Post-Minimalism Piano: Colombian-New Yorker Julian de la Chica Leads the Trend

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The New York based music producer and label, “Irreverence Group Music (IGM),” launched the new album of the Colombian composer Julián de la Chica (32yo). This new music album, “Nocturnal & Circular Images op.5” (complete piano cycle), is an album with a delicate sound, full of tremendous moments and a brilliant performance.

Julian de la Chica

Irreverence Group Music releases new album Nocturnal & Circular Images op. 5

I felt an immense curiosity of knowing more about the musical approach of this Colombian artist. A clean musical line, without much pretense, started in the low notes of the piano..."

The New York based music producer and label, “Irreverence Group Music (IGM),” launched the new album of the Colombian composer Julian de la Chica (32yo). This new music album, “Nocturnal & Circular Images op.5” (complete piano cycle), is an album with a delicate sound, full of tremendous moments and a brilliant performance.

When you hear the track N.1, "illumination," you will feel an immense curiosity of knowing more about the musical approach of this Colombian artist Julian de la Chica. A clean musical line, without much pretense, starting in the low notes of the piano, inviting the listener to travel in a curious and slow flow, crossing the mind of his creator.

According to the official press release of the label, “Irreverence Group Music (IGM),” the cycle op.5 was written in late 2014 and released on December 10th of the same year at the Saint Joseph’s Brooklyn Cathedral by the composer himself. Six months later, Mr. de la Chica accepted to enter the studio and record the entire cycle.

Defining the music of Julián de la Chica is a complex work. No doubt that the simplicity of the character of his sound responds to its minimalist inquisitiveness (Some might define as post-minimalist), and surprising that in this new music album you can find the musical taste of one of his major influencers, the composer Philip Glass. Surely the track, “Illumination,” answers to the great influence of the composer Arvo Part. However, beyond the influences and musical thinking with historical notion, Mr. de la Chica leads his intimate and austere world in a paradoxical contradiction between the image of a handsome magazine cover pianist, and the image of a shy personality full of experience and knowledge.

Whatever the personality or the stage costume, the inquisitiveness of Mr. de la Chica’s surprises in a highly positive way, especially when one discovers that his training as a musician comes from the streets of New York and when he used to travel around Europe with his Colombian backpack “Mochila”; a training and educational process very different and away from conservatories or the traditional education.

At Julián de la Chica's official YouTube channel, and in the official “Vimeo” channel of the label we can find works like "Parousia" piano with Minimal techno, where continuous arpeggios collide with a electronic speech flavor from the East Village (neighborhood where Mr. de la Chica used to frequent every night and where he was inspired to make this collaboration) or his hip hop (Classical Flow) in collaboration with the rapper Triple J and singer Omayra. One can also find the music composed for the short film, "The Last Conversation” (Directed by Badr Farha) displaying an exquisite performance by the well known "scorchio quartet”.

The essence of this Album is very distant from the current sound of piano virtuosos or banal eccentricities of today’s performances. To understand much better this new approach and style, people agree when the composer and writer Susan Campos Fonseca describes the music and work of Mr. de la Chica as a different perspective from what the contemporary ear is used to "Listening to this new music perspective can be daunting to the contemporary ear; the notion of complexity as synonymous with Quality, the saturation of the sound landscape and productions that represent the so-called post-post-symphonic great culture deafens us ... why? The reason lies in our need for saturation, rational self-complacency in excess, in the spectacle where nudity is not enough, where open flesh and blood, even death, do not sate us… "

The album has a refreshing vision. Although Mr. de la Chica seems to work hard to find darkness in his work, for others it can be quite illuminating. Mr. de la Chica still needs to drop the chains. But in his constant evolution, one finds great things and an excellent future.

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Anita Buch
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