La Tromba (“The Whirlwind”) is a quartet comprised of vocal artists Paulina de Petris, Catalina Moya, Audrey Pernell, and Andrés Zará. Audrey Pernell also directed the voice work and Carolina Larenas directed the staging, guiding the artists to develop unique compositions rooted in free vocal improvisation and collective creation.
“ ‘Tromba’ can mean cyclone, whirlwind or flood, a phenomenon that begins with a storm. When one occurs, nothing is ever the same as before…”
The quartet chose the name out of a fascination for water as a poetic recurring theme in its initial repertoire, which included pieces such as the African American spiritual “Wade in the Water” and the Venezuelan work song “Canto de Lavanderas” (Song of the Washerwomen).
Through vocal improvisation, the artists find inspiration in the changing nature of water and its capacity to purify, transform, soothe and destroy. Their voices reflect a watery quality by adapting to different “vessels” onstage: songs, texts, and soundscapes. In this process, the group has cultivated a creative dynamic in which the artists deliver their personal stories, artistic disciplines and unique vocal colors to develop distinctive performance pieces emerging from the power of their imagination.
After two years of creative research and showings of work in progress, La Tromba prepared its first full-length vocal performance called Canciones al Aire (Songs in the Air). In this project, La Tromba tests the limits of a conventional concert format with its particular fusion of musical and theatrical worlds. The repertoire includes original arrangements of Latin American folk songs, as well as innovative acoustic atmospheres. Canciones al Aire promises to captivate the audience with a whirlwind of melodies, sounds, words, bodies and rituals.
Canciones al Aire premiered in Santiago at Sala Agustín Siré (Universidad de Chile) in October 2013, with the collaboration of musical composer Pablo Ariel López and the assistance of actress María José Contesse. In 2014, La Tromba presented the piece at the Teatro Nacional, Sala Antonio Varas with Pantheatre Chile; Teatro Universidad Mayor; and La Máquina del Arte.