Julio Estrada: eolo’oolin (1981)

  • Venue: Miller Theatre at Columbia University
  • Season: 2013-14
  • Series: Miller Theatre
  • Composer Name: Julio Estrada
  • Performers: Steven Schick
    Nathan Davis
    Ross Karre
    Rob Dillon
    Peter Martin
    David Skidmore

Audio provided by New York’s Q2 Music at q2music.org:
George Wellington (technical director), Chase Culpon (mix engineer), Bill Moss

Composer's Notes

eolo’oolin, from the Greek for ‘wind’ and the Nahuatl for ‘movement,’ initiated a phase in my work to do with creating a notion of ‘macro-timbre,’ synthesizing rhythm, sonority, and spatial elements. The idea of continuity dominates the whole piece.
The musicians find themselves distributed in a pentagon, with five at the apices and the sixth in the center, functioning as soloist and, in due course, conductor. The lines around the periphery, and the lines between each of those artists and the center, form a special network. The spatialization is two-dimensional and sometimes virtual, the score defining the speed at which each performer must move.
The audience can be placed within the five triangles inside the pentagon and also outside this, in a circle broken by spaces for the musicians around the sides.
Formally, the work is made up of several sections fixed by the sextet. Various interludes engage the musicians in competition, where they must show their skills in execution and rhythmic improvisation.
eolo’oolin has the character of a collective dance, and, by virtue of inflections that are continuously present, of involuntary allusion to the music used in the social celebrations of indigenous peoples from almost throughout the Americas.
The first part of the work, a third of the whole, was introduced by Les Percussions de Strasbourg at the Festival Musica in 1984. The premiere of the complete piece took place in 1998 at the closing of the international summer courses in Darmstadt. The work was commissioned by the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes of Mexico in 1981, and first performed there thirty-two years later.