On his debut as a bandleader, Chilean drummer and composer Vicente Hansen Atria and his septet, Orlando Furioso, reimagine varying folk traditions in new and otherworldly ways. With unique instrumentation and a diverse, curious spirit, Atria and Orlando Furioso find surprising connections and contradictions within these cosmic spaces.
The first single and album opener, “En tornasol,” features Chilean pop singer, the exquisite Niña Tormenta. “This piece is a tribute to composer, ethnomusicologist, visual artist, and poet Violeta Parra, perhaps the most important figure in the mid-century revival of Latin American folk now known as Nueva Canción,” Atria explains. Immediately listeners are drawn in by Tormenta’s lilting harmonies and David Acevedo’s mournful trumpet.
I find myself continuously lost within the aural explorations of “En tornasol.” Atria and Orlando Furioso create transportive music, yet I’m not sure where or when I’m traveling to. That’s the point, though, as the project combines these disparate elements to suspend listeners in a liminal, transitional space.
Atria further describes the piece, offering insight into these spellbinding moments. “‘En tornasol’ is based on a single hexachord built out of the fourths that Parra’s original melody opens with, which is continuously inverted yielding a descending, spiraling sequence, continuously turning and returning — as if the sun suddenly melted or were seen through a kaleidoscope.”
Orlando Furioso’s name is inspired by a Renaissance-era poem by Ludovico Ariosto and represents an exciting new chapter in Atria’s journey. Their instrumental musical wanderings are simultaneously revelatory and familiar. “En tornasol” appears on the project’s self-titled debut, out on September 9 via Aguirre Records. Stream below.