Hèctor Parra

(Spain, 1976)

At the Heart of the Oblique, a Homage to Claude Parent is a musical piece for the piano commissioned by the Concours International de Piano d’Orléans (International Piano Competition of Orléans) for Hèctor Parra, that will be performed for the first time in March of 2018, during the competition at the end of the Biennale. The Spanish composer‘s encounter with the Frac Centre-Val de Loire’s collection was hugely influential as his musical creation is particularly inspired by the fine arts. After being inspired to create a piano solo (2014), based on Gordon Matta- Clark’s piece Office Baroque, it is now Claude Parent and Paul Virilio’s Function of the Oblique that has caught Parra’s attention. In this very virtuous “study” of about fifteen minutes, Parra literally transposes the Sainte-Bernadette-du-Banlay Church (1963- 66) into music. Beginning with an analysis of the architect’s first sketches, the composer develops a series of colored drawings, through a dynamic system of arrows, ascending/descending, angular/rounded, slow/dynamic, concave/convex that create forms insinuating tension, lyrical fractures and polyphonic clashes. Structured in seven sequences, Parra’s work, graphically and musically, re-invents density, fracture, telluric aspect, ascensional and descendent obliques, maximizing the piano’s full resources, from the keyboard to directly manipulating the strings. The piece takes the pianist, and listener, on a whirlwind of swirls, causing them to lose any sense of gravity and leaving them there, stranded, after the last chord from the sforzato, itself fractured, only leaving space for a gargantuan silence.