Nowadays, describing an artist or his work is much like labeling. This is because people want to recognize, identify immediately to what group, trend, movement, this particular artist belongs to. However, this is getting more difficult every day, due to the continuous merging of elements, concepts and tools at the artist’s disposal. The latest of these blending trends or mixtures is called “fusion” (which can, at times, be short for “confusion”). Well, in the music of Yalil Guerra there is fusion all right: jazz, Cuban, synthetic scales, serialism, clusters, all within a rigorous classical morphology. But there is no confusion: this is Cuban music, this is classical music, and this is good music.
But, how can this young (yet mature) musician achieve such clarity in his works? The answer may lie in his aesthetics.
In a world of tolerance, where everything has its own space, where ugliness is a form of beauty, where people seek (and find?) beauty in ghettos, wars, cesspits, third world environments and such, Yalil Guerra, out of nowhere, bets on “straight beauty”. A wonderful “return to the origins”, where ugly is ugly and beautiful is beautiful. Thus said, he feeds on elegance, splendor, and loveliness, not sophistication, mind you, to construct his works.
Some of Guerra's works, have found their way into the repertoire of several prestigious musical assemblies, such as: Musica Camerata Montreal, Ensamble Solistas de la Habana, and many other soloists and chamber groups. Other ensembles are requesting works from his catalog (or new ones), so it wouldn’t be surprising if in a nearby day Yalil Guerra’s works become a “must” reference of contemporary classical Cuban music.
Performed by Ensamble Solistas de la Habana. Recorded July, 2009. Conducted by Ivan Valiente. First violins: Mónica Betancourt (concertino), Ivon Rubio Padron and Alyoth Marichal Vastillo. Second violins: Juan Manuel Vásquez Pérez, Carmen María Vásquez Pérez and Alejandro Menéndez Suarez. Viola: Winnie Magaña Soler and Anolan González Rodríguez. Cello: Elis Regina Ramos and Isabel Cristina Pall. Basses: Susana Rivero Cangas. Recorded by Mikel Barzagas and Yalil Guerra. Mixed and mastered at RYCY Productions Inc.
De Congo y Carabali: Katisse Buckingham (flute), John Tegmeyer (clarinet) and Ben Wendel (basson). Recorded, mixed and mastered at RYCY Productions Inc. by Yalil Guerra.
¿Donde está mi negro bembón?: Conducted by Natacha Prado. Sopranos: Oderay Ortega and Nelia Molina. Contraltos: Claudia Aquino and Niurka Avila Leyva. Tenors: Abel Maceo and José Oniel. Basses: Arnoldo Rodríguez and Leonardo Amado Sarria. Recorded Engineer: Mikel Barzagas. Mixed and mastered at RYCY Productions Inc. by Yalil Guerra.
Carnaval: Conducted by Francisco Castillo. Lead Trumpet: Michael McGuffey. Second trumpet: Marissa Benedict. French horn: Steven Durnin. Trombone: Brad Close. Tuba: Fred Greene. Assistant Engineer: Cristian Robles. Recorded, mixed and mastered at RYCY Productions Inc. by Yalil Guerra.
A la antigua: Conducted by Natacha Prado. First violins: Desirée Justo and Augusto Diago. Second violins: Jessie de Armas and Yasney Rojano. Violas: Idalmis Ulloa and Roberto Herrera. Cellos: Alejandro Rodríguez and Salomé Pérez. Basses: Michel Toll and Francisco Valdez Pachi.
Graphic art and photos by Tomas Miña.
Music sheet available at: http://independentmusiccomposers.com/Guerra_Soto_Yalil.html