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ENS (Ensamble Nacional del Sur)

Updated on January 24, 2016

Leading music ensemble from Buenos Aires

Think of Argentina and you probably think tango. But the music of Argentina is stylistically much wider and includes modern, original classical music.

Ensamble Nacional del Sur - or the ENS for short - are a modern music ensemble based in Buenos Aires led by highly respected composer Oscar Edelstein. The ENS are especially known for the rhythmic intensity of their music and for the way that their music constantly plays between the lines of many genres, making it hard to pigeonhole.

They have gained a cult reputation in Argentina & Brazil, performing extensively in important theatres, concert halls, and cultural centres such as Teatro Nacional de Brasilia; Goethe-Institut, Teatro San Marti­n, Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas, La Trastienda, Casa de la Cultura del FNA, Centro Nacional de la Musica (Buenos Aires); Teatro Argentino (La Plata); Centro Parque Espana (Rosario); Auditorio Bustelo (Mendoza); Auditorio del CePIA, Facultad de Artes (Cordoba); Teatro 3 de Febrero (Parana), etc.

Their first disc "The Sacred Theory of the Acoustic Space" was the first disc in Latin America to be conceived and recorded in Super Audio 5:1 (surround sound). The most recent publication is two new discs and with a book called "Studies for the Acoustic Grid."

Composition - Conductor - Piano: OSCAR EDELSTEIN

Piano & Keyboards: AXEL LASTRA

Electric Bass: ALFONSO OLLÚA

Electric Guitar: LEONARDO SALZANO

Drums: PABLO TORTEROLO

Tape & Processes: MAURO ZANNOLI

Guest Artist

Voice: DEBORAH CLAIRE PROCTER

Invited Musician

Saxophone: MARTÍN PROSCIA

Created by composer Oscar Edelstein in 1997

Background

Oscar Edelstein is an original contemporary composer from Argentina. He is known for his creativity and inventiveness, and often described as leading Latin America's avant-garde. He is a pianist, conductor, and researcher whose compositions are both acoustic and electro-acoustic. Alongside orchestral and ensemble works - he has made over forty works for theatre and dance, and over fourteen operas. As a composer Edelstein has a fascination with the dialogue between art and science. He is developing a new ways to think about composition, aesthetics, pitch and harmony. This includes creating a system of control and notation of the acoustic space, which he calls The Acoustic Grid, and with a team of scientists making an entirely acoustic system of amplification using the scientific principal of Sonic Crystals.

Photo: ENS - La Trastienda Club, Buenos Aires - May 2011 with Deborah Claire Procter - Invited Artist (Vocals) / Martin Proscia - Guest musician (Saxophone)
Photo: ENS - La Trastienda Club, Buenos Aires - May 2011 with Deborah Claire Procter - Invited Artist (Vocals) / Martin Proscia - Guest musician (Saxophone)

.. cult, absolutely original, ultra-powerful & new.

— Carlos Marí­n, El Diario

New Musical Techniques

Since 1999, the ENS has been recognized as a research group and is part of the research project, led by Oscar Edelstein, at Quilmes University, "Teatro Acústica" / Acoustic Theatre. Formed like a live music lab of musicians, composers, artists and technicians, each member works to gather new skills and multiply their knowledge of the art of contemporary music. hey train together intensively to "extend" the limits of their musical technique, develop new ways of playing, & to create the sensation of "Composition in the Act", or in the moment.

Edelstein conducts the group with a specially developed system of hand signals so that he can not only designate time and intensity, but also timbrical and spatial options. He traditional musical notation systems combined with new and 3-dimensional models that he has specially created. He sees the ENS as a new instrument.

The present group of musicians are the third generation.

Live music Lab

Photo: (Left to Right) Leonardo Salzano - Electric Guitar; Pablo Torterolo - Drums; Axel Lastra - Piano & Keyboards; Mauro Zannoli - Keyboards & Electronic Processing (Photo: DCP)
Photo: (Left to Right) Leonardo Salzano - Electric Guitar; Pablo Torterolo - Drums; Axel Lastra - Piano & Keyboards; Mauro Zannoli - Keyboards & Electronic Processing (Photo: DCP)

Estudios sobre La Grilla Acústica: Libro II / Studies for the Acoustic Grid: Book II

  • Estudio I - Primera aproximación a la Historia de la Escritura del Mundo / First approximation of the History of the Writing of the World [2.52]
  • Estudio II - Cristales laberintos densos caleidoscopios sobre perspectivas menguantes / Crystal labyrinths dense kaleidoscopes on diminishing perspectives [4.17]
  • Estudio III - En el mundo oíd a la voz del cuchillo que hiere a la luna / In the world listen to the voice of the knife that hurts the moon [6.34]
  • Ritmos emplazamientos colores en sombras derivativas: la sombra en la perspectiva de Vitruvio arquitecto / Rhythms emplacements colours in derivative shades: the shadow in the perspective of Vitruvio the architect (Estudio IV, V, VI)
  • Estudio IV - Cristal Sónico, ap 1 [4.29]
  • Estudio V - Cristal Sónico, ap 2 [3.07]
  • Estudio VI - Cristal Sónico, ap 3 [1.10]
  • Estudio VII - Luna sangrando a Jackson Pollock / Moon bleeding Jackson Pollock [6.17]
  • Estudio VIII - Luna sangrando a Jackson Pollock en cí­rculos / Moon bleeding Jackson Pollock in circles [8.57]
  • Estudio IX - Relieves contrastes planos perspectivas impura memoria navega de fugas futuro / Reliefs contrasting impure perspectives memory navigating future fugues [2.23]
  • Epí­logo: Requiem al hombre desde una mariposa / Requiem to man from a butterfly [4.47]

[LISTEN]

It is music in a physical sense, authentic dithyrambic music, realized simultaneously with milimetric precision by the Ensemble that Edelstein directs like one possessed.

— Federico Monjeau, Clarí­n­

An unpredictable journey around a class of sonorous poetry... From the most tenuous & crystalline, up to the real explosion, it's a fundamental disc, for its importance & originality but, especially, for its power of communication.

— Diego Fischerman, Pagina 12

The Sacred Theory of the Acoustic Space - Book I (2004): Disc

The Sacred Theory of the Acoustic Space - Book I is the first part of a trilogy composed, written, and directed by Oscar Edelstein. This trilogy is also consists of the Acoustic Grid - Book II and The Light in Shadows of Your Dead Eyes - Book III.

The Sacred Theory of the Acoustic Space - Book I is the artistic result of a research work and creation that involves - among other things - the test of dynamic control of the acoustic space and the artificial and illusory notions it supposes.

  1. Prologue and Introduction [4:38]
  2. Acoustic Grid - Gear [11:12]
  3. Omega 2 Omega 3 [1:49]
  4. H [10:28]
  5. Choir of the Sacred Theory of the Acoustic Space: Book 1 [3:03]
  6. Free [13:36]
  7. Epilogue - Shadows' Art

The choice of instruments can be easily associated to the world of rock, but it is only a sound- colour as the group is impelled by Edelstein to explore zones that go much further, for example, than the advanced experience of Robert Fripp.

— Martí­n Liut, La Nación

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Richard Arce (Electric Guitar) & Gonzalo Serrano (Electric & Acoustic Bass) rehearsing with Oscar Edelstein
Richard Arce (Electric Guitar) & Gonzalo Serrano (Electric & Acoustic Bass) rehearsing with Oscar Edelstein
Richard Arce (Electric Guitar) & Gonzalo Serrano (Electric & Acoustic Bass) rehearsing with Oscar Edelstein

The timbres are obstinately pure and clean...there is an evident presence of the electrical guitar, a look of band of rock, developments that approach without shyness free jazz and above all a work without guilt about rhythm. If the rhythmic revolutions of Stravinsky and Bartok had the paradoxical effect of taking perceptible rhythmic feet to extinction, what happens here is another thing.

— Diego Fischerman, Pagina 12

Estudios sobre La Grilla Acústica - Teatro Argentina, La Plata - 2010 / Goethe Institut, Buenos Aires - 2009

First disc in Latin America recorded in Super Audio

The Sacred Theory of the Acoustic Space - Book I  - Super Audio / 5:1
The Sacred Theory of the Acoustic Space - Book I - Super Audio / 5:1

The artistic result of research into dynamic control of acoustic space and it's artificial and illusory concepts.

"ENS, an invincible musical army, win a new battle between creation and technology." La Nación

Electric Guitar - Richard Arce; Electric & Acoustic Bass - Gerónimo Carmona; Acoustic Piano - Mario Castelli; Keyboards - Mariano Cura; Percussion - Diego Romero Mascaró, & Electric Guitar - Nicolás Varchausky

Sacred Theory of the Acoustic Space - Book I (2000): Concert

The timbres are obstinately pure and clean...there is an evident presence of the electrical guitar, a look of band of rock, developments that approach without shyness free jazz and above all a work without guilt about rhythm. If the rhythmic revolutions of Stravinsky and Bartok had the paradoxical effect of taking perceptible rhythmic feet to extinction, what happens here is another thing.

— Diego Fischerman, Pagina 12

List of Works & Past Members

  • EL CABALLO FANTASMA - Piano & Keyboards: Axel Lastra, Electric Guitar: Leonardo Salzano, Drums: Pablo Torterolo, Tape Processes: Mauro Zannoli, Guest artists: Voice: Deborah Claire Procter, Saxophone: Martin Proscia
  • CINCO ESTUDIOS / FIVE STUDIES - 2009: Litophone: Damian Anache, Piano & Keyboards: Axel Lastra, Electric Guitar: Fernando Taborda, Electric Bass: Nahuel Tavosnanska, Drums: Pablo Torterolo
  • LA TEORÍA SAGRADA DEL ESPACIO ACÚSTICO – LIBRO I / THE SACRED THEORY OF THE ACOUSTIC SPACE - BOOK I - 2000: Electric Guitar - Richard Arce, Electric & Acoustic Bass - Gerónimo Carmona, Acoustic Piano – Mario Castelli, Keyboards – Mariano Cura, Percussion – Diego Romero Mascaró, Electric Guitar - Nicolás Varchausky
  • EL HECHO / THE FACT - 1998: Electric Guitar - Richard Arce, AcousticPiano - Mario Castelli, Keyboards - Mariano Cura, Drums - Matí­as Gonzalez Goytia, Electric & Acoustic Bass - Gonzalo Serrano, Percussion - Pablo Siroti, & Electric Guitar - Nicolás Varchausky. Actors - Paula Ortega, Rodolfo Demarco & Poli Bontas, Images - Julián Teubal & Scenography - Julio Cardoso
  • KLANGE, KLANGE URUTAU -1997: AcousticPiano - Mario Castelli, Keyboards – Mariano Cura, Drums - Matí­as Gonzalez Goytia, Electric & Acoustic Bass - Gonzalo Serrano, Percussion - Pablo Siroti, & Electric Guitar - Nicolás Varchausky.

Research - Teatro Acústico - New Techniques: Methods of Notation, Composition, Improvisation & Conducting as an element of composition

Working with a team of mathematicians, physicists, engineers, composers and musicians, Edelstein is developing his original ideas for new materials, techniques and approaches in spatial acoustics for theatre. His ideas of Acoustic Theatre include; a new system of control and notation of the acoustic space (The Acoustic Grid); entirely acoustic (non-electronic) techniques for a new system of composition; the creation a new kind of acoustic instrument (acousmonium); and the acoustic design of a new theatre. Edelstein's team are utilizing new materials based in the principal of sonic crystals to modulate the architecture of the acoustic space so as to add a new real-time parameter of control in a musical performance. Their researches will make the space itself an instrument for the contemporary composer. The register of this work made in collaboration with the physicist, Manuel Eguí­a, has been produced in the University of Quilmes, Argentina.

El Hecho / The Fact / O Fato (1998)

- An opera composed by Oscar Edelstein for the ENS, the work was made in memory of Juan Carlos Paz ( the composer who first brought ideas of the Second Vienna School to Argentina). It was inspired by the graphic design of Paz' score, Seis eventos [Six Events] - his last work that never musically realised. Edelstein says "I was interested in the moment when Paz chose, instead of the precise path, the labyrinth. I wanted to create from that act, from that "fact."

This was the first work to pay homage to the famous Argentine composer.

Cast

Electric Guitar - Richard Arce; Electric & Acoustic Bass - Gonzalo Serrano; Acoustic Piano - Mario Castelli; Keyboards - Mariano Cura; Percussion - Pablo Siroti; Electric Guitar - Nicolás Varchausky; Drums - Matí­as Gonzalez Goytia; Actors - Paula Ortega, Rodolfo Demarco, Poli Bontas; Images - Julián Teubal; Scenography - Julio Cardoso

Klange Klange Urutaú (1997)

Based on a poem of Fernando Pessoa "Oda Triunfal"

"Ah...being able to fully express myself as an

engine does

Being complete as a machine

Going triumphantly through life as the latest

car model..."

Electric Guitar - Richard Arce; Electric & Acoustic Bass - Gonzalo Serrano; Acoustic Piano - Mario Castelli; Keyboards - Mariano Cura; Percussion - Pablo Siroti; Electric Guitar - Nicolás Varchausky; Drums - Matí­as Gonzalez Goytia; Choir - Ana Larreategui, Marcela Sotelano, Osvaldo Ledesma, & Armando Noguera

"An hour of music without interruptions, a great statement with deeply connected and differentiated sections, where the interest does not weaken for an instant." Clarí­n

"If something defines the musical production of Edelstein it is the monumental character and the complexity of his discourse." La Nacion

Inspirations

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