Thursday 1 October
6 pm - Talk by Llorenç Barber
7 pm - Actum in concert with Llorenç Barber
Courtyard of the Palau de la Virreina.
Limited capacity with prior registration.
The doors will open 20 minutes before the start of the session.
The Pamplona Encounters (1972) were disconcerting events for established Spanish artists (L. de Pablo, etc.) and for the ‘Catalan avant-garde’ musicians, who boycotted the festival because they considered it bourgeois and Francoist.
In this context of changes without direction or initiative, the Actum group was formed in a very provincial Valencia, thanks to the mutual understanding and the sum of activities of Llorenç Barber (Darmstadt courses, meeting with Fluxus and Zaj, Dada seminars and concerts in university schools) and Josep Lluís Berenguer (graphic music and synthesizers: analytical and synthetic).
Over ten fertile years, (1973-1983), Actum performed its own works and those of others, expressing the paradigms floating in the praxis of the most stimulating artistic movements that emerged in the Western world in the 1970s, including minimalism, improvisation, Cageism, randomness, intermedia, visual music and electroacoustic music. But what was most striking was that they constantly appealed to the (latent?) creativity of those attending their “concerts” by inviting members of the audience to join them on stage regardless of their musical knowledge or instrumental techniques.
This initiative led to a metamorphosis within the group, initially made up of musicians from the conservatory or the local orchestra, but little by little incorporating members full of enthusiastic amateurism with touches of rock, free improvisation, jazz and folk. They were always respectful of abstraction, showing minimal discipline and a visual and random execution that was totally void of commercial intent. Their proposal was free of grandiloquence, marked by simplicity and without the haughty attitude of “contemporary” music.
In the last few years of their career, Actum showed an expansive approach: they set up the Actum Studio of Electroacoustic Music in 1975, published (with J. Berenguer as the author) the first book dedicated to the subject, Introducción a la música electroacústica (Introduction to Electroacoustic Music, Torres 1974), created the ENSEMS festival. known as the “First Alternative Music Events after Cage”, participated in the creation of the Composers’ Meetings of Caimari, Mallorca ( 1980) and the Six Days of Contemporary Art in Barcelona (E. Polonio) and gave presentations at the Aula de Música de la Complutense and the Fundación Juan March in Madrid and at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona.
After years of neglect, their work is now studied and even mythologized as the best example of self-management and commitment to the context. Their talks, courses and events were always accompanied by proclamations, reflections and criticisms of the repetition of institutional schemata and of a praxis charged with distance and self-hatred that was as inept as it was exclusive.