The music of Astor Piazzolla is well known to North American audiences, but what came after the Tango Nuevo revolution?
Julien Labro and the Spektral Quartet set out to uncover exactly that with their project, From This Point Forward. “Jazz,” “contemporary classical” or “tango” are genre labels far too cramped to encapsulate where this music takes us. Breathless fugues, opaque chord clusters and circular grooves characterize Fernando Otero’s De Ahora En Más a piece with a tincture of tango, but something much more risky. Diego Schissi has similarly transformed the tango vernacular with tunes like the irrepressible Líquido 5. Perhaps it can best be summed up in the composer’s own words, in email correspondence with Labro and the quartet: “It is a display of Full Power, a forceful demonstration of energy...edgy and a bit uncontrolled.”
Astor Piazzolla’s music was not abandoned in subsequent generations, of course, and the composer’s careening Milonga Loca is a cornerstone of our set-list. With Piazzolla as the launch point, Julien Labro and the Spektral Quartet will introduce American audiences to a largely-unheard corner of new South American repertoire, and will continue to ask, What comes next?