Alchimia is a work related to the subject of the five elements of antiquity that I wrote for my dear friends Paloma Báscones and Harold Schofield. It’s divided into five hymns, one for each element (air, fire, water, earth and quintessence), which are preceded by a recitation of a text related to the theme of the piece. The hymns combine words and phrases drawn from ancient texts from 15 different languages: Ancient Greek, Latin, Ancient Egyptian , Sanskrit, Sumerian, Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, Navajo, Cherokee, Nahuatl, Quechua, Spanish, German and English.
KOCMOC (Cosmos), for large orchestra and choir, is a piece composed in 2013, dedicated to the memory of Vladislav Uspensky, a renowned Russian composer and former student of Arapov and Shostakovich, with whom I had the privilege to study between 1997 and 1998. The title comes from the Russian word “cosmos” which, in Cyrillic, is written “kocmoc”. The piece is based on a former work of the same name, composed under the guidance of professor Uspensky in 1997, making use of the same musical materials, the same structure and source of inspiration.
When Dr. Katrin Meidell and Dr. Elizabeth Crawford asked me to write a piece for their duo Violet, the idea of choosing Nathaniel Hawthorne's version of the Greek story of Pandora's Box as a source of inspiration was among the first I had. After all, the story has two characters – Pandora and Epimetheus – and the viola is indeed a box, capable of producing all sorts of sounds – some pretty spooky, by the way.
Il giardino della casa
Il giardino della casa was commissioned by Peruvian flute player Daniel Cueto and Romanian guitarist Mircea Gogoncea, to be included in the program they were preparing for the second edition of the Encounters of Peruvian Musicians, organized by the Philharmonic Society of Lima. The piece is divided in three movements, each of them inspired by photographs taken by my father at our home garden.
Images of the Peruvian Coast
Images of the Peruvian coast was commissioned in 2015 by Peruvian trumpet player Franco Carranza, who asked me to write a piece based on airs of Peruvian music with accompaniment of piano, guitar and percussion. I named the first movement Villapampa, which is the name of an estate once owned by my paternal grandfather between the 50’s and 80’s. As he was of Italian origin I decided to combine a theme inspired by the "Canti Alpini", so typical of northern Italy, with another one inspired by the Peruvian Waltz.
Pictorial Miniatures is a set of short pieces inspired by nine paintings by Peruvian artist Ernesto Bavastrello, who also happens to be my great-granduncle. While all the pieces were conceived with the idea of conveying some sense of the painting that served as their inspiration, none of them follows any given program or libretto. The sixth movement is inspired by the painting named Whim V, a tempera and water-color on a floral motif – showing here.
Fantastic Episodes is a work Inspired by my childhood fantasies about space travel and my fascination with the 60’s TV show “Lost in Space”. The title refers to the structure of the work, which is designed to be perceived as a sequence of parts or "episodes", each of them a short musical fantasy, resembling in some way the structure of the TV show. The work is also a tribute to the music of Lost in Space, particularly the cues written by American composer John Williams.
The Garden of the Shadows
The Garden of the Shadows was composed in 2001, as a work for my second Composition Workshop, at the National Conservatory of Music. The inspiration came from two sources: the first one was a small section of my incidental piece "Bloodline", which I wrote in 2000. The second source was H.G. Wells’ science fiction novel The Time Machine. In fact, the title of the work, as well as the titles of the four movements, make reference to the plot of this science novel, in which a scientist from the XIX century travels to the future, only to find out the human race has evolved into two separate species: the beautiful, peaceful and almost childish Eloy and their counterpart, the Morlocks, grotesque creatures of the night who live underground and fear light.
Peruvian Fanfare No.1 is based on two traditional dances from the coast of Peru: the Marinera and the Festejo. The piece incorporates many of the characteristics of both, mixed with my own musical ideas. The Marinera is often danced by a single couple and requires a rather large space to be performed. The dance is an elegant and stylized reenactment of a courtship, and the dancers never touch each other. The Festejo is a dance of African origin, developed by the slaves brought by the Spanish from Congo, Angola and Mozambique. Contrary to the Marinera, it is usually performed by several couples. Choreographies may be very elaborated, with men and women dancing barefoot in a festive-erotic dance that includes strong movements of their hips and torsos.