Zarcero, Alajuela, Costa Rica 1963
Suggestive of a journey with no return date, or even an ample, natural and free space, “Pasaje Abierto” (Open Ticket) was originally written in the year 2000 for the album "Decadauno" of the group, Ëditus. Based on forms and sounds of Costa Rican popular music, the piece was adapted for the guitar at the request of the organizers of the National Guitar Competition of Costa Rica in 2005 so as to in include it as a mandatory piece.
PRELUDIO (Tema de Alicia)
The melodic and harmonious language of this movement evokes genres like New Age, Jazz and Boleros. This piece is part of the sound track of the 2005 documentary "Coiba Paraíso Salvaje" by director Rick Rosenthal under the title “Tema de Alicia” (Alice’s Theme).
Strongly influenced by Afro-Caribbean rhythms typical of the Costa Rican Atlantic coast, this piece is conceived as a study in E Major for the right hand.
The melody, carried by the thumb, generally rests on the guitar’s medium and low registers. The high notes create an ostinato effect, present throughout most of the work.
Tucumán, Argentina 1948
DE LA RAÍZ A LA COPA
This composition is part of the ”Cantata Fraterna”, an unpublished work with lyrics by Pepe Núñez set to the music. Cantatas are tales of the generational experiences of Argentina in the seventies, cut short by the military dictatorship installed in 1976.
This piece in particular was a song of hope in light of the tragic experiences of that generation, that is, a work with lyrics and music disseminated in its instrumental version.
There is one verse that encapsulates the idea:
"Branch, tender and new
I feel the tree in me
Broad and sought-after"
Its name, "De la raíz a la copa" (From the Roots to the Crown) also synthesizes an idea of the kind of art I personally identify with; composing the music of my land, deep-rooted and fruit-bearing.
From the dance perspective, it is a Gato, one of the most traditional and popular dances of Argentina.
This composition is dedicated to Berta Rojas. In the words of Juan Falu: “I consciously sought to imbue it with an air of her Paraguayan homeland. You might call it a fusion of very popular musical genres of Paraguay and the northeast of Argentina, such as the Galopa, Polca and the Chamamé.
"Che" is a Guaraní word meaning "my" or "mine." Therefore, it is My Galopa, but actually it is more Berta’s than mine, as she inspired it. It has the binary rhythm in which the melody is in 6/8 and the bass line in 3/4, characteristic of our folk music. The musical idea revolves around successions of dominant chords with diminished fifths. I consider it a personal honor that the person to whom the composition was dedicated should include it in her album.”
I always say that composition is to me what writing is to a poet or painting to an artistic painter. Many times a predetermined idea or starting point exists; it can be an idea for a melody, a line of basses, a rhythm, a harmony, and so on, but beyond these purely technical aspects, I like it when something magical happens and the starting point is an inspiration arising out of every day life.
This lively piece is named after my daughter Laura and was written when she was very young. It reflects the joyful nature of a small child at play.
This song is inspired by my homeland (Terrruño) and the feeling of being part of it. As musicians we spend a lot of time travelling from one place to another and highly cherish feeling a place is our own, with its sounds, smell, colors and everything else that speaks beyond words. The rhythm of the Chacarera and at times airs from the Argentine coast are present in this piece.
Many years ago when I first discovered the city of La Paz, Bolivia, I felt greatly moved and began to understand Bolivian culture a bit more.
Still today I hold in my memory the images of that first impression of this 4000 meter high city. The music is based on the Huaino rhythm and a very simple melody that ensues as an inspiration of that magical moment, as indicated by its name “Elevated Peace.”
CANCION HACIA VOS
This song is dedicated to my son Augusto; arising out of his birth and the feeling when I composed it, as the title says, “Song to You”, a message from one heart to another.
It is an enormous pleasure and honor that an artist like Berta Rojas should choose these three compositions of mine to record on this album.
Born 1956, in the village of Churt, County of Surrey, England, UK
FIVE PICTURES OF SARK
Early in 1992, I had some sketches for a suite of pieces, but laid them aside to wait until the time was right to develop them further. During the summer of that year I got married and my wife Judy and I went on Honeymoon to the Isle of Sark.
Sark is one of the smallest of the Channel Islands, which lie between England and France and has an awesome beauty with its high craggy cliffs and boiling seas. The population lives at a pace that seems to be from a different age and we enjoyed sharing their calm solitude for a short time.
On our return I decided to work on the sketches, finishing them and naming each piece after a place on the Island.
MASELINE HARBOUR evokes memories of arriving on a small boat and feeling the effects of the swell of the sea whilst looking up at those magnificent cliffs.
HAVRE GOSSELIN is the older abandoned harbour.
CYCLES IN THE AVENUE describes cycling in one of the only places in the world where the motorcar is banned.
LA MOINERIE is the beautiful farmhouse hotel where we stayed.
DESCENT FROM LA COUPEE represents the dash down 304 steps to Grande Greve beach, from the thin and dramatic strip of land connecting two parts of the Island.