Instrumentation: Amplified piano and percussion
Commission: Arioso Ensemble
The Arioso Ensemble, with Harold Lewin and Bill Trigg, La Fundación Latinoamericana, Sala Jesus Maria Sanroma, Conservatorio de Musica, San Juan, Puerto Rico
1492 was a year of both exhilaration and turmoil: the excitement of Columbus’s voyage to the New World; the expulsion of the Jews from Spain; the invasion of France by Henry VII. 1492, inspired by these events, sets, stretches, and breaks boundaries. This one-movement, tripartite composition for piano and percussion plays with the exchange of gesture and content, the pianist metamorphosing into a percussionist and the percussionist into a keyboard player, particularly for the work’s central section. The players storm into each other’s territory in the outer sections; only the middle section offers a more contemplative view of the exchange.
The rhythmic structure was created by mapping permutations of the numeric values of the title onto time signatures and durational spans; the pitches are similarly related. Commissioned by the Arioso Ensemble, 1492 was premiered under the auspices of the Fundacion Latinoamericana para la Musica Contemporanea at the Conservatorio de Musica in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Other performances have included those at the Aspen Music Festival, the Moscow Autumn Festival, the West Cork Festival, tours by the Core Ensemble, and performances by Synchronia in St. Louis and Polaris in Baltimore. 1492 was recorded by the Core Ensemble on New World Records CD Bending the Light.–JS
“…interesante uso de los silencios para que todo cree una conversación entre los instrumentos perfectamente bien balanceados.”
–El Nuevo Dia