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Liquen Records has released “Islas de cielo”, by the Spanish avant-garde composer Antonio Luis Guillén.

The Spanish poet, composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Antonio Luis Guillén (Granada, 1975) -founder of bands such as Les Rauchen Verboten, Sefronia or Alondra Satori, among other projects- has an extensive discography to his name, A.L. Guillén, who usually composes based on poems by a variety of poets. His most recent work, released in January by the label Liquen Records, is entitled Islas de cielo, and features four pieces -two of just over seven minutes and another two of just over twelve- that pay tribute to four deceased Canarian avant-garde poets, born in the early 20th or late 19th centuries, and influenced by the French surrealist currents of a hundred years ago. Valle hermoso del silencio is based on Pedro García Cabrera’s poem Como es tu gozo; Wa-Yewta, on Agustín Espinosa’s poem Luna de miel; Ycodex, based on fragments of Emeterio Gutiérrez Albelo’s El enigma del invitado; and Sacer, based on Domingo López Torres’ Lo imprevisto.

Made between 2019 and 2023, Islas de cielo can be considered an album “of songs” sung and performed by Guillén himself, although the music is not exactly conventional song-format, but is situated in a terrain in which he gives free rein to his fondness for free jazz, noise, drone, ambient music and field recordings – fragments of market noises or motorboats appear – “an escape within chaos”, as he himself explains the difference between his works of free improvisation and what he considers composition: “I identify with song, where I can generate patterns that I can repeat in different circumstances: “A fugue within chaos”, as he himself explains the difference between his free improvisation works and what he considers composition: “I identify composition with song, where I can generate patterns that I can repeat in different circumstances”.

Islas de cielo also features collaborations with veteran saxophonist Pelayo F. Arrizabalaga -founder of Clónicos- and the voice of the soprano Virginia Pedrosa in Ycodex, and the recitals of Sebensuí Álvarez Sánchez and Mara B. Stones in Wa-Yewta. A poet himself, Guillén defines the album as follows: “Sprouted and matured through ten years of drifting through the Canary Islands, traversed by the arcana of his surrealist poetry, chewing his lava, laurisilva, sea and sky. Islas de cielo comprises four poetic movements towards what has been lost in the ages of its history, lost through merchandise, depredation and value. Four movements. The previous silence lost. The lost sacrifice. The lost gift. The lost utopia. It is the word of the surrealist poet from the Canary Islands that triggers me towards the origin of the sound of the Atlantean land. And on this journey a melody. Always a melody. That of the common sky that still embraces each island that we are. Common sky that is the central fovea of our extrafoveal insurgency”.