“.
In 2019 the VII Seminario Universitario Internacional sobre Patrimonio Cultural in Ibagué made the waning public perception of authentic contemporary music evident. The regional cultural heritage is being marginalized by both the commercialization of tropical music and the dominance of today‘s Western concepts in classical music. This leads to the loss of the cultural identity in the society, and thus promotes inequity.
Making Colombian academic music an integral part of his repertoire, both as a solo pianist and as a performer with the Duo Soniante, Malte strives to develop his special interpretations of these wonderful works and to share this experience with his audience and colaborators. Carried away by innovative approaches to contemporary music, one may discover the value and the richness of expressiveness that arise from the diverse anciant roots of the Colombian society.