Tianguis

for mixed choir (2011)

premiere: 20/06/12, Solistas Ensamble (dir. Christian Gohmer), Forum for New Music Manuel Enríquez 2012, Manuel M. Ponce Hall, Palace for the Fine Arts, Mexico City, (MX)

The piece is based on the idea of recreating a trajectory through a tianguis (market place) in Mexico City. During one of my walks through one of these popular markets, I ready myself to listen, analyze, study and record some of the audible elements that form part of the spirit of the tianguis: the expressions, the phrases, the gestures, the offers, the murmurs, the whistling, the witty ambience and the unique manifestations of the salesmen. These elements form part of the musical material of the piece from which the melodic ideas were born. Several excerpts from the poem Tianguis, by mexican poet José Juan Tablada, were included to help me transmit the essence of the tianguis in a poetic way and to help give the work a better sense of unity.

The listener, as someone who walks through the tianguis, begins his path by entering the market, where the phrases and expressions are not clearly perceived, and at a distance, the voices of the people are heard as a mumble. Gradually, as the walker infiltrates deeper into the market, the uproar clarifies. The passerby moves through the corridors as the salesmen scream for attention, inviting the shopper to their stand. Eventually, the walker arrives to the core of the market, the chaotic climax, where everyone yells, everyone passes through and everyone offers their product. The irregular pulse of the people is felt like a throbbing mosaic. Lost in the tumultuous polyphony. At last, the rambler escapes the turmoil, slowly finding more and more stability. He directs himself towards the exit, experiencing the colors, the scents, the sounds and the chromatic joy of the tianguis. Gradually, the sound of the people mixes up and slowly fades away, until only the murmur of the people at a distance is heard again.

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