Meet Anibal, a Chilean composer based in London, whose multifaceted career spans concert music, music for media, and multidisciplinary projects. He is one of our Magnum Opus composers for 2024.
Anibal draws on his South American heritage and diverse musical influences to produce immersive works characterised by gradual processes of gestural repetition and timbral experimentation. In 2022, he was awarded the 20th Joan Guinjoan International Prize for his orchestral work Gliding Murmuration. Additionally, he won the DYCE Competition for Young European Composers 2022 award for his ensemble piece Liquidity, which led to a commission for his new ensemble piece Tonada.
In 2024, Anibal will release his first chamber music album featuring string quartet works, supported by the PRS Foundation Open Fund for Music Creators and RCM Accelerate.
Our Q&A with Anibal:
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT BEING PART OF THE MAGNUM OPUS PROGRAMME?
From the creative side, being part of the Magnum Opus programme is an incredibly inspiring and stimulating opportunity, as you get to compose and premiere two new works for different instrumentation during the year.
Furthermore, I am enthusiastic about working closely with the musicians of Britten Sinfonia. The chance to write a 10-minute concertino collaborating closely with a soloist represents a beautiful challenge for me, because it will be the first time that I write within this format in my career.
WHAT SORT OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE TO WRITE?
I’m interested in a compositional pursuit that resonates with both my Latin American heritage and my popular and classical music training. Through these lenses, I aim to achieve a mixture of sound that can become universal, speaking of and for everyone.
WHO HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCE?
Many different composers and songwriters from Stravinsky to Gérard Grisey, from Bob Dylan to Latin American music in general, but one stands out.
In my opinion, Gyorgy Ligeti for me is one of the most innovative composers of the XX century. His music, although rich in detail and complex at times, sounds with a remarkable sense of cleverness and humanity to me. His ideas about texture, rhythm and timbre have been very influential to my work.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO COMPOSE? WHY DO YOU THINK CREATING NEW MUSIC IS IMPORTANT?
I’m very curious about finding and blending sounds together in order to deliver a sonic experience, just as if I was a cook exploring variations or new of recipes for my guests. In this process, I do embrace the self-discovering nature of my approach when it comes to experiment with traditional and unconventional instruments. Even though I’m not an instrumentalist at all, I am interested in the sounds I am capable to produce myself with different instruments or objects, because the music I write is driven by the physicality of
sound and by the direct contact with its source. From this process is where my initial composition ideas often originate from.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO COMPOSITION?
I believe composition for me was a natural transition from creating stories and cultivating curiosity as a child to when I began playing a musical instrument. I enjoy the playfulness involved in the compositional process. When I was a kid playing with my toys, I was always creating narratives and inventing mechanisms. I was so immersed at times into this world as a child that the world of the adults seemed superfluous and was consistently interrupting. Now, within this 'playful’ aspect of the act of composition, I enjoy exploring a range of
emotions such as drama, nostalgia, euphoria, sadness, and joy, etc.
WHAT 3 PIECES OF MUSIC WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR YOUR DESERT ISLAND DISC?
Beethoven String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131; and two albums: Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan and Antología by Violeta Parra.
Learn more about Anibal on his website
Upcoming Magnum Opus concert: