quinta-feira, 15 de outubro de 2015

Marek Pasieczny - Scintilla for two guitars, after Arvo Pärt ( Marek Pasieczny and Michał Stanikowski, guitars )2015

SCINTILLA (from Latin: ‘spark’) means “a sparkling glittering particle”, “a tiny or scarcely detectable amount”. This miniature is my ‘tribute’ to one of the most significant living composers of our time - Arvo Pärt, and also my personal fulfillment of composing something mystical, profound and saturated with my catholic faith.

The piece is divided into three slow movements separated by ‘attacca’. The middle movement titled “Psalm” forms the ‘heart’ of the piece, inspired by and based on the first four entrances (men’s voice lines) of “De Profundis” (for male choir, organ and percussion). Arvo Pärt composed this piece in 1980 (coincidently the year of my birth). The entire work is based mainly on the affiliation between two chords: A flat major and G major. 

I originally composed this piece for guitar solo (2012/2013). Following Pärt's "tintinnabulum" style, the score has been written on three staves, very unusual for solo guitar. The tuning system was also atypical: 6th E – low G and 5th A – g sharp. 

Simultaneously, I composed a version of this work for solo piano. 
In this latest adaptation for two guitars (2014/2015), Guitar I holds the same unchanged material as the version for solo guitar (which is also virtually identical to the solo piano version save some minor idiomatic adjustments). Guitar II however was ‘layered’ on, presenting new compositional materials which changed the entire harmonic skeleton of the piece. 

This technique is known as the ‘palimpsest’ technique which is an ancient practice whereby parchments were re-used by scraping off old texts to make way for the new. However, beneath the new layer of text, traces of the old can still be seen. Carrying this idea forward to musical composition, it translates to layering new materials on top of a pre-existing composition. While no changes are made to the original material, the new layer does transform and obscure the original composition.

September 2015 | London, the United Kingdom

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