Yana Mann by Yulia Kem
On February 10, at 8:00 pm, Russian mezzo Yana Mann will make her debut at the prestigious Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York. Mann will be accompanied by Colombian composer, pianist and multimedia artist, Julián De La Chica.
According to the evening’s program, Yana will perform the world premiere of the song cycle Op. 12 for mezzo and piano, Poemas de bar, which was also recorded by Mann on her debut album, and the cycle Op. 15, Arias Florentinas, also for mezzo and piano, dedicated to Yana and composed especially for the evening, as part of a commission from the Brooklyn-based label Irreverence Group Music.
Yana’s popularity has grown tremendously after she released her debut album in May 2021. Music writer Thomas May states: “For Mann, the achievement is a remarkable solo debut album that demonstrates not only the natural beauty of her voice but the sustained emotional directness with which she deploys it. Mann accentuates the faintest glimmer of hope in these songs detailing loss and absence with such gentle force that the cycle comes to generate a distinctly up-to-date melancholia.” — and Philip Thomas: “Yana eschews the operatic conventions of extreme vibrato and delivers in a voice with a clear, pure tone and perfect diction together with a passion that cannot fail to impress.” — And recently, after Yana released a single with the iconic piece, Ave Maria, this time, in a contemporary composition by De La Chica, BillboardWorld Music news wrote: “Yana’s voice is pure, dark and calm…”
But this intuitive and organic collaboration with De La Chica is not over yet, as just before her Carnegie Hall debut, Yana will release her second album, Paisaje NIhilista, a cycle for voice and synthesizer, composed by De La Chica, and with texts by musicologist, writer and composer, Susan Campos —Fonseca, a well-known Latin American feminist figure, whose poems made De La Chica fall in love with her in 2015.
About Julián De La Chica’s music, Yana says: “Julián has great ideas and his direction is clear to understand, I believe that we share the same vision and of course we discuss everything, so our creative processes are easy and cooperative. We both understand that the most important thing is the collaboration itself where everyone brings something to the final product, and of course, we trust each other. It is a team effort and so far, it’s been fantastic.”.
To announce the concert, the IGM label released a video “On set” with Yana Mann, directed by De La Chica himself and with Luke Romo as director of photography. In the video, which appears to be more of a short film than a music video, Yana tells the story of a woman who evokes the memory of love in the Big Apple.
Yana offers a rendition of Poema No. 4: New York, with a voice rich in nuances, delicate pianissimos, and exceptional technical control. The austere, naked image, like the music itself, and the choice of black and white, help in the narrative of the story of a love that no longer exists. At the end we realize that she waits in her death. Perhaps a suicide? perhaps a present where she no longer wants to live without love?
De La Chica is a Colombian composer and multidisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY. In 2020 he gained notoriety with his first film Agatha, a story of a voyeuristic man and his fantasies of seeing another man in front of his building. The film premiered during the 37th Bogotá film festival — Bogocine and was selected in more than 30 international festivals. De la Chica also won more than 15 awards. In 2018 his music was included in Honor up, a film directed by Damon Dash and produced by Kanye West. In 2017, with the film Margaret, De La Chica won Best Original Score at the London Independent Film Awards. De La Chica is currently in the production of her second film Dora, starring Colombian actress and model Carolina Aponte. His first novel, God’s Punishment, will be release in Jan 2022.
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