While in Cuba, the students in Berklee’s Interarts Ensemble worked on their compositions at the Laboratorio Nacional de Música Electroacústica, founded by Cuban electroacoustic pioneer Juan Blanco. Katie Bilinski described its role in relation to the Instituto Superior de Arte as like that of Mix One Studios to Berklee. This is where they spent most of their time, preparing the pieces that would be shown during their final concert at the Museo de Bellas Artes.
They were joined by two LNME students who also composed pieces for the concert, Madai Licor Broceta and Ariannys Mariño Lalana, and ISA composition professor Sigried Macías.
The old cliché that music is a universal language is often true, but discussing technical terms in another language can be difficult. Somehow they made themselves understood.
To build his piece, Enrico de Trizio wandered around Havana, recording samples of things he heard. “In this way you get the atmosphere of a place, more than just taking pictures,” Enrico said. “You don’t realize that a car doesn’t sound the same in Cuba as in the U.S.A., because the engine is really old. It has a particular sound, a particular harmony.”
The samples that were eventually incorporated into his “Silencio” were recorded during a nightly ceremony at the nearby Cabaña fortress. Drummers played a march and a singer recited a chant before the cannons were fired. Enrico merged these sounds with a bolero beat and his own harmonies, turning a military ceremony into a sort of lullaby.
Read more posts from Berklee’s inaugural trip to Cuba: