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PUMA for wind quintet

The puma is one of the largest and strongest felines native to the Americas. It was a powerful symbol and the object of deep veneration for several ancient civilizations of South America, among them the Moche and the Inca. In fact, Inca admiration for the feline was so profound that their capital city, Cusco, was built in the shape of a puma, with the Saksaywaman citadel at its head, the Koricancha temple at its genitals, and a street named Pumakurku ("puma spine") along its back.

It´s quite possible to imagine why this animal deserved such extraordinary reverence. It possesses a beautiful build and great strength; its amazing speed and precision of movement make it a flawless hunter. It is also a solitary animal, which is interesting from an emotional and/or literary perspective, and makes it all the more enigmatic as a character.

I found this combination of qualities - great strength, stunning skill and a predilection for solitude - quite intriguing. Guided by these aspects, and inspired by Moche and Inca depictions of the animal, I started to explore the ritual figure of the puma through music. This work was the result.


ESTUDIOS CRIOLLOS for clarinet ( I. Estudio de marinera norteña )

 

DUES NIMFES for clarinet, viola and piano ( II. Thoe )


"Dues Nimfes" consists of two movements, both named after Nereids (sea nymphs) of Greek mythology.

According to classical literature, there are a total of 50 Nereids. Each one posesses a particular characteristic or attribute that makes it unique.

Galene (Γαλήνη) is the Nereid of the "calm" seas.

Thoe (Θόη) is the Nereid of "swift" voyage or moving waves. 


KIPU for ensemble

There are many clues that point to an ancient communication between
South America and China. The Chilean investigator Jaime Errázuriz, for example, gathered a list of 89 towns and cities in Peru whose names have a meaning in Chinese. Peru and China also have 118 locations with the same name. Could this be just a coincidence?

The kipu is a system of recording information used in pre-hispanic America. It consists of several hanging threads that bear knots of different colors and sizes, placed at different heights and distances. The oldest known kipus were found at Caral (Peru), a site believed to be 5000 years old.

Alexander von Humboldt was one of the first to associate the Andean kipu with very similar devices found in China. Gustavo Vargas, in his book “Fusang: Chinos en América antes de Colón”, corroborates this claim and goes on to share their Chinese name: “qi pui”.

If these two peoples really did come into contact... what sort of relationship did they have? How did they view one another? What principles or ideas guided their exchange? These are the questions that led me to write this piece. It is my own musical hypothesis; a "fantasy" on a long voyage leading to an encounter between two distant civilizations. Might a similar story lie hidden in a kipu we can´t yet read? Until scientists finally figure out how to decode the complex, colorful knots, their message will continue to be as abstract as music itself.


KIMSA HARAWICHA for soprano and alto flute

 


I. URQUPI ICHU KAÑASQAY 

Urqupi ichu kañasqay
Qasapi ichu kañasqay
Kunankamachus rawracha
kunankamachus rupacha

Hinalla rawrakuptinqa
Hinalla rupariptinqa
Warma wiqichaykiwan
Challaykuy!
Warma wiqichaykiwan
Chasnuykuy!

 


I. THE ICHU THAT I BURNED ON THE MOUNTAIN

The ichu that I burned on the mountain
The ichu that I burned at the top
perhaps it is still in flames
perhaps it is still ablaze

If it´s still in flames
If it´s still ablaze
With your child tears
(please) Smother it!
With your child tears
(please) Put it out!


LAS ANTARAS DE CELSO for contrabass

"Las Antaras de Celso" was written in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of one of the most remarkable creations of modern Latin American music: the chamber work "Antaras" (1968), by Peruvian composer Celso Garrido-Lecca.

This piece expresses my deep admiration for the said work as well as for Garrido-Lecca´s oeuvre as a whole. It is based on a motif that is heard in the double bass towards the end of "Antaras", and also borrows from the solo flute piece "Soliloquio I" by the same composer, which I studied as a performer years ago.


SURQUILLO for brass ensemble

 

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