I`d been playing this a lot since I received it a while back (Thanks Matt!). But hadn`t written about it because I had no info on it other than it was forthcoming on Freedom To Spend – who have RVNG Intl. connections. I couldn`t work out if it was old or new. The longer tracks here juxtapose a number of familiar sounding themes, and I wasn`t sure – because of the link to RVNG – if it wasn`t a sonic collage constructed by someone like say Visible Cloaks. It turns out that La Nau Dels Argonautes was recorded in 1987 by Valencian keyboardist, Pep Llopis. Who composed the music to accompany a poem of the same name by local writer, Salvador Jofer.
Llopis had been a member of successful Spanish Prog Rockers, Cotó-En-Pèl. When the band broke up he got involved in theatre and dance. Citing minimal American composers like Steve Reich, La Monte Young, Philip Glass and Daniel Lentz as influences. La Nau Dels Argonautes was first performed at the Poiemusia Festival in 1986. Wim Mertens also participated in the event, and some of Llopis` music bares similarities with Mertens`. For example, his soundtrack for Peter Greenaway`s Belly Of An Architect. There are also similarities with Michael Nyman`s scores for Greenaway`s A Draughtsman`s Contract and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. In fact the compositions here play a lot like a compilation of the more Classical “Classics” from a Jose Padilla Cafe Del Mar mix tape. Music For Eighteen Musicians with Ryuichi Sakamoto`s Rain (I Want A Divorce) Seigen Ono`s Julia with Wally Badarou`s Dachstein Angels. The more percussive numbers putting Midori Takada`s Mkwaju Ensemble into the mix.
Jofer, alongside Montse Anfruns, recites his work throughout the recording. Narrating a journey from Menorca to Santorini. The male and female voices, reading in Catalan, recalling, in places, pieces by Suso Saiz. Javier Bergia`s A Una Muchacha. And even the husky, seductive promises of Sueno Latino. Laurie Anderson when they use a vocoder. Retracing the Mediterranean adventures of Greek Myth. Of Homer`s Iliad. Of quests and epic searches. Gods and Goddesses. Of Ulysses, Jason and the Gold Fleece.
You can order a copy of Pep Llopis` Poiemusia: La Nau Dels Argonautes directly from RVNG Intl.