Natalia Cappa: Una


Argentine soprano Natalia Cappa releases Una, her first solo album and a collection of works written in Spanish for her by composers from her home country. Works by Jorge Sad Levi, Diego Tedesco, Jorge Diego Vázquez Salvagno, Agustina Crespo, José Halac, and Ramiro Mansilla Pons traverse a wide range of aesthetics, all showcasing Cappa's remarkable versatility, from virtuosic melodic flights to realization of complex, abstract notation.


Natalia Cappa's artistry shines brightly on this release of new works for solo voice and with electronics by a collection of her Argentinean composer colleagues. Cappa has an uncanny gift for communicating the expressive and theatrical meaning behind the extended techniques in the music, as ambituous as some of the vocal sounds are, they are always presented in the most bracingly human fashion. The album traverses a capella territory as well as dialogues with and immersions in electronic environments. It is a testament both to the power of Cappa's performing personality and her programming instincts that the listener perceives all of this aesthetic diversity through the lens of a journey her voice is taking, through dark psychological spaces and lighter, humorous moments. The composers enlisted in the project capture a range from ritualistic and mournful to circus-like and irreverent. Given the rich tapestry of Argentinean culture and lineage this feels particularly appropriate, a snapshot of an avant-garde community that, while at the cutting edge, still captures something of the polyglot identity of a nation that has been profoundly shaped by immigrants.

- Dan Lippel

Una is a vocal journey through different Argentine works for solo voice and voice with electronics composed especially for this album. The common thread running through all the pieces is the voice of the singer, Natalia Cappa, sounding free and displaying her full virtuosity and expressivity. The works in Una cover a vast territory of aesthetics and compositional tools, reflecting the richness of contemporary Argentine music nowadays.” - Diego Tedesco

Natalia Cappa’s first solo album is the result of her long journey in music as a singer and creator. She decided to commission six works from composers residing in different regions of Argentina — Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area, Córdoba, Buenos Aires City, Salta; representative of quite different aesthetics and with diverse musical experiences. The works would fit only two requirements: they would be conceived for female solo voice, and should explore the richness of the Spanish language and its roots.

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The six pieces were created in total freedom and in constant dialogue with the composers Jorge Sad Levi, Jorge Vázquez, Diego Tedesco, Agustina Crespo, José Halac, and Ramiro Mansilla Pons. Each work has a specific vocal and musical challenge, allowing the voice to display the fascinating range of contemporary vocal resources and expanded singing, in conjunction with improvisation, theatricality, and even technology applied to voice processing. Whispers, melodies, words, songs, screams, take us by the hand on this musical journey through different emotions, weaving together the old and the new, what already exists and what is yet to come.

Jorge Sad Levi’s La culor dil tiempu (2023) is based on Ladino poems by Clarisse Nicoïdsky. Levi writes, “These songs are a homage to my grandmother who came from Turkey to Argentina during the war, bringing only her books with her. So Ladino was one of the tongues I heard continuously during my childhood together with French.”

Jorge Diego Vazquez Salvagno’s Mujer Frutal is the third work based on the poems “Posibilidad and “Mujer equilibrista con joroba” by writer Teresa “Kuky” Leonardi Herrán from Salta, Argentina. The composer writes: “Each of these works, Mujeres equilibristas, for trio of flutes and soprano, Mujer trapecista for double bass flute and pedals effects and Mujer frutal for solo voice, explore different uses, fragments and variations of Herrán's texts. The poems are reworked through anagrams, permutations and filters, achieving a unique perspective of them. The text, the result of potential processes, unfailingly articulates the sound flow and releases musical rhetorical figures that are directly reflected in the material of the piece.”

Diego Tedesco’s De los Sos Ojos was commissioned in 2022 and is an open score in which Cappa has enough freedom to display her histrionic virtuosity. Tedesco writes, “Distortion, nonsense and limits of comprehension are part of the work, and the multiple types of reverb add a layer of polyphony that complement and challenge the entire piece.”

Agustina Crespo’s Kenkos for soprano and electronics (2022) is inspired by a style of folkloric singing from northwestern Argentina that emphasizes ornamentation, and is frequently accompanied by an Andean percussion instrument called “caja” (in English, box), usually played by the singer themselves.

José Halac’s Secreta Voz for soprano and electronics (2023) sets a court statement by an influential Argentine activist, Milagro Sala, speaking out against her unjust imprisonment and general levels of corruption in the legal system. Halac seeks out the meaning that lies beneath Sala’s words, using the electronics as a counterpoint to Cappa’s voice as well as the environmental container that it inhabits.

Ramiro Mansilla Pons’ Tres Descripciones del Amor is a setting of texts by Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev that Andrei Tarkovsky used it in the ending of his film Stalker (1979), and subsequently was the source of a 2007 song by Björk. In this piece, Pons reflects on the poem itself, as well as its journey through the imaginations of artists throughout multiple centuries.

– Natalia Cappa

Produced by Natalia Cappa

Recorded and Mastered at Estudio Puntoar

Recording Engineer: Ariel Gato

Art Direction, Graphic Design & Layout: Pablo Magne

Visual Scores Design: Diego Tedesco

Photography: Pau Aiello

Costume and Makeup: Alberto Schuster

Natalia Cappa

Natalia Cappa developed her career as a singer and performer within contemporary music and free improvisation in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She graduated from the Manuel de Falla Conservatory of the City of Buenos Aires as a music teacher and singer with a Postgraduate Degree in Contemporary Music. She has performed numerous premieres of opera and musical theater and chamber music in Argentina. With extensive training in singing, theater and movement, she dedicates her work to the research of new vocalities and extended vocal techniques for their use in contemporary singing, as well as teaching. She has performed works by Stockhausen, Berio, Cage, Ligeti, and works by Argentine composers such as Oscar Edelstein, Jorge Sad, Antonio Tauriello, Mario Davidovsky, Alejandro Viñao, Facundo Llompart. She has sung under the direction of Diego Mason, Enrique Diemecke, Antonio Russo, Santiago Santero, Marcelo Delgado. She has played roles in several theater plays. She also works as a singing and improvisation teacher. She has participated in colloquiums and lectured at international music festivals in Argentina and Mexico; and has published articles and papers on the voice in contemporary music in academic publications and specialized journals in Argentina and Spain. She is a member and co-founder of the TRoneitor Duo and the Soundscraps group with which she has performed since 2018 in many cultural centers, art galleries and auditoriums in the city of Buenos Aires. The work of the Soundscraps group “El Plata a su Derecha” has won the Special Recognition for National Production at the edition of International VideoArt Festival FIVA 2019. TRoneitor Duo’s works have been programmed at numerous international music and sound art festivals in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Germany.The Duo has published their first album and is now recording their second album with works created by composers of Argentina and Latin America at the 1st TRoneitor Residence.




Hay cantantes en nuestro país a las que no se las puede clasificar a partir de los conceptos clásicos. Es el caso de la vocalista Natalia Cappa. Encuadrada dentro de una línea vocal que puede considerarse experimental, forma parte, junto con Lucas Werenkrauf, del duo Tronaitor, en el cual la vocalista está acompañada por un instrumento creado por Werencrauf con basuras y desechos electrónicos encontrados en la calle. En este, su primer disco solista, Cappa interpreta obras de compositores argentinos contemporáneos, en algunos casos acompañada por electronica y en otros a capella. Como se señaló no estamos ante una cantante convencional, ya que en algunos casos puede sonar como una Cathy Berberian criolla, en otros denotar influencias de Lauren Newton y Fay Victor y, como no, en ocasiones se aproxima a los delirios de Maia Mónaco, aunque siempre mostrando una impronta marcadamente original. Natalia Cappa es una cantante prodigiosa, que en sus interpretaciones, a través de notables vocalizaciones y sonidos varios, consigue trasmitir diversos estados de ánimo y aparecer misteriosa, lúgubre o lúdica, experimentando permanentemente con su voz, intercalando en algunos pasajes, como serenos remansos, el recitado de algunos poemas. Desde luego que no estamos ante un disco de fácil escucha, pero todos aquellos oyentes con buena disposición para abrir sus oídos y escapar de los sonidos hegemónicos, seguramente disfrutarán de este notable y original trabajo.


There are singers in our country who cannot be classified based on classical concepts. This is the case of vocalist Natalia Cappa. Framed within a vocal line that can be considered experimental, she is part, along with Lucas Werenkrauf, of the duo Tronaitor, in which the vocalist is accompanied by an instrument created by Werencrauf with garbage and electronic waste found on the street. In this, her first solo album, Cappa performs works by contemporary Argentine composers, in some cases accompanied by electronica and in others a cappella. As noted, we are not dealing with a conventional singer, since in some cases she can sound like a Creole Cathy Berberian, in others she may denote influences from Lauren Newton and Fay Victor and, of course, sometimes she is close to the delusions of Maia Mónaco, although always showing a markedly original imprint. Natalia Cappa is a prodigious singer, who in her performances, through notable vocalizations and various sounds, manages to transmit various moods and appear mysterious, lugubrious or playful, constantly experimenting with her voice, interspersing in some passages, like serene backwaters, the recitation of some poems. Of course, this is not an easy-to-listen album, but all those listeners willing to open their ears and escape from hegemonic sounds will surely enjoy this remarkable and original work. Jorge Garcia.

— Jorge García, 4.05.2024



Aprovechamos este mes dedicado a la mujer para acercarnos y hacer eco de un estreno el pasado ocho de Marzo, se trata del primer álbum solista de una cantante argentina, quien es interprete y a la vez productora de su propio material. A través de cada una de las obras que componen este álbum hace sobresalir su excepcional voz, cargada de una vigorizanteexpresividad, voz mediada por técnicas extendidas y medios electrónicos que enmarcan a “UNA” -nombre del álbum-, reflejo quizás de una mujer, de su creadora misma: Natalia Cappa, que explora, modula y desafía su voz a la par de la orquestación involucrada, o bien, “UNA” parece ser también, el recuento de la voz de otras mujeres, el recuerdo de una abuela viajando de Turquía hacia Argentina durante una guerra -como suena en su primera pieza- a través del susurro y el repiquetear electrónico que nos narran este recuerdo; o, la perspectiva de una poeta feminista [Teresa “Kuky” Leonardi] que traduce la belleza de un tiempo que huye para muchas de nosotras, mujeres trapecistas en “Mujer Frutal”; o la resonancia de una declaración judicial de una activista [Milagro Sala], que suena la corrupción y la injusticia de su país reflejada en “Secreta Voz”; y porque no, la reflexión un poema [de Fyodor Tyutchev] que desemboca en Tres diferentes descripciones sonoras del Amor, que dan forma a las últimas tres obras.

Este álbum, además de representar una voz/voces, deja escuchar la genial creatividad y esfuerzo compositivo que actúa entre flautas, contrabajos, los increíbles recursos vocales de Cappa, pedales, reverberaciones, el reordenamiento de palabras para (re)crear otros textos y contextos.

En efecto, UNA es un ir y venir de historias, poemas y experiencias vivídas contenidas en casi una hora de metáforas sonoras.


We take advantage of this month dedicated to women to get closer and echo a premiere on March 8, this is the first solo album by an Argentine singer, who is a performer and at the same time producer of her own material. Through each of the works that make up this album, her exceptional voice stands out, loaded with an invigorating expressiveness, a voice mediated by extended techniques and electronic means that frame “UNA” - the name of the album -, perhaps a reflection of a woman, of its creator herself: Natalia Cappa, who explores, modulates and challenges her voice along with the orchestration involved, or, “UNA” also seems to be the account of the voices of other women, the memory of a grandmother traveling from Turkey to Argentina during a war - as it sounds in its first piece - through the whisper and electronic chime that tell us this memory; or, the perspective of a feminist poet [Teresa “Kuky” Leonardi] who translates the beauty of a time that is fleeing for many of us, trapeze artists in “Mujer Frutal”; or the resonance of a judicial statement by an activist [Milagro Sala], which sounds the corruption and injustice of her country reflected in “Secreta Voz”; and why not, the reflection of a poem [by Fyodor Tyutchev] that leads to Three different sound descriptions of Love, which give shape to the last three works.

This album, in addition to representing a voice/voices, lets you hear the brilliant creativity and compositional effort that acts between flutes, double basses, Cappa's incredible vocal resources, pedals, reverberations, the rearrangement of words to (re)create other texts and contexts .

Indeed, UNA is a coming and going of stories, poems and lived experiences contained in almost an hour of sound metaphors.

— Priscila Mayen, 4.05.2024


Tiempo Argentina

“Audacia” es la palabra con la que se puede definir la actitud artística de la cantante, actriz y docente Natalia Cappa. Ella navega tanto en los territorios más usuales del canto lírico, como en los más experimentales. Y para demostrarlo, encaró un ambicioso proyecto de carácter personal, Una, el disco que acaba de publicar el sello estadounidense New Focus Recordings. En él aborda seis obras originales de compositores argentinos contemporáneos a los cuales convocó especialmente para este trabajo.

La interpretacion de las obras de Jorge Sad Levi, Diego Tedesco, Jorge Diego Vázquez Salvagno, Agustina Crespo, José Halac y Ramiro Mansilla Pons, inscriptas en diversas estéticas, muestran a una cantante poseedora de una gran versatilidad expresiva.

Su interpretación interactúa en algunos casos con sutiles intervenciones de electrónica, sin que éstas resulten invasivas. A su vez, una equilibrada labor de producción sonora, en la que la superposición de voces y efectos genera diversas capas y texturas, proporciona diferentes climas y pone énfasis en el carácter narrativo que expresa cada obra. En cierto modo, la labor de Cappa encuentra ecos en los trabajos de Cathy Berberian y Meredith Monk, pero logra imponerle una característica absolutamente personal.

Cappa dialoga con Tiempo Argentino sobre su experiencia en la realización de este trabajo.

-¿Cómo surgió la idea de Una, tu primer disco solista pese a tu larga experiencia?

-La idea surgió porque hace tiempo venía investigando el tema de la voz en la música contemporánea y siempre observaba que se hacía referencia solamente a obras europeas. Las obras que yo había cantado de compositores argentinos, estaban escritas en idioma inglés o francés. Esto me llamó poderosamente la atención y les pregunté a los compositores por qué si eran argentinos escribían en otro idioma.

¿Cuál fue la respuesta?

-Me explicaron que generalmente cuando escribían para voces era por encargos y éstos venían del exterior. Entonces empecé a rastrear e investigar si había obras argentinas sólo para voz. Y la verdad es que no encontré nada. Así fue que empecé a contactarme con los compositores.

-¿Cómo te contactaste con los compositores que aportaron sus obras para Una?

-A algunos ya los conocía porque había trabajado con ellos, a otros los contacté por referencias y a otros, por pura casualidad. Empecé buscando compositoras mujeres. Había hablado con Patricia Martínez un tiempo antes de que falleciera y estábamos intentando hacer algo.

Lamentablemente no pudimos. De todos modos ella me había pasado una obra y el contacto de un par de compositoras argentinas. El inconveniente era que sentía que esas obras que me ofrecían eran muy performáticas, y mi idea era hacer un disco, que es algo distinto que lo que uno genera para un espectáculo

-¿Cómo fue el proceso de producción de Una?

-Diría que bastante intuitivo. Yo sabía que con alguna gente quería trabajar, pero también quería que no fuesen todos compositores de Buenos Aires. Así es como aparecieron José Halac de Córdoba o Jorge Diego Vázquez Salvagno de Salta. Se armó un equipo de gente de diferentes edades, diferentes trayectos e, incluso, de diferentes lugares del país. Ellos se coparon con el proyecto y así fue empezamos a trabajar. La única condición que establecí es que tenían que escribir en castellano.

-¿Hubo algún tipo de trabajo conjunto entre los creadores de las obras?

-Ninguno de los compositores sabía qué era lo que estaba haciendo el otro. Yo trabajaba con cada uno de ellos con total libertad. En principio pensaba en un disco sólo vocal, después apareció la electrónica como posibilidad, que es algo en lo que también vengo trabajando desde hace bastante tiempo. Me pareció una idea interesante y empezamos a obrar de manera colaborativa con cada uno de los compositores con procesos totalmente diferentes. Algunas obras tenían que ver con un aporte más centrado en lo interpretativo para, a partir de ahí, generar el material, y otras directamente con un trabajo más ceñido a una partitura.

-¿Cómo fue el proceso de registro de Una, teniendo en cuenta la complejidad de algunas de las composiciones?

-Yo iba grabando las obras y se las enviaba a los compositores. Probábamos cosas en un ida y vuelta hasta quedar satisfechos con el resultado. También fue un trabajo creativo el proceso de grabación. Por ejemplo, de la obra de Halac creo que hice cinco versiones totalmente diferentes hasta que quedó la definitiva. Vázquez en cambio, me envió la partitura y eso es lo que quedó registrado. Fue un trabajo de enriquecimiento tanto para mí como cantante, como para los compositores.

-¿Qué importancia tuvo la labor del técnico de grabación?

-Fue fundamental la experiencia de Ariel Gato en el estudio de grabación. Él no es solo un técnico, sino que, además, aplica sus conocimientos con un sentido artístico. Había algunas obras que estaban pensadas para hacerlas en vivo. Pero cuando las grabábamos, sobre todo las de voz sola, era extraño oír una voz sin un espacio que fuera más allá. Su experiencia aportó su costado creativo con el tratamiento sonoro al aprovechar los procesos que hoy brinda un estudio de grabación. Su labor le dio otra dimensión al disco.

-¿Qué diferencias hay entre las obras grabadas y su representación en vivo?

-Por ejemplo, la composición de Diego Tedesco es una obra muy performática. Cuando yo la hago en vivo es una versión diferente de la que suena en el disco. En vivo está el cuerpo presente y esto significa que además está la mirada y están los gestos. El estar presente con el otro le proporciona otra dimensión a la obra.

-La utilización de la electrónica es apenas una referencia sonora que no es invasiva. ¿Esa era tu propuesta a la hora de encargar las composiciones?

-Esa fue mi idea, trabajar a partir de la voz y que los compositores tomaran la electrónica desde ese lugar no invasivo. Por ejemplo, el trabajo de Agustina Crespo está hecho con sonidos de parches que ella grabó. Y después sobre eso se trabajó con la electrónica.

La obra de José Halac está hecha toda con mi voz regrabada en infinidad de capas y con el agregado de algunos sonidos. Yo trabajé mucho desde la improvisación y él después tomó el material y le dio forma. Y la obra de Jorge Sad Levi es en realidad como un proceso registrado en vivo. La hicimos en el estudio y obviamente lo que queda es una versión, pero cuando la hacemos en vivo, al estar la electrónica suena diferente.

-¿Qué lugar tiene la voz como instrumento dentro de la música actual?

-Hace tiempo que me dedico a la música contemporánea. Y como también soy docente veo que la voz es lo menos transitado y lo menos conocido en las escuelas de composición. Incluso en las escuelas de canto hoy se reciben licenciados en canto, pero muchos no conocen los trabajos del compositor contemporáneo Luciano Berio.

Todo eso me llevó a pensar en la importancia de generar nuestro material y no mirar siempre a lo que se produce afuera. Me parece que hay una riqueza y una creatividad enormes y un deseo de hacer cosas nuevas con una energía mucho más activa que la que hay en Europa en la actualidad.

También soy improvisadora y veo que cada vez más jóvenes se dedican a la improvisación. Investigan y buscan porque hay algo muy vivo que pasa en estos momentos. Y yo quería abrir un camino que fuera una invitación a pensarnos desde otro lado, algo inspirador para decir que pongamos la piedra fundacional y tratemos de ir para adelante porque hay muchos creadores que tienen un gran potencial en este tipo de música.

¿Cómo elaboraste el recorrido climático en Una?

-Las obras no tenían nada que ver una con la otra porque cada compositor trabajó con libertad total. Para el armado del disco fui probando distintas combinaciones. Y eso me llevó varios meses definirlo, ayudada por mi marido, que también lo iba escuchando y me hacía sus sugerencias. Por eso el disco está dedicado a él, porque fue un pilar importante en la producción.

El orden tiene algo de narrativo, de viaje. Así lo pensé, como un viaje que te va llevando por medio de la escucha. En general, la música contemporánea parece que la hacemos para los músicos o para un grupo muy reducido de personas. Y a mí siempre me interesó abrir el espectro de público. Porque las personas que no están acostumbradas a este tipo de expresiones no pueden acceder a esta música.

Tengo mi experiencia con un dúo de improvisación y de investigación que es mucho más experimental. Nos presentábamos en bares, por ejemplo, e invitábamos a gente que no tenía nada que ver con este tipo de música. Era, sobre todo, gente más joven que se entusiasmaba mucho con nuestra propuesta. Pienso que las personas que están menos habituadas a este tipo de música son las que más se conmueven con ella.


“Audacity” is the word with which you can define the artistic attitude of the singer, actress and teacher Natalia Cappa. She navigates both the most common territories of lyrical singing and the most experimental ones. And to prove it, she took on an ambitious personal project, Una, the album that has just been released by the American label New Focus Recordings. In it she addresses six original works by contemporary Argentine composers whom she specially summoned for this work.

The interpretation of the works of Jorge Sad Levi, Diego Tedesco, Jorge Diego Vázquez Salvagno, Agustina Crespo, José Halac and Ramiro Mansilla Pons, inscribed in various aesthetics, show a singer possessing great expressive versatility.

Its interpretation interacts in some cases with subtle electronic interventions, without these being invasive. At the same time, a balanced work of sound production, in which the superimposition of voices and effects generates various layers and textures, provides different climates and places emphasis on the narrative character that each work expresses. In a way, Cappa's work finds echoes in the works of Cathy Berberian and Meredith Monk, but she manages to impose a characteristic that is absolutely personal to her.

Cappa talks with Tiempo Argentino about her experience in carrying out this work.

-How did the idea for Una, your first solo album despite your long experience, come about?

-The idea arose because she had been researching the topic of the voice in contemporary music for some time and always observed that only European works were referred to. The works that I had sung by Argentine composers were written in English or French. This caught my attention and I asked the composers why, if they were Argentine, they wrote in another language.

–What was the response?

-They explained to me that generally when they wrote for voices it was for commissions and these came from abroad. Then I began to track down and investigate if there were Argentine works only for voice. And the truth is that I didn't find anything. That's how I started contacting composers.

-How did you contact the composers who contributed their works to Una?

-I already knew some of them because I had worked with them, I contacted others through references and others, by pure chance. I started looking for female composers. I had spoken to Patricia Martínez a while before she passed away and we were trying to do something.

Unfortunately we couldn't. Anyway, she had given me a work and the contact of a couple of Argentine composers. The problem was that I felt that the works they offered me were very performative, and my idea was to make an album, which is something different than what one generates for a show.

-What was the Una production process like?

-I would say quite intuitive. I knew that there were some people I wanted to work with, but I also wanted them not to be all composers from Buenos Aires. This is how José Halac from Córdoba or Jorge Diego Vázquez Salvagno from Salta appeared. A team of people of different ages, different backgrounds and even from different places in the country was put together. They took over the project and that's how we started working. The only condition I established is that they had to write in Spanish.

-Was there any type of joint work between the creators of the works?

-None of the composers knew what the other was doing. I worked with each of them with complete freedom. At first I thought about a vocal-only album, then electronics appeared as a possibility, which is something I've also been working on for quite some time. I found it an interesting idea and we began to work collaboratively with each of the composers with totally different processes. Some works had to do with a contribution that was more focused on interpretation to, from there, generate the material, and others directly with a work that was more closely tied to a score.

-How was the recording process for Una, taking into account the complexity of some of the compositions?

-I was recording the works and sending them to the composers. We tried things back and forth until we were satisfied with the result. The recording process was also a creative work. For example, of Halac's work I think I made five totally different versions until the final one was final. Vázquez, on the other hand, sent me the score and that is what was recorded. It was an enriching job both for me as a singer and for the composers.

-How important was the work of the recording technician?

--Ariel Gato's experience in the recording studio was fundamental. He is not only a technician, but also applies his knowledge with an artistic sense. There were some works that were designed to be done live. But when we recorded them, especially the solo ones, it was strange to hear a voice without a space that went beyond it. His experience contributed his creative side with sound treatment by taking advantage of the processes that a recording studio offers today. His work gave another dimension to the album.

-What differences are there between the recorded works and their live performance?

-For example, Diego Tedesco's composition is a very performative work. When I do it live it is a different version than the one that sounds on the album. In live the body is present and this means that there is also the gaze and the gestures. Being present with the other provides another dimension to the work.

-The use of electronics is just a sound reference that is not invasive. Was that your proposal when commissioning the compositions?

-That was my idea, to work from the voice and for the composers to take electronics from that non-invasive place. For example, Agustina Crespo's work is made with sounds from patches that she recorded. And after that she worked with electronics.

José Halac's work is made entirely with my voice rerecorded in countless layers and with the addition of some sounds. I worked a lot from improvisation and he later took the material and shaped it. And Jorge Sad Levi's work is actually like a process recorded live. We did it in the studio and obviously what remains is a version, but when we do it live, since the electronics are present, it sounds different.

-What place does the voice have as an instrument within current music?

-I have been dedicated to contemporary music for a long time. And since I am also a teacher, I see that the voice is the least traveled and least known in composition schools. Even in singing schools today, graduates in singing are received, but many do not know the works of the contemporary composer Luciano Berio.
All of this led me to think about the importance of generating our material and not always looking at what is produced outside. It seems to me that there is enormous wealth and creativity and a desire to do new things with a much more active energy than there is in Europe today.
I am also an improviser and I see that more and more young people are dedicating themselves to improvisation. They investigate and search because there is something very alive that is happening right now. And I wanted to open a path that would be an invitation to think from another side, something inspiring to say that we lay the foundation stone and try to move forward because there are many creators who have great potential in this type of music.

–How did you develop the climatic route in Una?

-The works had nothing to do with each other because each composer worked with total freedom. To put together the disk I tried different combinations. And it took me several months to define it, helped by my husband, who was also listening to it and making his suggestions to me. That's why the album is dedicated to him, because he was an important pillar in the production.
The order has something narrative, of travel. That's how I thought about it, like a journey that takes you through listening. In general, contemporary music seems to be made for musicians or for a very small group of people. And I was always interested in opening the spectrum of the public. Because people who are not used to this type of expressions cannot access this music.
I have my experience with an improvisation and research duo that is much more experimental. We would show up in bars, for example, and invite people who had nothing to do with this type of music. It was, above all, younger people who were very enthusiastic about our proposal. I think that people who are less used to this type of music are the ones who are most moved by it.

— Carlos Salatino, 4.10.2024


Alfil (Cordoba, Argentina)

Otra novedad que se incorpora a las plataformas desde este viernes se expande en

una región menos popular y más compleja de la música, la que aporta el álbum

debut de la soprano cordobesa Natalia Cappa, titulado Una, disponible en todas las

plataformas a través del sello New Focus Recordings de Nueva York. Con un largo

recorrido en la música como cantante y creadora, Natalia Cappa decidió encargar

seis obras a compositores residentes en diferentes regiones de la Argentina:

Córdoba, Ciudad de Buenos Aires y Salta. Los músicos invitados representan una

gama de estéticas bien diferentes y con experiencias musicales diversas. Se explica

en el material que las obras debían cumplir sólo dos requisitos: estar concebidas

para voz solista femenina y explorar la riqueza de la lengua española y sus raíces.

Las obras de Jorge Sad Levi, Diego Tedesco, Jorge Diego Vázquez Salvagno,

Agustina Crespo, José Halac y Ramiro Mansilla Pons, reflejan en conjunto parte de

la riqueza de la música argentina contemporánea. Las respuestas de los

compositores a la invitación de Natalia Cappa le dieron ocasión a la soprano de

poner a prueba -y salir airosa- su notable versatilidad que se manifiesta en giros

melódicos virtuosos, así como en la interpretación de notación compleja y

abstracta. El programa de Una recorre una serie de exploraciones escritas para la

soprano con y sin interacción electrónica, donde textos poéticos proponen un

amplio uso de la voz, del susurro al grito, del parlato a la aparición de pasajes

melódico, y recursos rítmicos propios de la experimentación poética moderna. A

ello se suman efectos sonoros espaciales, superposiciones, ecos, o contracantos,

entre otros, aportados por la edición en estudio, y en general hay un fuerte acento

puesto en la valoración tímbrica del instrumento vocal en su propio peso. El

enfoque lírico aprovecha en sus colores la historia del discurso hablado, de larga

tradición en la poesía y en la música. Aun cuando no existe un acuerdo ni plan

conjunto por parte de los compositores, impera la unidad dada por el enfoque de la

cantante y por sus dotes interpretativas que sacan provecho de una expresividad

no ajena a la teatralidad, y allí juegan los estados de ánimo, los golpes de carácter,

las resonancias rituales, mediante vocalizaciones donde los dientes, los labios, la

lengua, la respiración, la garganta, son llaves de las posibilidades musicales del

instrumento. El disco Una habilita una experiencia no convencional de escucha,

desafía la zona de confort de los oídos y constituye una valiosa novedad para

quienes tienen la disposición de asomarse a ese universo en gran medida

desconocido para el gran público.


Another novelty that has been added to the platforms since this Friday expands in
a less popular and more complex region of music, which the album provides
debut of the Córdoba soprano Natalia Cappa, titled Una, available in all
platforms through New York label New Focus Recordings. With a long
journey in music as a singer and creator, Natalia Cappa decided to commission
six works by composers residing in different regions of Argentina:
Córdoba, City of Buenos Aires and Salta. The guest musicians represent a
range of very different aesthetics and with diverse musical experiences. It is explained
in the material that the works had to meet only two requirements: be conceived
for female solo voice and explore the richness of the Spanish language and its roots.
The works of Jorge Sad Levi, Diego Tedesco, Jorge Diego Vázquez Salvagno,
Agustina Crespo, José Halac and Ramiro Mansilla Pons, together reflect part of
the richness of contemporary Argentine music. The responses of the
composers at the invitation of Natalia Cappa gave the soprano of
test - and succeed - her remarkable versatility that is manifested in turns
virtuoso melodicists, as well as in the interpretation of complex notation and
abstract. Una's program runs through a series of explorations written for the
soprano with and without electronic interaction, where poetic texts propose a
extensive use of voice, from whisper to shout, from chatter to the appearance of passages
melodic, and rhythmic resources typical of modern poetic experimentation. TO
Added to this are spatial sound effects, superpositions, echoes, or countersingers,
among others, contributed by the edition under study, and in general there is a strong accent
placed on the timbral evaluation of the vocal instrument on its own weight. He
lyrical approach takes advantage of the history of spoken discourse in its colors, long
tradition in poetry and music. Even when there is no agreement or plan
as a whole by the composers, the unity given by the approach of the
singer and for her interpretive skills that take advantage of an expressiveness
no stranger to theatricality, and moods, character strokes,
ritual resonances, through vocalizations where the teeth, lips,tongue, breathing, throat, are keys to the musical possibilities of the
instrument. The Una album enables an unconventional listening experience,
challenges the comfort zone of the ears and constitutes a valuable novelty for
those who have the willingness to look into that universe to a large extent
unknown to the general public.

— Gabriel Abalos, 3.08.2024



This album revitalizes the music theatre genre, expanding on the foundations set by Mauricio Kagel, Luciano Berio, and other composers. Featuring eight compositions by Argentinean composers (Jorge Sad Levi, Jorge Vázques, Diego Tedesco, Agustina Crespo, José Halac, and Ramiro Mansilla Pons), it showcases the extraordinary talent of singer Natalia Cappa, accompanied by electronic sounds. The album explores a cappella music and juxtaposes it with electronic environments, taking listeners on an emotional journey filled with imagination and occasional traces of humor. The composers skillfully capture a range of styles, reflecting Argentinean culture. Each piece presents unique vocal and musical challenges that allow Cappa to showcase her vocal range and expanded singing styles (such as bel canto, recitative, and sprechgesang) and vocal techniques, including coloratura, trill, mezza voce, and more.).

Diego Tedesco’s composition De los Sos Ojos shines with the amalgam of different styles and articulations, bringing the virtuosity to life. It’s a fusion of various styles, techniques, and vocal effects that all aim to depict a wide range of emotional states. In tracks like Kenkos by Agustina Crespo and Tres Descripciones del Amor: Cuando Todo Arde por un Apasionado Beso by Ramiro Mansilla Pons, you’ll witness the incredible communication between different voices and voice types, including soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, and various electronic sounds. This album has the potential to speak a meta-music language, effortlessly referencing various styles and genres from the past. It also simulates (demonstrates) the practicing aspect of posture, breathing, placement, articulation, and diction.

— Pedja Kovačević, 5.11.2024


The Wire

Not enough is heard of new Latin American music, one of the reasons this album of new works is so welcome. Commissioned in the past two years for her first solo album, the Argentinean soprano Natalia Cappa has sought out composers from various territories in her country, with the result that there are invigoratingly different facets to many of the commissioned, which mix lineages and cross boundaries in pleasing ways. Cappa’s single stipulation was that the resulting works had to be for female solo voice and in Spanish.

The ensuing pieces, which sometimes are augmented by electronic processing and, infrequently, an additional percussive instrument, expand considerably the repertoire for experimental Spanish language song. This is an album for new vocalities - the techniques that Cappa uses come not simply from her study classical training, but a tradition of extended vocals. This positions the compositions as, ultimately, offering a ground for maximal vocal interpretation, which is exciting to hear. Moreover, the Spanish used in them is filtered through many oral media; we hear languages such as Quechua; in contact with Ladino and the 1960s French experimental literary group Oulipo (Ouvroi de Literature Potentielle, or the Workshop of Potential Literature); and most extraordinalily, the statement given by the Argentinean social activist Milagro Sala before a pre-hearing court appearance that led to her being imprisoned on trumped up charges of corruption.

The sonic landscape that Cappa depicts is, this, not a tidy one in which art song is created for a rarefied audience alone. It’s clear that she, alongside the composers with whom she has worked closely, is looking to push the boundaries outwards. Una wovers the disparate territories and sounds of Argentina, and while Spanish is the vehicle of the album, languages are in fact elided, as the music and performances take account of the huge differences that the history and population of that country represent. The text to Jorge Sad Levi’s Le Color Dil Tiempo (“The Color of Time”) uses Ladino poems by Clarisse Nicoïdski as well as memories of Sephardic Ladino spoken within his own family by his Turkish born grandmother. In three sections, Le Color Dil Tiempo is for voice and electronics, and Cappa thrives on dramatic glissandi and various syllabic vibrations the song requires — brrrrs and zzzzs create a sound world that sings of insects, birds, and, ultimately, the human, in a hyperventilating voice that ends up saying (in English) “Hearing, healing” after its conclusion.

Hearing has an imperative force in José Halas’s Secret Voz (“Secret Voice”). For soprano and electronics, this is a vibrant, defiant work and Cappa rages through it., At a shade under 13 minutes, it’s the most substantial piece on Una. Cappa begins by reading from Sala’s statement as electronics swirl around her words, creating a ghostly, resonating cloud that splinters into shards of sound. Whispers, shhhss, fractured lines of speech, sudden laughs and skitters produce fear, defiance and an audibility that has a political heft.

Extended vocal techniques are to the fore in Jorge Diego Vázquez Salvagno’s Mujer Frutal, Diego Tedesco’s De Los Sos Ojos and Agustina Crisp’s Kenkos. In differing ways they all play with elements of the spatial. With the aid of electronics on this last work (kenko is a Quechua word that denotes a zig-zagging or sinuous movements) Cappa is almost a ventriloquist. Her voice is everywhere and nowhere; it seems out of speakers and then is foregrounded through the medium of an airy spatialization that almost echoes from afar. Folkloric melodies fleetingly appear. Percussion provided by an Andean Baja box accentuates this three-dimensionality. The whispers and glissandi employed by Salvagno in his setting of two poems by Teresa ‘Kuky’ Leonardi Herran, a poet influenced by the Oulipo group, bear witness to the twists, coincidences and permutations of language, contributing depth — musical as well as historic — to the work. Tedesco takes the opening stanza of the medieval “Cantar Del Bio Cid(“The Song of the Cid”) as the central text for De Los Sos Ojos, but others, including ones by explorer Marco Polo and Argentinean novelist Manuel Puig, flash through. This is an open score work, making available a wide field of interpretive strategies. Taking a cue from the canter itself, a poem designed for oral transmission, this is a work of associations, as wounds and words lead from one to another in a way that purposely eschews comprehension.

Ramiro Mansilla Pons’ Tres Descripciones Del Amor (“Three Descriptions of Love”) is the most lyrical of Una’s works. Taking a lyric — “The Dull Flame of Desire” — from 19th century Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev, this text has had several outings in recent decades — it featured in Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker and, nearly 30 years later, it was sung by Björk and Anthony on the former’s 2007 album Volta. Of these mostly short three pieces, it’s the third part “Cuando Todo Are For Un Apasionado Beso” (“When Everything Burns Because of a Passionate Kiss”) that takes on the heavy listening. With voice and discreet electronics working together, Cappa’s voice pants and hums, taking on a timbre akin to a long tone of a clarinet. A panning sound of a train chuffing from left to right injects a bit of concrète to accentuate the impressionistic collage that this is.

— Louise Gray, 5.01.2024

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