(2016) for guitar & tape

program note: The piece is based on three fundamental concepts integrated in the title:

1) Cáscara: a word in spanish which means “shell” or “skin”.

2) Cascar, from the etymology of cáscara, means to “hit”, “thump” or “break”.

3) Cáscara or cascarita: in Mexican slang means a “pick up game”.

The core idea of the piece is to explore and express certain similarities between architecture and music. The similarity I am most interested in has to do with the subjective, abstract and mental space produced in the listening experience. In other words, it’s about the inner spatiality created by sounds, how sounds transform and how we transform with them during their perception. The piece is about how we move within the mental structural space induced by music. It’s like being in a house or in an architectural structure.

The piece is a sonic analogy of my own home, which is represented by the two parts: tape and guitar. The tape part represents a house or a fixed and permanent structure, and the guitar part represents the resident of the house, or an individual. The tape part was composed using many sounds I recorded from my own home, such as kitchen utensils, household appliances, bathroom and office accessories, screeching doors, running water, etc. The guitar material consists mostly of specific physical actions written in a rather non-traditional notation (explained in detail in the Instructions pages) which adds the piece an intuitive nature and provides it with an important improvisational quality.

The piece is divided in eight sections which correspond to the number of rooms in my house, each one containing different musical material. Once these ideas are completely understood, the guitarist may play the material with certain freedom regarding intensity, duration and pitch, but he/she will be required to always keep a congruent yet subjective correspondence with the electronic part. Indications are announced all along the score to help the player place him/her self through the timeline. Changes from one section to another and the order of the musical material within the sections do not have to be exact.

guitar: Diego Lozano

premiere: 19/04/18, Adrian Verdejo, Martin Batchelor Gallery, Victoria BC, (CA)

other concerts: Alejandro Ruscio, Biblioteca Nacional (26/09/18), Buenos Aires, (AR). Adrián Verdejo, Vancouver New Music (20-28/02/2021), streaming concert, Vancouver BC, (CA).

winning piece: SAMADIS International Composition Competition 2016, New York, (US)

selection: International Call for Mixed Media Pieces “Mega Jury”, Manuel de Falla Superior Conservatory of Music, Buenos Aires, (AR)

buy score:




Martin Steuber’s performance (2021):

Adrian Verdejo’s performance (2021):

video score:

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