Ilustres Ignorantes - Netflix
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Ilustres Ignorantes - Julián Carrillo - Netflix
Julián Carrillo Trujillo (January 28, 1875 – September 9, 1965) was a Mexican composer, conductor, violinist and music theorist, famous for developing a theory of microtonal music which he dubbed “The Thirteenth Sound” (Sonido 13).
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In 1918, he came back to Mexico, where he was chosen to conduct the National Symphony Orchestra (1918–1924) which had been the Conservatory's Orchestra. He was also named Principal of the National Conservatory (1920–1921). Carrillo led the National Symphony Orchestra to performance excellence. Renowned pianist Leopold Godowsky said the orchestra was superior to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The National Symphony Orchestra was so popular, it could be sustained by its own economic resources. With his orchestra, Carrillo introduced Mexico to the music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Richard Strauss, Saint-Saëns, Debussy and Ravel. He directed two Beethoven Festivals in 1920 and 1921. He also introduced Mexican composers Manuel M. Ponce, Antonio Gómezanda, Juan León Mariscal, and himself, among others. In 1920, Julián Carrillo described his Thirteenth Sound Theory through the Mexican press and in conferences. It stated that, given the evolution of the musical system, the next step of musical composition must be the use of intervals smaller than half-tones. He cited examples from his earlier experiments. The Thirteenth Sound Theory was not well received. Some enthusiastic people (most of them Carrillo's students) supported it, but others attacked it and its author. They said it was impossible to perceive such little intervals but, even if possible, Carrillo had stolen the idea from European musicians. The main opponent was “Group 9”, consisting of seven musicians, a physician, and a lawyer. Carrillo's followers organized themselves as “Group 13”. The two groups confronted each other to defend their positions through press, broadcasts and conferences. This debate is known as the Thirteenth Sound Polemic and was supported principally by the Mexico City's daily El Universal. The polemic culminated with a concert by the Group 13 on February 15, 1925. The program included several compositions of Carillo and his students in quarter-, eighth- and sixteenth-tones, performed with adapted instruments and specially trained voices. From September to November 1925, Carrillo made a Thirteenth Sound excursion through several cities of the country. In December 1925, Carrillo presented the Thirteenth Sound in Havana. In 1926 he arrived in New York City. There, he edited a few issues of the bilingual musical magazine The Thirteenth Sound: The Herald of America's Musical Culture. The League of Composers commissioned a microtonal work. He wrote the Sonata casi fantasía in quarter-, eighth- and sixteenth-tones. It was performed for the first time in Town Hall on March 13, 1926. Then, Leopold Stokowski commissioned a Carrillo work, the Concertino in quarter-, eighth- and sixteenth-tones, which Stokowski and the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra performed in New York and Philadelphia. At that time, Carrillo wrote Leyes de Metamórfosis Musicales (Musical Metamorphosis Laws), a method to transform the tonal proportions of a work. For example, half tones become whole tones and whole tones become double tones; or half tones become quarter tones and quarters become eighths, and so on. In addition, these laws present a compositional process similar to serialism. He also wrote Pre-Sonido 13: Rectificación básica al sistema musical clásico—Análisis físico musical (Pre-Thirteenth Sound: Essential Rectification to classical musical system—Physical musical analysis) and Teoría lógica de la música (Logical Theory of Music). When he came back to Mexico, State of San Luis Potosí's government honored him for the Thirteenth Sound. It declared July 13 (anniversary of the 1895 experiment) as State Day of Honor. The National Flag was raised over Carrillo's house from 6 am to 6 pm. Despite governmental recognition, Carrillo didn't receive economic support for his musical revolution. Opponents put obstacles to his working as a conductor and professor of music. After that, he rarely was invited to conduct in Mexico and his music seldom performed. The former Principal of the National Musical Conservatory and titular Conductor of the National Symphony never obtained similar jobs again, in spite of his abilities and experience. He had to pay for his own musical research, making musical instruments, publishing his compositions, et cetera. In 1930, Carrillo organized the Thirteenth Sound Symphony Orchestra, in which all the musical instruments could perform microtones. From 1930 to 1931 Carrillo and Leopold Stokowski conducted this orchestra. In New York City on February 7, 1930, Ángel Reyes, principal of the Thirteenth Sound Group of Havana, recorded the Preludio a Colón (Prelude to Christopher Columbus) for the Columbia label. That year, the town of Ahualulco was officially renamed Ahualulco del Sonido 13. In 1934, Carrillo published La revolución musical del Sonido 13 (The Thirteenth Sound Musical Revolution), which gave the historical background of his revolution. In 1940 he published another book, Génesis de la Revolución Musical del Sonido 13 (Genesis of the Thirteenth-Sound Musical Revolution).
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