"The Good Dreams of a Poor Horse Keeper"

Chamber & choral works


"The Good Dreams of a Poor Horse Keeper"


“The Good Dreams of a Poor Horse Keeper” (2016).

For Alto Nay (Traditional Uzbeq Flute), Chang (hammered Dulcimer), Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Double Bass and Percussion. Commissioned and premiered by Omnibus Ensemble from Tashkent, Uzbequistan, conducted by Artyom Kim.

Duration: 10’

The work is directly inspired by a ceramic plate from Seljuq period dated December 1210 and signed by Sayyid Shams al-Din al-Hasani. The plate represents a figure sleeping by a pool, accompanied by a horse and five other personages. The pool in the exergue shows a nude female figure surrounded by swimming fish. The scene clearly portraits a waiting groom with his master’s horse (richly caparisoned), with five attendants.

The groom falls asleep and dreams with a mytical figure (the naked female figure). Most scholars state that the fish, water, woman and horse all relate to Sufi mystical  metaphors. For my composition, I’ve assigned each instrument to a personage: The alto Nay is associated to the mystical woman in the pond; the Chang is associated to the asleep groom; the Strings are associated to the five servants; the Vibraphone is associated to the fish and water; and the remaining Percussion is associated to the horse.

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


The Bethsaida Miracle

Chamber & choral works


The Bethsaida Miracle


The Bethsaida Miracle (2007)

For Mezzosoprano and Piano

Premiered by Poliana Alves (Mezzo) and Ernane Machado (Piano) at Casa da Cultura – Uberlândia, MG, 2012.

Duration: 9’.18”

The Bethsaida Miracle for Mezzosoprano and Piano was written for Universal Sacred Music – an organization located in Mt. Kisco, New York, USA, which promotes the diffusion of contemporary concert music with sacred content. The piece is structured as a miniature Oratorio with five short and distinct acts, in a narrative and lyrical way, similar the mediaeval autos and Holy Week celebrations.

The Bethsaida Miracle – Text extracted from the Gospel of Saint Matthews

And they went to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to him. And they petitioned him, so that he would touch him.

And taking the blind man by the hand, he led him beyond the village. And putting spit on his eyes, laying his hands on him, he asked him if he could see anything. And looking up, he said: “I see men but they are like walking trees”.

Next he placed his hands again over his eyes. And he began to see. And he was restored, so that he could see everything clearly. And he sent him to his house, saying: “Go into your own house, and if you enter the town, tell no one”.

And Jesus departed with his disciples into the town of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way, he questioned his disciples, saying to them: “Who do men say that I am?” And they answered him by saying: “John, the Baptist, others Elijah, still other perhaps one of the prophets.”

Then he said to them: “Yet truly, who do you say that I am?” Peter responded by saying to him, “You are the Christ.” And he admonished them, not to tell anyone about him.

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


"Ten or Maybe Nine Short Useless Songs of Joy or Strangeness"

Chamber & choral works


"Ten or Maybe Nine Short Useless Songs of Joy or Strangeness"


“Ten or Maybe Nine Short Useless Songs of Joy or Strangeness” (2002)

Voice: Marcos Paulo Lemes
Flute: Paulo Sergio de Souza Jr.
Cello: Leandro Carlini
Piano and mis-en-scène: Antonio Celso Ribeiro

Premiere: Conservatório Estadual de Música de Pouso Alegre, MG – June, 2002

Duration: 17’.30’’

Short Monodrama:  Music-Theater for Tenor, Flute, Cello & Piano. Deeply inspired by beautiful poetry of Austrian expressionist poet Georg Trakl, who died at a very young age (1887 –  1914).

This suite brings out the fragility of all human beings, their fears, solitude, madness, dreams, cruelty and impotence before the world. 

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


Syrian Requien

Chamber & choral works


Syrian Requien


Syrian Requien (2014)

Viola and Piano

Dedicated to Michael Hall. Performed by Michael Hall (Viola) and Robert Pherigo (Piano)

Duration: 14’.13’’

“Syrian Requiem” is dedicated to American violist Michael Hall, who premiered it in the summer of 2014 at UMKC, USA. Each movement has its own character, mood or feeling even though the main feeling is that of sorrow, pain, hopelessness and rage. The piece is a cry for help for all the people suffering with the civil war in Syria, mainly the children. The Viola acts like a ghost wandering through rubble, mud, broken houses and the dead.

The viola makes use of a maqan starting in A with C#, F#, F natural and Bb. It’s suggested to play all sharps a little bit higher than normal as well all flats a little bit lower than normal, so a more genuine East flavor is achieved. The first section calls for a “rebab” memory, as the performer should play it like a fiddle in a folk song style, using few or no vibrato, and sometimes a little bit out of tune. Other sections call for a stronger bow pressure in order the pitch to become pure noise. The performer should accomplish here a “beautiful ugly sonority” full of poetry and verve.

The Piano does not act as an accompanying instrument but rather as a ghost also, doubling its voice with the Viola, contributing substantially for the drama of the piece. Some sections calls for percussion, using two different parts of the instrument’s cabinet, as well using the flat of the hand and the knuckles. Piano: Robert Pherigo. Live recording of the premiere, Kansas City, 2014.

Sections:

1. "Almacbar" (the Arabian word for cemetery)


2. Forgotten Hamlets


3.  …in the cold light of dawn, the embers burned out…


4.  Broken windows – swallowed anger…


5.  Under the rubble lies an old rag doll…


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


Soidade

Chamber & choral works


Soidade


Soidade (2012)

piano , female vocal quintet and video projection

Voices:

Alessandra Bezerra, Debora Casalechi, Ana Paula da Silva, Janete Junqueira, Lissandra Brito

Piano: Abnáder Domingues

Video production and photographs by Leonor Alvim Brazao shot in Lisbon, Portugal.

Duration: 28’

“Soidade” : In Galicia and in Trás-os-Montes this word translates the qualities of those who have memories of something or someone absent. Of soio – old form of ‘alone’, In Portuguese we translate for ‘saudade’ – inexpressible word, which sometimes refers us to feelings of joy, or tears our souls. The pain of those who suffer for those who have already deceased, mixed with the inheritance and responsibility to continue the legacy of this generous soul who planted seeds and left her mark on this lonely planet: it is dedicated to the blessed memory of Maria Leonor de Melo Miranda Mendes e Alvim – Portuguese pianist, poet and visual artist. “Soidade” works as a sort of threnody, a Requiem for the one who always preferred to celebrate life.

The work is an alternating continuum of female voices and piano solos and works as accompaniment for live video projection. The musical tempo is extremely slow and serious. The character is dramatic and the colors are sober. The musicians are dressed in black and cover their heads with an equally black scarf. The black color is part of the Portuguese culture and tradition. It is the color of mourning, fate, strength, nostalgia.

Is the color of Fado, the traditional Portuguese plaintiff song. The piano extensively exploits low pitches textures, with plenty of resonances and expanded techniques (harmonic sounds vibrated by sympathy). The song sounds pungent, dissonant, and strengthened by the text extracted from the last lines of Leonor’s poetry book (“Palavras Soltas”), released in Brazil in November 2011.

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


Shui Sha-Lian – The Old Lake’s Spirit Sleeps and Dreams so Sweetly…

Chamber & choral works


Shui Sha-Lian – The Old Lake’s Spirit Sleeps and Dreams so Sweetly…


Shui Sha-Lian – The Old Lake’s Spirit Sleeps and Dreams so Sweetly… (2011)

Dizi, Pipa, Zonghu, Guzheng

Premiered by Chai Found Music Workshop, conducted by Mr. Huang, Chen-Ming

Duration: 9’

This work was composed to enroll in the Formosa Landscape – Chai Found Music Workshop 2011 Sizhu Music Composition Contest, Taipei, Taiwan, receiving the “Judge’s Special Prize”. Orchestrated for Dizi (bamboo flute), Zonghu (Chinese 2-stringed vertical violin, tuned in fifths [G-D], a kind of alto Erhu. Both Zonghu and Erhu have the peculiarity of being played with the bow placed in between the strings and not bowed directly upon them), Guzheng (21-string zither pentatonic tuning: D-B-A-F# -E) and Pipa (traditional Chinese 4-stringed lute: A-D-E-A).

The extramusical object proposed by the competition committee should be a photograph of a Taiwanese landscape. Taiwan is also known as “Formosa” (beautiful), a name given by the Portuguese settlers when they established a warehouse there around 1600. The picture chosen shows a contemplative shot by Wang Guan-Yu of the lake “Shui-Sha Lian” (lake of the sun and moon) in an autumnal twilight.

The domination of the extramusical object in the conduction of the work is evidenced by the intensely sinic colors, and corroborated in the observations made by the jurors when exposing their impressions on the work:

Picture by Wang Guan-Yu used as inspiration for the piece.

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


Preghiera alla Vergine

Chamber & choral works


Preghiera alla Vergine


Preghiera alla Vergine (2009)

Choir  SATB

Performed by Coro OUÇO conducted by Oiliam Lanna. Belo Horizonte, October, 2009.

Duration: 20’

Preghiera alla Vergine (Prayer to the Virgin) was written for Festival de Musiques Sacrée, Fribourg – Switzerland. The text is extracted from Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia – Paradiso Cantus XXXI (La preghiera di san Bernardo alla Vergine) and describes the Virgin appearing to St. Bernard. The composition is divided into nine short sections and tries to express all the mysticism and power of Dante’s poetry.

Live recording at Music Hall of School of Music of Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) during the “Eu Gostaria de Ouvir” Composition Festival at Belo Horizonte, MG in October, 2009.

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


Piping Down the Valley Wild

Chamber & choral works


Piping Down the Valley Wild


Piping Down the Valley Wild (2007)

Female Vocal Quartet 

Premiered by “Soprano Quartet Tongue Stuff”, March, 28, 2009 at Rossylin Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London

Tongue Stuff are: Sara Underwood, Morag Galloway, Merit Stephanos and Jen Ord

Duration: 2’

This work was commissioned and premiered by British-based female vocal quartet “Tongue Stuff”. The piece is constructed in tetrameter trochee, according to Blake’s original poetry used here. The main theme is heard in all voices in different ratios of speed. The compositional procedure makes use of “mensuration canon” – a medieval compositional technique revisited by several composers in the past years.

A “mensuration canon” can be described as a mathematical dilation, where each “voice” carries the same melodic line but at a different speed. In some of the early examples of mensuration canons from the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, the melody line is denoted once, along with several time signatures and each musician is expected to perform the line at one of the time signatures. The faster performers might be instructed to repeat their line several times or else the piece might stop short of the slower performers completing the entire melody line.

In “Piping down the valleys wild”, what is expected is four different ‘tempos’ heard at the same time. In this conception, the voice # 4 is the slowest, voice # 1 is the fastest. The overall result is amazing.

Structure:

4……………………………2………………………3…………………………1

very slow            slow                    fast                very fast

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


Palavras Soltas

Chamber & choral works


Palavras Soltas


Palavras Soltas (2012)

For Soprano and Piano

Premiered by Janete Junqueira (soprano) and Antonio Celso Ribeiro (piano)

Duration: 21’.47”

It is true that words are signs loaded with emotions. And they bring in addition to the significant sonority, a whole range of images and inseparable memories, which transports us, even against our will, to our interior, awakening our past, unearthing our secrets, washing our soul… It’s impossible to stay indifferent. As (we, artists) we are crossed by the words of a poem, our mind is reacting and transforming, experiencing a connection of the suggestibility of the word with something that is beyond it: in my personal case, an acoustical image is formed and transformed into simple, sweet and precise melodical lines. These simple melodies are born impregnated with the original meaning of the words that inspired them. They bring in their constitution haptic, optical and acoustic sensations. For example, in fractions of seconds, a slight oscillation of the singing voice immediately transports us to the Portuguese Fado, with those delicate and poignant arabesques that will permeate the whole composition. Alongside these memories of Luso-Hispanic-Arab origin, some Baroque feeling is added – and the composition flows continually, telling a story.

Paraphrase and polysemy compete in the musical composition of “Palavras Soltas”. The first is manifested in the reconstruction of the central ideas of the poems – an almost faithful reading of the words themselves, supported and commented by the melodic phrases of the piano. The later is manifested through the ‘clipping’ of these same words and phrases, recombining them intentionally so as to reinforce other meanings. The poems, and therefore the music of “Palavras Soltas” carry the illusion of freedom of the senses, and may, at a first glance, sound loose and disconnected, when paradoxically each phrase / word / melodic line / musical note is vitally dependent on one another. They create a network of meanings and meanings that spread and settle within the psychological / emotional space of both the author and the composer, giving shaping the feelings, as an intricate Bobbin lace, simple and at the same time complex.

“Palavras Soltas” musical composition works on the same principle as the original poems that inspired it. It is based on the language structure, using the same mechanisms necessary for language processing, with it peculiar syntax and semantics, giving the listener/reader musical recognition patterns provided by the tonal/modal idiom of it melodies and harmonies, which gives them a certain pleasure in the ability to anticipate, and follow the musical sequences, leading to an apparently unique sense, yet paradoxically becomes polysemic in its nature, since musical language works concomitantly with the memory and personal experiences of the audience.

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


Gocco Music for a Ghost Bird Print

Chamber & choral works


Gocco Music for a Ghost Bird Print


Gocco Music for a Ghost Bird Print (2012)
Renaissance Soprano Recorder, Violin, Violoncello

Premiered in Berlin, June 9th, 2011 at Concert Klang im Wandel by XelmYa Trio*, to whom the piece was especially composed for.

Duration: 7’

It’s inspired by a beautiful print by American artist Julianna Swaney. 

The print was created using the “Gocco” print process, which is a Japanese color screen-printing system developed in 1977 by Noboru Hayama. Resembling a toy, the system works using flash bulbs, a carton-based image or photocopy and an emulsion-coated screen; when the bulbs are manually flashed, the carbon in the drawing burns the screen into a stencil.”Gocco Music for a Ghost Bird Print” is about ‘baroquism’, and also about ‘birds’ – or ‘baroque birds’ – sweet, elegant, grotesque, bizarre, charming, distorted ghost birds tweeting and/or blabbling all the time in one’s mind. Taking the all possible meanings of the word ‘recorder’, i.e:

record (v.) early 13c. “to get by heart,” from O. Fr. recorder “repeat, recite, report,” from L. recordari “remember, call to mind,” from re- “restore” + cor (gen. cordis) “heart” (as the metaphoric seat of memory, cf. ‘learn by heart’); Meaning “set down in writing” first attested c. 1300; that of “put sound or pictures on disks, tape, etc.” is from 1892.

I get a sort of a polysemic game connecting Swaney’s print metaphor with the musical composition itself, making the music sounding ‘baroquely’ feminine, just a little bit psychedelic but displaying sensuality, beauty, good mood and poetry.

* Sylvia Hinz – Renaissance Soprano Recorder
* Alexa Renger – Violin
* Marika Gejrot – Cello

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