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La Catedral Abandonada
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The inspiration of this piece came originally from some photographs of the 16th century temple of Santiago Quechula in the middle of the river Grijalva in Chiapas, Mexico. I was overwhelmed by the image of a church in ruins in the middle of water which conveyed a magical and mysterious atmosphere.
The piece is built around the C-sharp, which becomes a recurrent and essential sonority throughout the piece. The C-sharp, in a way, resembles “a call” like a bell. The insistency of this call at the beginning is transfigured into a delicate atmosphere at the end that tries to approximate a mysterious space. The piece is also build around specific sonorities derived from an original series, giving coherence and consistency to all the pitch material. Some passages try to create the idea of superposed sound planes, emulating the effect of “echoes,” as in the interior of a cathedral.
The middle part constitutes a solo virtuoso section for the piano and the marimba, where both enter a dynamic dialogue with some interjections from the other instruments of the ensemble. This section builds up energy to produce the climatic point where the C-sharp returns with the tubular bells.
The last section of the piece is a transfiguration of the C-sharp into a more subtle and fragile atmosphere that tries to approximate the idea of the divine. The material starts to ascend to signify reaching the celestial regions. This last section constitutes a final dissolution into “the sky” of the initial “call.”
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