In the two editions prior to 2005, the Sónar Festival featured an inaugural session held at Barcelona’s L’Auditori with proposals aimed at integrating the festival in the city’s circuit of classical venues. In 2004, a select group of electronic musicians was invited to intervene in well-known pieces chosen from the traditional repertoire of classical music, while at the same time new forms of visualisation were being explored. For this new initiative, the idea was to radicalise the positions and split the programme into two clearly separated parts: on the one hand the musical interventions, on the other the visual ones.

Regarding the first part of the programme, an invitation was extended to artists from different musical backgrounds and they each chose the pieces of classical music in which they wished to intervene. The coincidence in choosing Anton Webern, as the starting point for interventions, was as casual as it was surprising. Of all the composers of musical modernism, it is in Webern where we find the most lucid and significant reaction to what could be called the inherited musical rhetoric. Webern became the composer who influenced the thoughts of an entire generation of avant-garde musicians that arose in Europe after World War II (Boulez defined him as the “threshold” of new music). Given the wide choice of composers that can be listed to represent the traditional world of classical music, the fact that two artists coming from such different genres as that of “DJ” and “hip-hop” chose Webern, resulted highly significant. In order to complement the first part with an inverse procedure, two orchestral pieces were specifically created as an intervention on existing electronic themes: PN-1 & PN-2.

The second half of the programme was given over to the field of visual experimentation. In order to fine-tune the result, it was decided to limit the project to one theme. The concept of landscaping was chosen as the main thread which could be represented in parallel by means of the music: Takemitsu, Bartók, Debussy, Mussorgsky. In addition, the audio-visual contrast and complementarity which made up the second part of the program were related to the exhibition “Randonnée: A Walk Through 21st-century Landscaping” a main feature at SonarMática that year. The concert drew an extraordinary variety of opinions and preferences. Precisely the desired outcome.


Conductor: Pedro Alcalde
Orchestra: Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC)
Artistic directors: Pedro Alcalde and Advanced Music

Event: Sónar Festival
Venue: L’Auditori Barcelona
Date: 16th and 17th June 2005


Part 1: Musical Interaction
Featuring DJ/rupture
Anton Webern:

6 Stücke für Orchester op.6, nr. 4
5 Sätze (Fassung für Streichorchester) op.5, nr.3 and nr. 4

Featuring Doseone
Anton Webern:

5 Sätze (Fassung für Streichorchester) op.5, nr.1 and nr.2

Featuring Pedro Alcalde / Sergio Caballero PN-1 and PN-2
Richie Hawtin:

Mind Encode

Part 2: Landscaping
Featuring visual intervention by Rachel Reupke
Toru Takemitsu:

Twill by Twilight. In memory of Morton Feldman

Béla Bartók:

Hungarian Sketches: An Evening in the Village

Featuring visual intervention by Dietmar Offenhuber and Nina Wenhart
Claude Debussy:

Nocturnes, nr. 1: Nuages

Modest Mussorgsky:

Khovanshchina: “Dawn on the Moscow River” (Shostakovich version)