The composer Agustín Castilla-Ávila and the painter Isabella Heigl, on their American tour.
The Spanish composer Agustín Castilla-Ávila (Jerez de la Frontera, 1974) is touring the United States and Mexico for several weeks now, presenting live the pictorial-musical performance Neverendingartist, which consists of a painting improvisation session – by the Austrian painter Isabella Heigl (Haag am Hausruck, 1989) – and music – by Agustín Castilla-Ávila himself, on electric guitars – that takes Bob Dylan’s work as a starting point, but not only his song lyrics, but also his pictorial work, one of his most unknown dedications. The aim of the project – funded by the International Society of Mozarteum University Salzburg in Austria, where the Spanish composer lived since several years ago – is to offer a multidisciplinary performance and also to explore the transdisciplinary possibilities between painting and music. This means, as Castilla-Ávila explains in a telephone conversation, that “each of us uses our own usual working elements, guitars in my case, painting materials in Isabella’s, but we also develop part of the performance by exchanging materials. Each one of us can develop either of the two disciplines with any of the materials at our disposal”.
Neverendingartist will offer a total of seventeen performances in the seven weeks of the tour, touring cities such as San Francisco (California), Albuquerque (New Mexico), Valparaiso (Indiana), Ruston (Louisiana) and Puebla (Mexico), among others. We started on 3 March in New York, in Tribeca,” recalls the musician and composer, “the same day that Bob Dylan began his current tour, Crossing the Rubicon, in Phoenix, the first part of which ends on 14 April. And 14 April is when we will return from Mexico to perform in Flagstaff (Arizona). The two tours are on opposite routes: ours goes from north to south and Dylan’s goes from south to north. On 18 March we saw his concert in Shreveport (Louisiana), the day after the performance we gave the day before in Ruston”.
Agustín Castilla-Ávila has written works for soloist, chamber, orchestra, theatre, choreography and five chamber operas and his music has been conducted by the batons of Dennis Russell-Davies, Johannes Kalitzke, Tito Ceccherini, Hannu Lintu or Hansjörg Schellenberger, among others.
© Photograph by Agustín Castilla-Ávila and Isabella Heigl provided by the composer.