stress and flow | Alejandro Vinao 


Stress and flow, bright and dark and light and shadow are all description of the juxtapositions and contrasts that characterize this work and are arrived at through various rhythmic processes and the use of electronic means to produce new sound worlds. These sound worlds are not meaningful in themselves but work as an extension of the sound of the mallet instruments featured in the piece. 

1. Bright & Dark 

The first movement begins by unfolding dark and heavy rhythms and colours that are gradually transformed into brighter ones and eventually juxtaposed to each other in contrasting ways. 

2. The Sound Behind 

Working with electronics makes it possible to develop ‘the sound behind’ the notes or chord played by the four percussionists. Here, what happens to the sound after each note or chord is played is as important as the themes, harmonies and rhythms which these notes create. I kept the tempo of the music quite slow so that the listener may have time to focus on the colour, texture, and complexity of the sound world that emerges from behind the percussion instruments. 

3. Luz y Sombra en Lindaraja (Light and Shadow in Lindaraja) 

A simple rhythmic ‘groove’ runs throughout this movement. As it progresses in time, it multiplies itself into more complex patterns and layers of ‘light’, ‘shadow’ and ‘water’, the three central theme of the Garden of Lindaraja at the palace of Alhambra in Spain. The idea of this movement came to me while listening to Debussy’s ‘Lindaraja’ for 2 pianos. 

As with most of my other percussion works, I wanted the rhythms and tunes in this composition, however complex at times, to have a physical dimension so that the listener may imagine himself/herself moving or singing with the music.
— Alejandro vinao

quartet | Steve reich

Quartet, when mentioned in the context of concert music, is generally assumed to mean string quartet. In my case, the quartet that has played a central role in many of my pieces (besides the string quartet) is that of two pianos and two percussion. The piece is one of the more complex I have composed. It frequently changes key and often breaks off continuity to pause or take up new material. Though the parts are not unduly difficult, it calls for a high level of ensemble virtuosity. The form is one familiar throughout history: fast, slow, fast, played without pause. The slow movement introduces harmonies not usually found in my music. Quartet was co-commissioned by Southbank Centre, Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, Cité de la musique, and Kölner Philharmonie / KölnMusik, and is approximately 17 minutes in duration.
— steve reich