Andrés Nuño de Buen – Feldlinien

Today has conspired to leave me little time to write about new music, but I have managed to find a very interesting piece for unaccompanied steel-string guitar Feldlinien by contemporary Mexican composer Andrés Nuño de Buen (who is currently based in Karlsruhe, Germany). Because this piece is unaccompanied, Buen has room to play with a wide variety of very subtle sounds on the guitar like scrapes on the wound metal strings, glissandi, and higher partial harmonics that do not speak as loud as the traditionally played string. Some of the effects created, like those at 1’05”, 1’30”, and 2’55” for example, are especially extraordinary, especially if this piece does not use electronics like the description provided by Buen implies. Lines can be almost dizzying because of the rapid changes of timbre as well, like at 5’33”, which must be extremely difficult for the performer. However, this fast pace of timbral change is spread between such sparse musical language that it never overwhelms, but instead whets one’s appetite and inspires curiousity to hear more. Rapid shifts of color like at 6’20” provide the groundwork for some of the most interesting passages of this piece. The harmonies he creates are also often quite beautiful, especially when colored by ordinary notes, harmonics, and glissandi, scrapes, or other techniques simultaneously.

That’s all I have time for today, hope you enjoy the music!

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