PUMA

wind quintet (2015)

Performed by Confluentes Ensemble                                                                                                                                                          Recorded by Jannis Lehnert, with support from the RSH Düsseldorf and the HfMT Köln (Standort Aachen)


Details

 

Duration: 8 minutes

Premiere:

  • January 27th, 2015
  • Quintett Pasù
  • HfMT Cologne (Germany)
  Confluentes Ensemble  performing PUMA in Koblenz, Germany

Confluentes Ensemble performing PUMA in Koblenz, Germany

About the work

 

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.