Dedicated to Kael Zollner, whose sudden death in 2019, at the age of 22, had a profound impact on me. I wanted to write a symphonic work for my master's and I remembered that he had asked me several times if I could teach him to play the piano. That was how I decided to write a piano concerto. Then I also remembered that I had seen him reading "20 love poems and a song of despair" by Pablo Neruda. So, it occurred to me to take four poems from that book and use them as a source of inspiration: poems 4, 9, 15 and 14.
I've been practicing meditation for several years and if I had to choose a particular word to describe what I experience, that word would be "drifting". After relaxing, my mind begins to wander. Fragments of images, thoughts and sounds flash through my mind. Everything is blurry, but occasionally an image takes shape and for a moment I see all kinds of things: people, landscapes, animals, etc.; sometimes I hear a voice that speaks to me; I've even listened to music, like tuning in to a radio station for a few seconds.
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.
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. 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.