"Ramon Humet's music is delicate and subtle, with high poetic imagination. Humet is a hope for the future; he has a fine ear, and a spirit full of light." Jonathan Harvey
The garden demarcates a space and establishes order where once capricious nature reigned, it creates a pleasant landscape sprung from the imagination of the one who designed it. When the wanderer enters, without hurry, the garden transforms time: everything seems to slow down and flow gently to the liturgy of wood and water, wind and rock. The garden is, after all, a metaphor for the world that has watched it grow. Like a Japanese garden, the music of Ramon Humet is beautiful, refined, transparent, and often playful. It is so, both in intention and in the measured use of the means employed, –I cannot but relate his music to Joan Miró's series Constellations. His work is capable of conveying the happy fascination of a child making a new discovery: music of magical smiles built on a foundation of solid technique. Music that flows naturally, –a feat in itself!– that seems to disguise the hours of experimentation and careful thought that went into its composition.
For some years now, Humet has been struck by the sensitivity of ancient Japanese culture. This has meant, inevitably, gazing at surrounding nature and finding beauty in every detail. And every object in the environment, whether stone, leaf, star or insect, becomes a universe of sensations that interact and, ultimately, lead to a spiritual attitude towards life. A fascination with Japanese art also implies stripping one’s discourse of superfluous elements in order to arrive at that which is essential. Hence the use of haiku as the starting point for many compositions. The ability to evoke these lines of scant syllables is so surprising that it has tied the music inseperably to the associated images. We should not think, however, that this is descriptive music in the usual sense: it is, rather, a successful symbiosis between different arts.
Having captured the spirit, the visual elements and the form’s rigour, it just remained for the author to concentrate on the sounds. The bamboo flute was the starting point. In fact, Humet had long been captivated by shakuhachi, to the extent of taking regular classes in order to play it himself. This knowledge from the inside hasallowed him to integrate aspects of the ancient flute into his music: its tonal inflections, the presence of air as an essential part of musical discourse, the meditative nature of the music.
However, his sensitivity towards Asian culture has germinated in very fertile ground, planted long before. Ramon Humet’s restless personality has been forged in various fields: musical, literary, technological, and that of life itself. The study of the piano, at first, and, later, of traditional composition, provided the essential theoretical and practical basis for the development of professional skills –a "necessary" condition, as he says, but "insufficient in itself to create interesting music". His knowledge of engineering, meanwhile, has made it simpler to apply technology to performance and composition. But the real turning point was meeting Jonathan Harvey, in the summer of 2000, during the workshop for young composers of the National Youth Orchestra of Catalonia. From that meeting, new creative horizons opened up, above all the influence of spectralism, –mostly in practical terms, of research and treatment of materials, rather than in a dogmatic sense. From here arose the passion for all those composers –George Benjamin, György Ligeti, Toru Takemitsu, Per Norgard– who are so careful with harmony, subtle in their modulation of orchestral colour, true to the desire to innovate without destroying the link with tradition. This last aspect is crucial for those who approach the legacy of the Masters "with great respect and admiration". Talking with Ramon Humet means sharing the delight he takes in art, the poetry of Basho or Pessoa, or the polyphonic music of the Renaissance. He has never ceased to transmit an enviable enthusiasm for everything he does.
Residing in a small village of the Baix Camp area, at the foot of a rocky hill, the author has left behind the constant tumult of the big city of his birth, valiantly rejecting everything that is not essential to be able to compose. Always aware of recent developments, of significant changes, –his isolation has nothing to do with an apocalyptic attitude, and he is perfectly integrated into today’s culture–, the composer sits at his table, a cup of green tea in his hand, and goes back to his music, -humbly, rigorously, and with love -, picking up from the point where he left it the day before.
Text: Josep Maria Guix.