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Abraham Cupeiro

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Forgotten sounds

One could say that Forgotten sounds is a travel in time. It is a search for the original sources to melt them with nowadays materials. And the result is an amazing new speech.

The project brings instruments from past times into a modern orchestra. The old instruments are placed out of their original context. The carnyx –originally a war trumpet- is used by Cupeiro in a totally different way, since he uses it to recall dolphins, mermaids or the sound of waves in his compositions. The corna –cow horn- conjures improvised folk tunes and the uillean pipe is used to play Bach´s Aria from his Suite in D major.

Folk music is also presented in a genuine way. Bartok´s Romanian dances are played on traditional instruments bought from folk musicians in the same regions where the composer collected the melodies. The cornet and the tango, though far away in time and space, seem to have been created for each other.

Forgotten sounds is a search for an essence, for an origin. A history trip which starts and ends in our days. Abraham Cupeiro started playing with the idea in 2014. A few concerts took place and the response was great. The whole thing became true in 2016, when it was recorded with Filharmonía de Galicia and Warner Classics became involved wirh the released in 2017 by Warner Classics. Due to its versatile nature, Forgotten sounds works in a number of different settings and venues. It can be presented with a symphony orchestra or just with a quartet, and it fits in a concert hall or in an outdoor event.

Abraham Cupeiro is a skillfull instrument builder and multi-instrumentalist, mostly known for bringing back instruments lost long ago. He enjoys playing on them to create new sonorities, using them in pieces far from their natural repertoire. Cupeiro graduated from the Real Conservatorio Superior de Madrid as trumpet player and went on his stuidies in Barcelona, completing a master´s degree in Interpretation of Early Music.

Despite his training as a classical music interpreter, he has always being attracted by music of any kind. Therefore, he started at an early age to join a number of folk and jazz bands, and several early music ensembles. Cupeiro stands out as one of the few people in the world who play the carnyx (celtic trumpet from the Iron age) and was recently invited to play on the carnyx from Tintignac, the only one found in one piece in 2004.

Abraham acts also as ambassador for an ancestral Galician instrument named corna (cow horn). His own grandfather used to play on this traditional instrument whose track can be traced as early as in the illustrations on king Alfonso X The Wise´s Cantigas. A genuine passion for instruments and organology led him to put together a collection with over 200 pieces from afar and from different times. Under the name Ringing in the past, Cupeiro presents them in a monologue-concert of his own design. Abraham keeps finding and building instruments and playing every sort of music on them, enjoying their blend within nowadays ensembles. A few of these experiments can be found in Compromiscuo, a CD released with Belorussian accordionist Vadzim Yukhnevich. An important role for the carnyx is also to be heard in Concierto Misterio, by Wladimir Rosinsky. The work was premiered by the Galician Symphony Orchestra and the carnyx part was tailored written to bring out Cupeiro’s especial skills on the instrument.

  • Abraham Cupeiro
    Carnyx and wind instruments

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