Instrumentation: Solo Guiros
Premiered by Joseph Pereira on March 19, 2010
Publisher: Bachovich Music Publications
I am always fascinated by Bach’s use of illusion and tension-his ability to create harmonies with just a single line. Written for a recital of music based on Bach’s influence, I wrote my solo piece for three different types of guiros. Since I wasn’t dealing with real pitches, I created an “implied imaginary melody”, heard in the opening bars as if it was the statement of a fugue. My use of the title, literally meaning “as above”, is this melody and all the continuous references back to it throughout the piece. The material develops first by the use of a rhythmic counterpoint of the original subject, which is not only based on the imaginary “melody”, but is also taken from the influence of each individual guiro sound. In particular, the playing techniques lend itself naturally to the timbre of each instrument, eventually unfolding as part of my “pitch structure”. Rather than a set of variations, the “melody” and “countermelodies” are developed through the alternation between sections. This constant alternation creates tension and new sonorities to a basically monophonic texture. The specific lengths of each section are left up to the performer, similar to the dynamics in Bach’s music. Carefully balanced with the improvisatory manner of the piece, this creates an illusion of interpretive freedom with a real sense of virtuosity.