JAVIER CONTRERAS (b 1983 )
Javier Contreras is a young Chilean composer who absorbs harmonic and formal methods from the classical tradition of the guitar while combining them with the rhythmic impulse of the popular Chilean guitar. He achieves this by writing his ‘tonada’, Euclídica, in the style of the cueca (the national dance of Chile) with a continually evolving melody progressing in thematic surges and returning time after time without pause or interruption. In Tonada del Retorno (Tonada of Return), Contreras exploits the instrument’s percussive possibilities, moving from traditional language to a more abstract, virtuosic style. In contrast, in Tonada a mi madre (Tonada for my Mother), the composer returns to the more direct language of Euclídica. Finally, in his homage to Victor Jara, Sentido y rázon (Feeling and Reason), the composer includes fragments of the popular trova, presented with great sensitivity and in accordance with the style in which Victor himself played the guitar.