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Why León Guallart decided that his album will only be heard on vinyl or in the concerts he gives at home with a piano


Highlights: Pianist, composer and visual artist León Guallart has launched the Comfort : Home concert series Tour to present his album Comfort. He only performs in houses with a piano, “first because previously the concerts were in houses. It is a ritual that is not new” The album and concerts create a different present for 70 minutes. Starting in April, the concerts will travel to the United States, to the homes of three architectural geniuses: those of Richard Neutra and Michael Schindler.

This 26-year-old young man from Barcelona, ​​pianist, composer and visual artist, rescues an ancient ritual and connects it with the 'house parties' in a cycle with which he tours salons of architects and designers

As architecture has been present in the music and life of León Guallart (Barcelona, ​​26 years old), it is not surprising that this musician and visual artist who works between Barcelona and Los Angeles has launched the Comfort

: Home concert series


to present his album


, in which he only performs in houses with a piano.

One of his objectives is to link music with spaces and the visual arts.

Guallart studied music from the age of 3 to 20 following the Suzuki method.

Marked by Debssy and Chopin, one day he wanted to stop performing to start composing and, as something natural, he was collecting other influences: Bon Iver, Nina Simone, Carles Santos.

Perhaps overwhelmed by the rigidity of studying classical music, León Guallart began film at ESCAC and finished at the Los Angeles film school, where two weeks after graduating he was offered to stay as a professor.

We met at the legendary house of Beth Galí and Oriol Bohigas in Plaza Reial in Barcelona hours before the concert scheduled there.

Before us are two pianos that look like brothers surrounded by a large library and furniture by Miguel Milà and Mies van der Rohe.

“Playing at Oriol Bohigas' house is special because I used it 10 years ago in my final degree project, a web series called Tempo Barcelona, ​​in which we toured important places in the city such as the History Museum or the Sagrada Familia.

Now Oriol is not there [the architect died in 2021], but the intention survives to create a space governed by the arts and in which there is also already a tradition of piano and cello concerts, an instrument that Beth plays.

It is a prepared space, it has that energy of sharing.”

Although the UNO project, a musical journey through different musical styles (electronic, folk, orchestral, etc.), culminated in 2020, Guallart considers


(16 songs written in English united under the same conceptual thread, without cuts, connected through interludes and transitions spatial) their debut album.

“I have done the opposite: limit the album to five elements that are the piano, the voice, the cello,


sounds and sounds of each space, because all the songs are contextualized in a space, there is no song that is played like in the radio, frontal and sterile, on the record the song is played, for example, in a cabin while it rains.”

A moment during León Guallart's concert at Bohigas y Galí's house on January 18.

Vicens Gimenez (© Vicens Gimenez)

He rehearses with Beth Galí's Blüthner piano before his concert.Vicens Giménez (© Vicens Gimenez)

Gaullart looks through the lens of one of his cameras.Vicens Giménez (© Vicens Gimenez)

Both the album and León Guallart's concerts create a different present for 70 minutes.

He only performs in houses with piano, “first because previously the concerts were in houses.

It is a ritual that is not new.

And secondly, because in Los Angeles there is a tradition of

house parties

, people do not socialize in bars, but in homes, I have met my best friends there.”

Guallart has already worked in Ricardo Bofill's studio, Benedetta Tagliabue's house or his own, a space designed by his father, the architect Vicente Guallart, winner of the FAD Interior Design Prize in 1992. “We think of houses designed by architects where there is feeling of refuge.”

The method is simple, León calls and asks for the piano.

If the answer is negative, you say goodbye, if the answer is positive, there is a concert.

The entrance price is around 11 euros.

“This is a celebration of the piano and space.

Getting to know the place through the instrument, the sound, the history, because I discover the instrument at the same time that the public discovers it.”

Starting in April, the concerts will travel to the United States, to the homes of three architectural geniuses: those of Richard Neutra and Rudolf Michael Schindler in Los Angeles and that of Frank Lloyd Wright in Arizona.

“I feel like there is some provocation,” he suspects about his proposal.

“But it's not a scream, it's a turn that returns you to a space of change.

For me, vinyl [their album is only released in this format], like the book, is an invitation to delve deeper into the universe that an artist is proposing to you and see what ideas, what sensations you can extract and use for your life. .

Spotify pays almost nothing per play.

The day Comfort

was released,

I sold two vinyl records and earned more than I had in the last four years distributing music on Spotify.”

I ask him if those who bought the records were his mother and his aunt.

Guallart laughs and assures that it is not (but with little conviction): “I like to put affection on the object.

There is a handwritten note by me on each record and it is designed by my grandmother.”

León Guallart generates with music the spaces of emotional security that he needs, under which he feels protected: “Stages bore me because they are sterile, repeated spaces.

There will be other projects in which they can help me, but for now the houses offer me the power to disarm you, everyone sits where they want and how they want, they give you something to drink, you are part of something.”

Before we say goodbye, I tell him that for Christmas 1984 they brought me a Casio organ that I still have and that also has a drum machine with musical bases that I think are very much his vibe, so I ask him if he could come home.

“To play the organ?”

Let's see, I also have my son's xylophone.

“The truth is that I am looking for an organ, can you sell it to me?”

Man, if he comes to perform I'll give it to him.

“I need it to have rope and wood.”

This one only has plastic and runs on batteries.

"Then nothing".

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2024-02-21

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