jueves, 17 de febrero de 2011

An Orgasmic Overture for piano & orchestra

Can music be erotic? If you think of Sigmund Freud's statement that describes music (or arts in general, I believe) is the sublimation of sexual desire, then one should ask if music can NOT be erotic.

There are a lot of experiments in this piece that I am doing. It is commissioned to be premiered at the birthday concert of Erza S.T, founder of Indonesia Opera Society and producer of several musical events, and a gay activist himself. I am meant to write a short & festive (read: loud!) piece for piano & orchestra. Originally I was inspired by the legend of Fountain of Eternal Youth (which would really be appropriate for a birthday piece), where it was said that it was a secret place as a tryst for Alexander the Great with his lover (you know that he was bisexual, a very common thing in Greece which in his time was not controversial). So the image of a fountain with all the young & beautiful people with shining auras around it became me and I toyed with the crazy idea of writing music without any melodies. There are themes to be developed of course, but what you remember after hearing the music will be its exhilarating energy and harmonic progressions, not melodies or catchy tunes.

I acquired the chords from watching the splendorous sky in Galicia during sunsets, where I toured for more than a week in the beginning of February. You can't get that spectacular gradations of colours anywhere else on this planet, especially mixed with the rough waves breaking themselves on the jagged rocks at the Atlantic Ocean. That landscape easily transformed into the modulations of strange, gorgeous chords in my inner ear, and I just wrote them down without writing the real music. The point of departure of composing this piece is not unlike a painter, collecting the colours of the paint he's gonna use for his painting. I have decided that the brooding atmosphere of the sunset would not influence my music this time, I just use the colours and make something completely new from it. I hope I will succeed. I use those chords & modulations for a totally happy, boisterous & exuberant piece of music. I'll write the music when I am in a better mood.

But those "fountains" became so manneristic in the piece, and I swear to you, it's like they wrote themselves in the development of the music. The music reminds me of Leonard Bernstein's saying, that making music is like making love, but with hundreds of people. So this piece turns out into a kind of perpetual orgasm ... for 6 minutes. I still call it the Fountain of Youth, of course... and I hope this serves as an elixir of youth to those who listen to it next August.