Rachel Hippert, Hannah Kramer and Julián De La Chica, Live in New York

In a Rare and intimate production at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City, Irreverence Group Music presented the "US premiere" of Julián De La Chica's Experimentelle und unbestimmte Lieder Op. 9 and "World premiere" of his oeuvre Gowanus, poems by Susan Campos - Fonseca. American Soprano Rachel Hippert return's to the Cycle Op. 9, after its "World Premiere" in Colombia in 2017. In the second part of the concert, Ms. Hippert was joined by American Mezzo Soprano Hannah Kramer for the premiere of Gowanus, a song cycle duet for soprano, mezzo, piano and synth.

 
 
 
  Rachel Hippert & Julián De La Chica Photo by Hassan Malik

Rachel Hippert & Julián De La Chica
Photo by Hassan Malik

 
 
 

"There is so much creative possibility in presenting a completely new work. Most of my life is spent singing music that has endured for centuries, which indicates its quality and value in the scope of the human artistic continuum. That music is incredible and beautiful, but despite the timelessness of its beauty, it reflects the past in which it was created. It also has been interpreted countless times by different artists through the centuries. When I approach that music, I (and any classical singer today) have to contend with the centuries of established interpretations that inevitably color my own, and I have to work to find space for my individuality.

 
 
  Rachel Hippert  Photo by Hassan Malik

Rachel Hippert
Photo by Hassan Malik

 
 
 

In contrast, working with new music is more of a purely creative exercise. I can let loose my imagination and listen to my creative impulses with very little mitigation imposed by established critical expectations. Critics and audiences won’t be listening to this album and comparing it with previous iterations sung by Callas or Caballé, because there aren’t any. It’s so liberating that it’s almost overwhelming. However I’m fortunate to be working with a truly generous, kind and brilliant composer who encourages me to lean into this project with my ideas and my spirit, letting me revel in the expansiveness of his vision". — Rachel Hippert.

Rachel Hippert

Präludium: (Aufruf)
Gesegnete Dunkelheit
Studio Recording

 
 
 
 
 
Working with silence is the key to the process.  After having experienced the Spiritual Exercises of Ignacio de Loyola and remaining for entire weeks in absolute silence, my interest in silence became essential to my creative development.  Silence helps me construct the capacity to quiet my senses and listen to my inner self.  It is a long and complex process, at which you begin to arrive when you decide to submerge in this experience of self-knowledge and purification.
— Julián De La Chica
 
 
  Julián De La Chica photo by Hassan Malik

Julián De La Chica
photo by Hassan Malik

 
 

Gowanus, Poems by Susan Campos - Fonseca

 Poem No. 5 

Las criaturas inmortales son estériles,
lo confieso.

La luz nocturna cruza el río muerto,
y la vida es implacable.

Translation

Immortal creatures are barren,
I confess.

The night light crosses the Dead River,
and life is relentless.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Susan’s poetry is beautiful, poignant, visceral. Each poem takes you somewhere even if it’s only two lines long. Her writing style works beautifully with Julian’s composition style, creating this breathtaking song cycle.
— Mezzo Soprano Hannah Kramer
 
  Rachel Hippert & Susan Campos - Fonseca Photo by Julián De La Chica

Rachel Hippert & Susan Campos - Fonseca
Photo by Julián De La Chica

 
 
I’ve read through the poetry and translated it online and with my Spanish-fluent partner to get the best sense of Susan Campos’ original full intentions. I think her poetry bears a resemblance to the Maestro’s musical style - both dark, evocative, direct. The musical minimalism is mirrored in the poet’s succinctness. She chooses images that, though expressed simply enough, convey profound existential questions and suggest many shades of interpretation. De La Chica’s music lives in the same way for me. I think this similarity makes these two artists deeply compatible, and the confluence of their work is very exciting.
— Soprano Rachel Hippert
 
DSC00163.JPG
 
 
 
 

Poem No. 7

Tu Dios dijo: "si encuentras diez hombres justos,
salvaré la ciudad."
Figuras de sal que miraron atrás

Me rodean.
He tocado el fondo arenoso de mi corazón.

Translation

Your God said: "If you find ten righteous men,
I will save the city."
Figures of salt that looked

back around me.
I touched the sandy bottom of my heart.

 
 
 
 
 
 
This is the third new work of Maestro De La Chica’s that I have the honor of premiering, the first was the Opus 9, the second was the single, Io sono la musica with Jose Heredia. Each time I get the chance to breathe life into new music, I feel like I’m given a speck of immortality - I get to interpret a piece before any other artist, giving it my colors, impulses, character. The music will live beyond me, but because I helped first give it life, a piece of me may live on with it.
— Soprano Rachel Hippert
 
  Rachel Hippert, Hannah Kramer & Julián De La Chica Photo by Hassan Malik

Rachel Hippert, Hannah Kramer
& Julián De La Chica
Photo by Hassan Malik

 
 

Gallery

Photos by Hassan Malik