In the “Prelude,” the guitar sound is slowly introduced and gradually increases in texture and dynamics. There is an atmosphere of contemplation for the young man’s journey ahead.
“Daedalus Labyrinth” features a dodecaphonic guitar part which is interrupted by the sound of a rich and dense layer of high frequency sounds that come and go, interweaving between the guitar notes. This movement depicts the complex labyrinth designed by Daedalus himself.
“The Ascent” is a driving pulse movement which features electronically sampled guitar sounds and a percussive beat. This rhythmically driven movement could be thought of as the soundtrack for Icarus who, fueled by his uncontrolled excitement, gradually ascents through the air, disobeying his father’s advice.
“Rapture” is a very dense, rich, and loud soundscape built with layers of processed samples with heavily distorted guitars, with an octave pedal effect. This section of the work evokes the excitement and thrill that eventually kills our hero.
“The Fall” is an atonal melody accompanied by an ethereal drone-like sound which is based on a guitar sample. The harmonic progression and slow free rhythm set a somber and elegiac mood.
“Postlude” is a dry and nostalgic return to the starting material that bids farewell and makes the piece come full circle.
Six Preludes for solo guitar
In this collection of preludes for solo guitar, I wanted to explore the expressive range of the instrument.
In “Ceremonia,” the driving rhythm and fierce syncopation between the high and low registers guide us through a folkloric and pagan imaginary ritual.
In “Selva Adentro,” we travel to the deep jungle of Chiapas in southern Mexico where we are immersed in an intensely tranquil landscape full of beauty and serenity. We bathe in the pregnant silence that surrounds the river Lacanja and interact with the native Lacandones.
In “Legerete,” we are lifted into weightlessness by a melody reminiscent of the impressionist artists and inspired by Erik Satie. We travel in this ethereal world of vaguely delicate harmonies and flowing waltz-like motion accompanied by elegant lightness.
“La Danza del Chanul” throws us into a wild ritualistic dance full of dynamism and strength. It draws its energy from the hallucinogenic rituals of the “Tzotzil” people of southern Mexico. A “Chanul” was supposed to be our spirit animal who guided us throughout our lives.
“Lullaby” is a sweet and nostalgic glimpse at the brief moment between wakefulness and sleep. It is a limbo where we are suspended between light and dark, movement and stillness, as we hover above the abyss of unconscious slumber.
“The Dancing Willows” is a programmatic piece where we see the movements of the willow trees at the wind’s mercy. The wind acts like a puppeteer with the sudden violent and fast movements paired with the very gradual and delicate ones making for a beautiful choreography.
Inspired by the masterpiece of the so called ‘magical realism’ literary movement, “Pedro Paramo” by Juan Rulfo, this work aims to recreate the hauntingly fantastical world of Juan Preciado and his return to Comala. The sonority of the alto flute (a flute with a lower register that the normal flute) paired with the guitar’s ambiguous harmony act as a catalyst for the dreamlike journey of our main character through the limbo between the living and the dead.
In this short homage to Ravel, I pay tribute to this great artist. After listening to his timeless Piano Trio in A minor, I came up with the idea of taking the first part of the beginning bass line (with a few variations) of the third movement and turning it into a passacaglia idea for violin and viola. Stemming from this material, I try to emanate what Ravel inspires in my music through my own harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic language.
— Giovanni Piacentini
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