Canta la Sal

Juventas New Music Ensemble:
Anne Howarth, horn; Thomas Barth, cello; Julia Scott Carey, piano

Instrumentation: Cello, Horn & Piano
Duration: 10:35
Commission: Anne Howarth, Juventas New Music Ensemble, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, with additional support from the Meir Rimon Commissinoing Assistance Program of the IHS.
Premiere: 01/27/2024, Multicultural Arts Center; Cambridge, MA
Performers: Members of the Juventas New Music Ensemble

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Program Note:

The title Canta la Sal is drawn from Pablo Neruda’s profound poem Oda A La Sal. What drew me to that source was a conversation with hornist Anne Howarth in the initial stages of the commissioning of this trio for horn, cello and piano. For Anne, salt touches on a fundamental aspect of life – we cannot exist without it. And it touches on deep emotion – tears, laughter. It likewise resonated for me, and as I continued thinking about  and delving into the topic, I came across Neruda’s powerful ode. It  encompasses the basic nature of salt – on the flats, in deep mines; the sounds of salt on the flats in the Chilean desert; its use to flavor our food and enable life, as well as the fantastic leap from its place in our mouths to the enormity of the ocean. There are wonderful images, of the singing salt, of the mountain of buried light, the transparent cathedral, the crystal of the sea. These images and metaphors infuse the harmonic, rhythmic  and timbral trajectories of the trio. I am grateful to the multiple partners who commissioned this piece: Anne Howarth, who spearheaded it;  the Juventas New Music Ensemble, the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and the Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Program of the International Horn Society.  ―JS

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