Concert: Seule la voix demeure

By PARCOURS Within Festival Barcelona Modern 18-19 (2nd edition)

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Helena Otero Correa, saxophone
Miquel Vich Vila, percussion
Interludes by Gerard Valverde Ros, inspired by the poems of Forough Farrokhzad


The programme we are presenting today is a homage to the Iranian poet and film director Forough Farrokhzad (1935-1967), who is an icon of the feminist struggle and one of Iran’s most influential poets of the 20th century.

Disowned by her family, dismissed by the more conservative factions in the media, academia and society, committed to a psychiatric institution and censored and banned for more than a decade after her death, Farrokhzad offers us an opportunity to hold a mirror up to ourselves and engage in self-analysis that goes beyond the merely anecdotal.

Any apparent cultural, geographical and historical distance disappears when we consider the extent to which censorship is still imposed upon artists today, the influence of the press on public opinion, and the stigmas that women from all cultures still have to bear, along with the roles they are supposed to play in society.

In musical terms, the performance offers an insight into the world of the East through the work of three composers: Giaccinto Scielsi, with his evocative piece Hyxos, creates an atmosphere of solitude and meditation that embraces distinctly Eastern influences without ever falling into the trap of cliché; Alberto Bernal, with his piece Impossible Translations #1b, reflects on the fundamental relationships between image and sound through the medium of images of daily life in Palestine; and Joan Gómez Alemany explores the azhan (the Muslim call to prayer) through his own unique sonic universe and an exhaustive examination of the musical possibilities of the saxophone and a wide range of percussion instruments.

“La finalité de toutes les forces est de s’unir, de s’unir, / À l’origine du soleil / Et de se déverser dans l’esprit de la lumière/ Il est naturel que les moulins à vent pourrissent” (The purpose of all forces is to unite, unite / At the origin of the sun / And to pour into the spirit of the light / It is natural for the windmills to rot), said Farrokhzad in her poem Seule la voix demeure (Only the Voice Remains). It is this call to unify, this drive to overcome the fear of change and difference, that we hope to evoke and present for you today.


Helena Otero Correa is a Galician saxophonist who trained at the Catalan School of Advanced Musical Studies (ESMUC) and currently attends the National Conservatory of Music and Dance (CNSMD) in Lyon. She is passionate about chamber music and is a member of Duo Dimensions, the AsLan Ensemble and PARCOURS. Helena was awarded a prestigious scholarship by A Coruña Provincial Council to pursue her artistic studies abroad in 2017 and 2018, and as a member of Duo Dimensions (saxophone and piano) she was chosen to form part of the Jeunes Talents de France(Young Talents of France) programme.

Miquel Vich Vila is a freelance percussionist who focuses his efforts on the creation and performance of new music. He trained at ESMUC and the CNSMD in Lyon and is a founder member of FRAMES Percussion and PARCOURS. He collaborates regularly with ensembles such as BCN216, the CrossingLines Ensemble, and Barcelona Modern. Miguel is also the creator of the shows 5,102 (m/s) with Joan Català, Après moi le déluge (After Me, the Flood) with Lluïsa Cunillé and Miquel Ortega at the Catalan National Theatre, and the family-oriented show Un bosc a la paret (A Forest on the Wall).