Mauricio Sotelo: Como llora el agua ...

Mauricio Sotelo Como llora el agua ...
Como llora el agua ...

Mauricio Sotelo: Como llora el agua ...

Year of composition:
Scored for:
for guitar
Mauricio Sotelo
Commissioned by MaerzMusik – Festival für aktuelle Musik – Festival of Contemporary Music / Berliner Festspiele”.
Juan Manuel Cañizares, con profunda amistad
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Como llora el agua ...

Work introduction

The greatest difficulty a composer confronts when dealing with the guitar is doubtless its “handling”: the dependence on the positions of the player’s left hand to produce the sounds; thus it is practically impossible to write music for the guitar if the composer has not played the instrument himself – if he cannot feel the strings vibrating under his own fingers, if he does not know the guitar’s limitations.

Since I dreamed (literally) of music when I was a child, I was obliged to take up the guitar, the only instrument in my parents’ house – to embrace its body, to try to turn the music I heard in my head at night into real sounds. By contrast, my concern today with Como llora el agua is to invent a new instrument, in order to learn anew how to play it, as Helmut Lachenmann says.

The work’s compositional progress began with the search for a scordatura, a modified tuning which deviates from the usual sonic world and renders the composition’s harmonic centre (C, G, D, G#, B, D#) – as it were, a gravitational harmonic axis or a “solar chord,” as I like to call it, in a system of “eternal suns” (Giordano Bruno).

Then the scordatura obliged the composer to invent a new way to manipulate the instrument. That began by “stroking” the strings in the air – arpeggio espressivo – while the fingers gradually create a spiral of sounds on the fingerboard, as they interweave. This makes for a centrifugal motion toward new sonic worlds in which the left hand must learn anew how to move over the neck of the guitar, to orient, position itself – and it is the right hand which shows the left hand how to open up the sonic space, which is in fact nothing more than the ancient canto de gemido, the lamenting sound of the flamenco.

The right hand traverses expanses conjuring up the flavours of flamenco styles such as soléa, bulería, tarantos and seguiriya; the hitherto unknown sound manifests itself today, noble and radiant, its taste matured, bearing the title flamenco spectral – born anew, like a sunrise, from the wonderful fingers of my friend Juan Manuel Cañizares.

Mauricio Sotelo

German translation © Sara Costa-Sengera / English translation © Grant Chorley

(Please contact the translators for further use or reprinting.)

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Como llora el agua ...

Mauricio Sotelo: Como llora el agua ...

for guitar , 12’

World première

Universität der Künste, Berlin (DE)
Main soloists:
Juan Manuel Cañizares, guit

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