Gesang of a ((melo) melodramatically) perduto amour


Gesang of a ((melo) melodramatically) perduto amour

Gesang of a ([melo] melodramatically) perduto amour, d’après Giovanni Papini (a.k.a a great soundtrack for a humdrum movie) (2012)

Premiered by Duo Cardassis at Federal University of Espirito Santo, April, 2015

Duration: 5’12’’

Duo CardAssiS is a Contemporary music duo for piano four-hands formed by Brazilian pianists Ana Claudia de Assis and Luciane Cardassi. Individually, Ana Claudia and Luciane are avid supporters of contemporary classical music, with long histories of collaborations with composers and the commissioning of new works for piano by Brazilian and international composers.

Building upon their depth of experience, they created Duo CardAssiS in 2014, with the goal of expanding the contemporary repertoire for piano four-hands, particularly with works involving extended techniques, voice, electronics and video.

“Gesang of a ([melo] dramatically) perduto amour, d’après Giovanni Papini (a.k.a a great soundtrack for a humdrum movie)” is inspired by “Gesang of a perduto amour” by Giovanni Papini (1881-1956) – Italian journalist, essayist, literary critic, poet, and novelist poetry:

Beloved carinho, mein Weltschmerz
Égorge mon âme en estas soledades.
My tired heart, Raju presvétlyj
Muore di gioia, tel un demon au ciel.
Lieber Himmel. Castillo de los Dioses,
Quaris quot durerà this fun desespéré?
Λαμπάδα Θείζ, drévo zizni…

Scored for Piano 4 hands, the composition is deliberately melodramatic. The repetitive melodic motif is presented sometimes in a very calm manner, other tempestively against a polyrhythmic and very unstable background and very simple harmonies.

For score requests and other informations, please contact the composer.

11 Paineis de Palavras Soltas


11 Paineis de Palavras Soltas

11 Paineis de Palavras Soltas (2012)
Solo Piano

Premiered and recorded by Wagner Sander Delmondes – Belo Horizonte, 2012
Duration: 20’.13”

11 canvas for “Palavras Soltas”(roughly translated as ‘loose words’) is a multimedia work by Portuguese polymath artist Leonor Alvim and Brazilian composer Antonio Celso Ribeiro blending together, images, poetry and music. The canvases (“Fabric-collage”) are made from fabric: Leonor selects the fabrics according to its texture, color and ability to reflect light. The color of a composition is chosen for its light where an image will be constructed from it. Leonor names it “timbre of light” and can portrait a theme that can be symbolic or only representative of an ordinary theme.

Or abstractly a new interpretation of another theme, for example, in poetry. The raw material for the musical composition was made through an extensive elaboration of the main colors used in each canvas and their correspondent musical notes (pitches) according to scholars in the Middle Ages. The composition feeling was obtained through the image (pareidolia) or symbolic meaning of each canvas:

1 – Taj Mahal – Sentimento (Taj Mahal – Sentiment)

blue: G – G# – C – D#; deep blue: A#; dark blue: F# – A; violet: E – B; bluey green: C#; golden green: F – E; yellow: G; purple: D.

Sadness, funeral, vaults, marble, arabesques (ornaments), past, tradition, someone playing a sitar from far away.

2 – Mar 2 - Sem Palavras (Sea 2 - Wordless/Without Words)

black: B; yellow: E; greenish yellow: F – C; whitish yellow: A#; golden green: E; olive green: D#; bluey green: F#; aquamarine: F – D; orange red: C# – D – A#; crimson: G# – C#; purple: D – A – G# – B; deep blue: A#; blue: G – C- G# – D#; bright blue: F#; sea blue: A; indigo: A – B – G# – E.

It portrays the bottom of the sea with fish, stingrays and jellyfish. The composition evokes a kind of ballet of jellyfish and other animals, resulting in a simple, melodious song with some affectation, with rhythmic patterns suggesting the impulse that the jellyfish do for swimming.

3 – E a minha pele é a Terra! (And my skin is the Earth!)

brown: A#; black: B; dark red: F – C; scarlat: C#; crimson: G# – C#; olive green: D#; brigh blue: F#; orange: D – F – F# – B – A – D#; yellow orange: D# – F.

Beginning of something, steps, season, feeling, affirmation, denial, end of something.

4 – Douro 1 (River Douro 1)

brown: A#; orange red: C# – A# – D; red: C# – B – G; crimson: G# – C#; scarlat: C#; orange: D – F# – F; yellow: E – G – D – B; orange yellow: F – D#; whitish yellow: A#; green: F# – C#; olive green: D#.

The mood of this piece translates an idea of ‘end of cycle’, “expressive like a sunset” – calm, passage, end of a step, end of a day … sweetness. It’s delicate and full of resonances.

5 – Douro 2  (River Douro 2)

brown: A#; black: B; crimson: G# – C#; yellow orange: D# – F; orange: D – F – F# – B – A – D#; olive green: D#; bright blue: F#.

This piece brings some Mozarabic elements and the melancholy of the song of the boatmen on their rabelos (a type of boat used on the river Douro for transporting wine).

6 – Ocaso (Sunset)

brown: A#; golden brown: G; orange: D – D#; pinky orange: F – F#; red: G – G# – B; ; metallic grey: D#; bluey grey: D#; violet: A – A# – F – B; carmine: C.

Sunset, end of the day, calm, meditation.

7 – Luz & Sombra [preto e vermelho] (Light & Shadow [black and red])

blue: G; bright blue: F#; red: C – E – A; black: B; beige: F# – D.

Boat seen in the distance; calm; melancholy; quick reflexes in the water, now calm, sometimes violent; bells of buoys; day starting; day ending.

8 – Mar 1 - Golfinhos vestidos de azul (Sea 1 - Little Dolphins  covered in blue)

greenish blue: F# – G; azul: C – G; aquamarine: D; carmine: C; violet: B – A; purple: D – A; indigo: E.

Two innocent dolphins playing in the sea.

9 – Garoa (Drizzle)

green: F – F# – B – A; bluey green: G – D; olive green: D#; greenish blue: G#; metallic grey: A#; greenish yellow: C.

Mystery, sounds in the distance, longing, suspension, expectations …

10 – Torno à velha casa donde parti (I’m back to the old house once I left)

blue: F# – D – G – G#; green: F – C#; red: G#; orange: D#; black: B; violet: A#.

Serenity, maturity, time in motion, memories, past, haughtiness …

11 – Amanhecer (Dawn)

deep blue: A# – D#; turquoise: G; bright blue: F# – C#; violet: F; cyclamen/magenta: D – F# – G; lilac: D – A – G#; pink: G – C.

Dawn; ritual; procession; gods; worship.

For score requests and other informations, please contact the composer.

Anjos de Rua – (Street Angels)


Anjos de Rua – (Street Angels)

Anjos de Rua – (Street Angels) (1996)

Dance-Theater play directed by Eid Ribeiro
Belo Horizonte – MG

Original soundtrack by Antonio Celso Ribeiro
Voice: Conceição Nicolau

This Dance-Theater play is inspired by real mad homeless people living at the streets of big cities: “Vumorrê” — a scared madman who wandered through the streets repeating for himself “I’ll die, I’ll die”; “Baptista” — a sweet, childish, clownish and inoffensive madman who thought he was “St. Sebastian” and “Tonha” — a desperate madwoman who asked everybody about her ‘lost toddler’.

Cast: Amaury Borges as “Vumorrê”
Marcio Gato as “Baptista”
Gercino Alves as “Tonha”

For score requests and other informations, please contact the composer.

Froia Arme (Lord Have Mercy)


Froia Arme (Lord Have Mercy

Froia Arme (Lord Have Mercy) (2014)
Cello (or Viola) Octet and instrumentalists’ voice

Premiered by UDI Cello Ensemble under the direction of Kayami Satomi – Centro Cultural da Justiça Federal – Rio de Janeiro, November – 2014

Duration: 9’

This piece for Cello Octet was commissioned for “Composers of Today International Festival” by UDI Cello Ensemble from Federal University of Uberlândia, MG and dedicated to Kayami Satomi. “Froia arme” means “Lord have mercy” and is the only phrase in Vandalic language to survive. The composition is divided into 3 short movements. The 2nd movement asks for cellists’ voices. They sing “Lord have mercy” in Russian, Greek, Arabian, Hebrew, Latin and Portuguese.

This composition makes use of some extended techniques like bow pressure turning pitch into noise, as well sub harmonics effects and microtones. The overall feeling is a sort of psychedelic baroque seen through a crackled glass.

For score requests and other informations, please contact the composer.

3 Baladas do Amor Amargo ou 3 Baladas do Amargo Amor


3 Baladas do Amor Amargo ou 3 Baladas do Amargo Amor

3 Baladas do Amor Amargo ou 3 Baladas do Amargo Amor (2013)
For Piano Solo and pianist’s voice

Dedicated and premiered by Luciane Cardassi at Canadian Music Centre, Rolston Recital Hall, The Banff Centre, Canada. LIVE performance. February 5, 2016.

Duration: 12’.17’’

3 Baladas do Amor Amargo ou 3 Baladas do Amargo Amor (roughly translated as 3 Ballades about (how) love bitters [myself] or 3 Ballades about a bitter love) is a mini-opera for piano and pianist’s voice. It is a tribute to three of the most important female poets of African-Galician-Portuguese origin: Noémia de Souza, from Mozambique, Rosalía de Castro from Galicia and Florbela Espanca from Portugal.

The poems (text reprinted below) deal with the unpredictable changes in life, focusing on resentment, melancholia, solitude, abandonment and bitterness, caused by love or its absence. The piece is organized in the form of short “scenes”, like a mini-opera, in three continuous movements (I – Noémia; II – Rosalía; III – Florbela). The first movement has three scenes, the second movement has only one, and the third movement is again in three scenes, in A-B-A form. The scenes explore the virtuosity and dramatic capabilities of the performer. The piano works not as accompaniment but as a ‘medium’ through which the various characters are embodied by the pianist.

The piece makes great use of the resonance of the piano, as well as of some extended techniques such as when the performer strikes the strings with her hands. On the emotional level, the work transits between extremes: from the discomfort culminating with a shout, to the sweetness of some short musical gestures on the piano, and ending with an intense feminine lucidity about a failed love affair.

I – Noémia

Em vez de lágrimas
Só um choro em seco
Põe no vértice da minha dor
O mais intenso auge do luto.
Na baça melancolia do tecto
Bilros de teia bordam solidão
Enquanto meigos sussurros de sombra
No brilhante mutismo do espelho
Recitam estrofes de poeira.

Instead of tears,
only a dry cry,
puts at the apex of my pain
the most intense peak of mourning.
In the melancholic dull ceiling,
laces of cobwebs embroider the solitude,
while gentle shadowy whispers
in the shinning silence of the mirror
Recite stanzas made of dust.

II – Rosalía

Cando era tempo de inverno,
Pensaba en dónde estarías;
Cando era tempo de sol,
Pensaba en dónde andarías.
¡Agora… tan sóio penso,
Meu ben, si me olvidarías!

When it was winter time
I used to wonder where you were,
When the days were sunny
I used to wonder where you’d wandered
Now… I Just wonder,
my beloved, if you’ve forgotten me!

III – Florbela

E a minha triste boca dolorida
que dantes tinha o rir das primaveras
Esbate as linhas graves e severas
e cai no abandono de esquecida!
E as lágrimas que choro, branca e calma,
ninguém as vê brotar dentro da alma;
ninguém as vê cair dentro de mim!
Mas nem negros nem azuis
são teus olhos meu amor…
seriam da cor da mágoa,
se a mágoa tivesse cor.

And my sad painful mouth
that once used to smile like the spring-time feels,
Fades, its contour falling,
Forgotten, abandoned!
And the tears I cry, virgin and quiet,
no one sees them blossom out of the soul;
No one sees them fall from my eyes!
But neither black nor blue
is the colour of your eyes my beloved…
their colour would resemble the colour of ‘hurt’,
If ‘hurt’ had a colour.

For score requests and other informations, please contact the composer.

Alicinações [Alicenations]

Alicinações [Alicenations]

Alicinações [Alicenations]

Alicinações [Alicenations] (1991)
Theater play inspired by texts by James Joyce and Lewis Carroll.

Performed by Grupo Officina Multimedia – Belo Horizonte

Directed by Ione de Medeiros

Original soundtrack by Antonio Celso Ribeiro

“Alicinações” is a multimedia play involving dance, theater, electro acoustical music and light projections. The title is a pun with the words “Alice” (from Lewis Carroll “Alice in the Wonderland) and ‘hallucinations’ (from James Joyce “Ulisses). The play’s plot is a big marathon where the game in all its aspects is the main theme. Like “Alice through the looking glass”, the dramatic action takes place in an imaginary chessboard where the actors-dancers create and change the game according to their own rules, vying for power, anything goes.

In “Alicinações” music and text form a complex of quotes from James Joyce, Lewis Carroll, Dalton Trevisan, Ronnie D. Laing and Dante Alighieri, along with noises, hiss, operas and pop song excerpts, “cheap” radio advertisements, all recorded in reel tapes with low fidelity quality as aesthetical purpose of the play.

Knots (by Ronnie D. Laing)

They are playing a game. They are playing at not
playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I
shall break the rules and they will punish me.
I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.

Dragons, Flies, Dragonflies, Drakkars and the Walls of Jericho


Dragons, Flies, Dragonflies, Drakkars and the Walls of Jericho

Dragons, Flies, Dragonflies, Drakkars and the Walls of Jericho (2014)
Piccolo, duduk, erhu, guzheng, pipa, harp, doublebass, percussion (vibraphone, bass drum, hand gong)

Duration: 12’

The recording presented here is a runthrough performance during the session reading at Atlas Academy, August, 2014.

“Dragons, Flies, Dragonflies, Drakkars and the Walls of Jericho” was written for the fifth edition of Atlas Academy (August, 2014) at Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Netherlands.  The Atlas Academy is a laboratory for the creation of innovative intercultural music, which, in partnership with Atlas Ensemble, created the project “Imagine Utopia”, that aggregates composers and top-soloists of traditional instruments of diverse cultures, amongst others, the duduk (Armenia), the kamancha (Azerbaijan), the pipa (China) and the sho (Japan), engaged in a sonic dialogue for two weeks in Amsterdam. “Dragons, Flies, Dragonflies, Drakkars and the Walls of Jericho” was awarded an Honorable Mention at Atlas Academy.

Specially composed for the 2014 Atlas Ensemble Competition – Amsterdam, and awarded with an Honorable Mention by an international jury, this piece was performed during the IMAGINE UTOPIA Academy. The competition made demands on the choice of instrumentation, aiming to strike a balance between Western instruments and Eastern instruments. My choice considered three groups: winds, strings (plucked and bowed) and percussion. For the Western part, the choice was based on the Piccolo Flute, the Double Bass, the Harp and the Percussion (comprised of a Vibraphone, a Bass Drum and a six-inch Hand Gong); for the Eastern part, the choice was Duduk, Pipa, Erhu and Guzheng. The composition makes use of expanded techniques such as: microtonal intervals, arc pressure transforming the pitch into noise, percussion in the body of the instruments, use of superball mallet in Bumbo, special effects in the harp (tuning peg, pedal glissandos, pedal displacement , Fingernail usage, etc.) and pitch bend on the vibraphone. The following information is taken from the program note made by the composer:

“Dragons, Flies, Dragonflies, Drakkars and the Walls of Jericho”, deals with old symbols from old myths. In an attempt to merge Eastern and Western icons, I looked for symbols that were common in both cultures, as well as those that could imprint a special mark for each side. Thus, the choice of dragons, flies, dragonflies, drakkars – more than a mere play on words, falls on the first point – all are present in both the East and the West; The drakkar was chosen as the Western symbol, and the walls of Jericho as the Eastern symbol. The piece is based on the idea of ​​”transformation” being that the main compositional process used. It works like changing “the fear of the (un)known” to “new ways and possibilities”, since the materials are extremely simple, almost primitive and even scarce. Thus, the timbre, the affections and the oriental techniques of performance play a prominent role throughout the work.

In Dragons, Flies, Dragonflies, Drakkars & the Walls of Jericho, it overflows affects little explored by Western art, such as the grotesque, the bizarre, and the pathetic. There is a chaos that takes care of certain passages, and it goes back to an epic feeling that, in spite of the little sound projection presented by the instruments (that is to say, because it is a very small instrumental group) and of the non abundance of materials, exudes a grandeur that leaps to the ears of those who contemplate it – a complex of superiority that is not intimidated by the fragility of their bodies. Dragons have distinct personalities in Orient and Occident. In European mythology, the word ‘dragon’ derives from two separate Greek words, the first one meaning “a huge serpent or snake” and the second meaning “I see clearly”. Their ability of flying and breathe fire, poison or ice can be responsible for their attributes of being both creators and destroyers, but often malevolent. In Orient, dragons are associated with wisdom and longevity and tend to be benevolent. They also have the power of nature elements and can change their size, form and color as an ability to blend in with their surroundings as an effective form of camouflage. Dragonflies are very popular in Asian culture, mainly in China and Japan, but as well in Europe and America. They embody the pure essence and beautiful balance of changes in emotional and mental aspects and the effects on the body, mind and spirit. Speak of transformation, shed old illusions, release old perceptions and change habits. Also teach about the inevitability of change and the mastery of moving with speed, agility and precision with grace. Flies, since immemorial times, are associated with transformation. The ability of quick multiplication brought the flies a lot of meanings, from the association of possibility in seeing beauty in uncommon places, to the link with Ba‘al Zəbûb – understood to mean ‘lord of the flies’ or ‘lord of the (heavenly) dwelling’. Drakkar means ‘dragon ship’, the name coming from Swedish drakar (dragon). Nordic people, especially the Vikings built these ships and discovered new lands and set new colonies. The dragon’s head carved in the ship’s prow was believed to protect the crew against sea monsters and shipwrecks. It’s a grotesque yet beautiful image to transform in music. According to the Book of Kings (16:34) in Ahab’s time Hiel the Bethelite rebuilt Jericho. Laying the foundation cost him his firstborn son, Abiram. Setting up the city gates cost him his youngest son, Segub. The word ‘Jericho’ has different etymologies, meaning wind or breath and as such became a metaphor for spirit or mental dispositions; also fragrance and even moon (as time indicator, meaning to wander or journey, as the moon is the most ambulant body in the night sky). Since the name ‘Jericho’ also means fragrance, or, fragrant, I did a beautifully poetic association with the Bride (in the 5th section of the composition) and the place of her joining with her Bridegroom presented in the very passionate Song of Solomon.

The Atlas Ensemble is a unique chamber orchestra that unites brilliant musicians from China, Japan, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The ensemble brings together instruments from various cultures which, whilst originating from the same ancestor, have travelled and developed over the course of centuries. Thus, a wide variety of instruments came into being. By combining these descendants and their timbres, beautiful and previously unheard blends are obtained. This concept embodies the essence of the Atlas Ensemble. The repertoire consists of newly written works.

For scores requests and other informations, please contact the composer.