Creation place and date:
“Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris; Espace Maurice Fleuret”
November the 16th, 2011.
Paris Conservatory’s “Journéss de la Composition” Festival.
Performers: Conductor: Laurent Cuniot / Cello: Askar Ishangaliyev / Paris Conservatory Musicians
Running time: ca. 11:30′
Instrumentation: Flute in C (doubles Piccolo, Flute in G and Bass flute) / Horn in F / Percussion / Harp / Cymbal / Guitar / 1st Violin / 2nd Violin / Two Violas / Two Cellos
The desire to write a work for cello and a small ensemble coincided with the aspiration to create musical metaphors of striking natural beauties. Nature and the changing of seasons shows its influence on vegetation as well as in human society. During my childhood, April was the month that signaled the emergence of light, the arrival of spring, and the transformation of the trees. While I was writing this piece, other memories of awe related to light came to mind: the skilled gradation of light in Luis Barragán’s architecture; the precise blurring of light in the work of Manuel Álvarez Bravo; various descriptions of light in Juan Rulfo’s work that create physical and emotional landscapes; or more recently, in Luz silenciosa (Silent Light), a film by Carlos Reygadas where light creates a powerful poetic expressivity.
The use of light in Mexican art seems to be a question of continual inquiry. Is it a search of spirituality through aesthetics? Or is it the desire to create a sensation of calm and sacredness through nature? “Poetry”, states Octavio Paz, “is a spiritual exercise”. Here, more simply, I try to express through sound my own emotional image of light, of a certain tranquility favorable to the creative state, of imaginary arborescence that evoke the memories of April in my childhood.
The different ways of playing the string instruments (bowed, pizzicato, striking the wood, etc.) contribute to a certain diffraction of sound that I relate to the fragility of light. Three harmonic fields enunciated at the beginning of the piece by the cello serve as seeds that blossom through the entire course of the work.
Antonio Juan-Marcos Cavazos