Inspired by the work of Spanish painter Hugo Fontela, whose cycles of interrelated paintings find a warmth within starkness and are often concerned with nature and decay, Coll’s Vestiges for piano (2012) were premiered by Richard Uttley at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in November and were subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio 3. The pieces form a kind of triptych: the first and third movements are full of gnarly, volatile canons, while the second is a reflective chorale infected at its core by a germ of the energy of the outer movements. Coll works in the remnants of ideas from Bach and Nancarrow, stating that, ‘I don’t see the vestiges, the ruins, as the end of something, but as the beginning of something new, full of beauty and delicate power.’ Uttley also performed the 9-minute work at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris and will revive them again at the Swaledale Festival in June.
‘A concentrated, brief triptych… Coll adapts [Nancarrow’s] language of impossibly dynamic canons with originality and force.’
The Sunday Times (Paul Driver), 29 November 2015