(Translation pending) Un subtitulo posible para Canción en Duermevela leería “paisaje sonoro para cuatro guitarras”. La pieza esta construída sobre fragmentos de una melodía preexistente (estilo cantus firmus). Estos fragmentos están armonizados consistentemente en “clusters” de segundas menores, distribuidos entre las cuatro guitarras (hoquetus) y decorados por una batería de sonidos relativamente inusuales respecto del repertorio tradicional de guitarra. “Paisaje” y “ensueño” son imágenes recurrentes en la música contemporánea (y no tan contemporánea). Ambos términos se emplean, en general, para referir a texturas suspendidas, flotantes, que apelan a un modo de escucha inmersivo. Canción en Duermevela se ajusta a esta descripción e incorpora, además, la lógica poco predecible de los estados de ensueño como estrategia para yuxtaponer, en una misma frase o compás, materiales motívicos disonantes, que no suelen aparecer juntos.
On Love is built as two superposed pieces. One, performed by the instruments and soprano, is a re imagination of William Byrd’s masses (although the only direct quotation is of Heart’s Ease, the anonymous song that is mentioned in Act 4 of Shakespeare’s play). The second piece is the one performed by the actors. Their script is designed as a "ping-pong" game built on on every sentence in Romeo and Juliet that features the word “love” plus fragments of two soliloquies: Juliet's in the balcony (act 2, scene 2) and Romeo's at the grave (act 5, scene 3)
Tres Decals consists of an ascending melody over which layers of ornamentation occur. Both the melody and the ornamentation respond to a series of permutational strategies that remain mostly untransformed over the span of the work. Despite the fact that the piece came to be as the layering of quite-detached technical moves, my associations as I write this program note point towards the autobiographical. As I finished the piece, I was two weeks away from becoming a father for the first time (my former office literally turned into a nursery decorated with…decals), and as a consequence I tend to map many features in Tres Decals with tropes of infancy (the plain melody with the lullaby, the superimposition of pulses with the music-box, the bits of major scales…) that could be, I suspect, some of the sonic “day’s residues” in the dream of an infant.
After L'Addio / Felt is a two movement piece resulting from close collaboration with harpist Ben Melsky. The premiere of this work was planned for a recital in which a performance of Sciarrino's Addio a Trachis preceded. After... features varying levels of referentiality and filiation with its predecessor, from literal quoting to variation to more esoteric and personal connections. Generally speaking, and not like most Sciarrino, After...is a frantic and highly tactile piece where different levels of friction between hands and strings are syntactically relevant. Felt is the textural opposite of After...in that the contact between performer and instrument is dramatically reduced: the right hand plays with a felt pick for the entirety of the movement and the left hand features, for the most part, harmonics.
The texture of Sextet II is sparse. It features a fairly limited amount of elements and they are transformed via quite specific and simple processes, mainly, stretching, contracting and transposing. The compositional approach was (from what I remember) quite emotionally detached but the result is frequently received as highly evocative. This quality might stem from the specificity in character of the constitutive blocks. The expressive “stuff” of the piece relies less on situations than in the characters themselves and in the location of those characters in space rather than in their interaction. Sextet II was specially composed for Latitude 49 during the summer of 2013.