Thursday, June 4, 2015

Reynaldo Young 13 Questions


Reynaldo Young [b. 1966] is a London-based Uruguayan Award winning composer, arranger, guitarist, teacher and workshop leader. Has written concert pieces - many of which have been performed worldwide - as well as music for dance, theatre, and video; he is also an active player in the free-improvisation scene in the UK and Europe.


As founder and director of the Cardboard citizens new music ensemble- the UK’s only homeless people’s professional avant-garde music group – he has written, directed and performed contemporary and improvisatory music with mixed ensembles of professional and non-professional musicians.

Other activities include performing with electroacoustic trio Lrs and with the algorithmic junkestra Halal Kebab Hut.


He has collaborated with various artists, including: Luis 'Toto' Alvarez, Darío Bernal Villegas, Luke Fraser, Leonel Kaplan, Simon Katan, Christof Kurzmann, Fernando Perales and Nikos Veliotis, (free improvisation), Antigone Avdi, Melanie Clarke, Rosalind Crisp, Zoi Dimitriou, Carla Onni  and Danai Pappa (dance), Bernardo Galli, Adrian Jackson and Andrew Morrish (theatre) and Mario Lewis (video).

As a founding member of the Agony Art collective, he regularly curates cross-discipline events at Chisenhale Dance Space since 2011.

He lives in London.

What do you remember about your first guitar?

The first guitar I ever heard was my father's. Lived at the farm where I grew up and occasionally would accompany my father's rendering of “Trouble in Mind”. My first guitars where never mine. As a teenager, I used to borrow one from my next door neighbour (whose sister I secretly fancied); I eventually claimed my father's guitar when I judged myself good enough. It'll be that one which counts, probably, as my first guitar.



 Four temperaments: Fragments
Score Excerpts
Full Download here

Which was the first and the last record you bought with your own money?

I don't buy much records anymore. But if I remember correctly, the first record I bought for myself was Pink Floyd's The Wall. Last one? I think it was Tadashi Tajima's Shingetsu

What's the relevance of technique in music, in your opinion?

Technique is an extension of the State. As such, it is must be taken through violent revolution; and following the conquest one must, unfailingly, let it wither away.

What quality do you admire most in a musician?

Click the Squares To Listen

What’s the difference between a good instrument and a bad one?

I just bought a new guitar; it was not the guitar I was meant to buy when I walked into the shop—I had already made myself a pre-set list of possible options (based on price and other practicalities). So I went ahead and tried out these possibilities. But then, as one does, I started playing a few others. Amongst them, this one who, without any sort of permission, began whispering into my ears, privately singing to me. I kept putting her to one side, saying 'no, it's not supposed to be you'. But she kept doing it. She seduce me against my will. We ended up coming home together. 

What are the challenges and benefits of today's digital music scene?

As in any historical sequence of scientific, artistic, political and sexual flux (there have been others before), we have no idea where this 'digital turn' is going. We still don't know how to harness its potential and however—and this is the problem--we think we do. First, we need to overcome an inevitable fetishistic fascination. Some future generation probably will. But today, though good things randomly appear here and there,  it's mostly failures. Hubris and failures.

Define the sound you're still looking for.

Sometimes, not often, I'm playing that sound I'm looking for in a dream. It is infinitely beautiful and I am infinitely happy. When I wake up I can never quite remember it. 

with Rosalind Crisp, Andrew Morrish, Reynaldo Young & Antigone Avdi

 What's the relationship between music and order?

Music (i.e. 'true music') is a herald of an unknowable order to come. Music declares an illegal, new order and, by so doing, it subverts, cracks and punctures the established order. Radically, without exceptions.

Aytk Score Excerpts
Full Download Here 
Listen Here

Can you describe a sound experience that you believe contributed to your becoming a musician?

Rio Negro, in the Uruguayan countryside, mid-seventies. Dusk. Portable cassette player. The Beatles. Revolver.


What do you recall about your playing learning process?

I remember that, as an adolescent, playing guitar was a like physical necessity, a compulsion; I had the sensual urge to pick up the instrument and strum, endlessly, on it. 

What is your relationship with other art disciplines?

I'm music director at the Cardboard Citizens Theatre Company, I continually collaborate with choreographers and dance artists (I'm married to one); I read.

Where are your roots? What are your secret influences?

Roots? Juan Carlos Onetti, Jorge Luis Borges, the 'patio light' of Montevideo, the dunes of Cabo Polonio, the call of the tero-tero...
(Open) secret influence? Alain Badiou.

What projects are you working on now and what does the future hold?

Still working with my homeless people's free improv ensemble, still busy with my academic research (the “Noise of the Oppressed”), about to start composing an immersive surround piece for the Sani fringe festival (“Pallene Vespers”); still playing Atahualpa Yupanqui's milongas on my new guitar—endlessly...

Cardboard citizens new music ensemble

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