Pau Sandaran

Pau Sandaran

Pau Sandaran


composer and pianist

Pau Sandaran

Barcelona (1976)

A pianist and composer, he has to his name, works for diverse instrumental settings such as solos, chamber music, big band and orchestra.

His works for big band have been performed at Vienna’s Musikverein, Vienna’s Birdland and Eisenstadt’s Haydn Saal.

Among other premiers, his Choro per a Frida for orchestra was performed by the Murta Ensemble under the musical direction of Xavier Puig in the Auditori de Santa Coloma de Gramenet and at the Teatro Zorrilla in Badalona. Likewise, the prestigious theatre group Corral de Comedias de Alcalá de Henares premiered his music for the theatre work El cavaller i els músics.

Pau Sandaran holds a Master of Arts in musical composition and a Bachelor of Arts in jazz composition from the Music University in Vienna.

Currently, he is professor of music theory, modern harmony and piano at the Conservatori Municipal de Vilanova i la Geltrú in Catalunya.

Origin of my work

At the beginning of my compositions, there usually stems a spontaneous idea. Once this idea is clear, my work as composer begins with its development establishing itself by playing around with established theme. For me, the core of what a composer does lies in how he deals with thematic material, something which can be acquired through learning. The essence of my creativity evolves out of my imagination. With this said, the evolutuion throughout the creative process of a composition usually results as something strictly intuitive. It is after this somewhat instinctual process that I procede in verifying the structure and form of my work. My music is descriptive in nature with the intention of representing an image, feelings, or a specific situation, depending on my personal state of being. Music, for me, is a true reflection of the composer’s soul.


Just like pebbles (còdols) flourish from the slow action of nature over the rocks, these miniatures for cello and piano by Juli Sandaran and Pau Sandaran are the product of a similar transformation, having been polished without any rush in search of their own identity. Dues impressions (Romança sense melodia i Melodia) by Juli Sandaran, is a work with great expressive character and a clear example of this unhurried but consequential process.

Throughout this creative experience, the interpreter has been a fundamental figure for me. I have been fortunate enough to count with cellist Amat Santacana who is a musician of great sensitivity. Amat and I have known each other since 2002 as a result of studying together in Vienna. Working hand in hand with him has offered me the rewarding experience of being able to experiment directly with the instrument for which I was composing.

The beautiful ceramic pebbles featured on this disc are the work of ceramic artist, Teresa Escayola. These pebbles which stand out are the result of a painstaking work. This mirrors the spirit of persistence and love on which the music of this disc has flourished as well as its entire process of creation.


Time in Serinyà is still. This makes this place magical and ideal for the creative process with ideas flowing very spontaneously. Repòs, by Juli Sandaran engulfs you in its grand serenity and sense of open space. Many of the motives of my musical works spring forth from here: La torre de Babel, el Choro per a Frida, Un chemin vers le ciel… Silence assists with concentration and transports you to a world of dreams. At the middle of La torre de Babel, we confront a moment of confusion and dreaminess.

My grandfather, Juli Sandaran, was a person of grand enthusiasm as well as being a prolific artist (jazz pianist and cellist as well as trying his hands at plastic arts, watercolor, oils, engravings, sculptures …). He transmitted to the entire family his passion for music and art. As a young child, I experienced playing chamber music with him as we read through works for cello and piano from the great authors. During Christmas time, grandpa created wonderful arrangements of christmas carols to be performed by the entire family. These arrangements, simple yet compact, are nothing less than a gem. His arrangement of the popular Catalan carol d’El cant dels ocells, also known as a children’s lullaby, is a clear example of this.

It is quite common that inspiration is the offspring of what you heard in your youth. As for me, I have always held great admiration for the music of Brazil, in particular, bossa nova or choro. My composition Choro per a Frida, built on the characteristic rhythm of the Brazilian choro, is dedicated to my niece, Frida.

The music of L’ocell blau inspired the words of the homonymous poem by Francesc Sandaran. This is a fable telling the story of the blue raven migrating from Caucasus to Vienna in search of the Phoenix, the bird born again from its ashes. Likewise for me, my extended stay in Vienna flourished within myself my own musical roots.

The music of Un chemin vers le ciel is innocent, full of humor and tenderness. Just like the poem, Un chemin vers le ciel of Maria Pontigo, its  innocence, freedom and playfulness, so proper of the chanson française, served as great inspiration for me towards the composition of this piece which I have dedicated to my son, Nil.

On numerous occasions at home, I heard my grandfather improvising jazz standards at the piano. Surely, this was what lead me to feel such an affinity towards this musical genre. Oda al sol is a ballad inspired by the homonymous poem of Maria Pontigo. Here, figure of speech and the modal exchange meet each other to praise the magnificence of the sun.