Detach Return

(2017) for two guitars

Commissioned by Jaime Márquez Diez-Canedo.

program note: The piece, initially inspired by the concept of the eternal return, is also based on the following dualistic ideas: unity and division; being and the thought of being; the interpretation of life and the experience of life itself; the construction of the self and the detachment from that construct; the constant returning to an ever-changing origin; the weaving of an apparently divided self. Furthermore, the inspiration also came from Hofstadter’s paradoxical strange loop concept, which basically consists of a cyclical structure that moves through a system in which an inevitable return to the starting point occurs.

Besides reflecting the aforementioned ideas, summarized in “detachment” and “returning”, the title also reveals another important element of the piece: the prefix “re”, which means “again”, emphasizes the use of a central pedal note and the scordatura of the sixth string from E to D (or Re), hence (D)etach and (Re)turn. The recurring use of this pedal note serves as a focal point and helps give weight and heart to the piece.

The work resulted in musical translation of these concepts, which are represented with and within certain compositional techniques and musical ideas, such as unisons, two-line counterpoint, repetition, recapitulation, variation, reverberation, dynamic contrast, amongst others. Based on a constant interplay of unity and divergence, the music develops around a descending arpeggiated figure presented in unison by both guitars. As the music impetuously moves forward, the guitars detach and intertwine in concomitance with each other through fragmentation, and once a phrase is completed, they return back to the unison, to the origin, to the undivided starting point, once and again.

Every act of perception is, to some degree, an act of creation, and every act of memory is, to some degree, an act of imagination. – Gerald M. Edelman

If you get far enough away you’ll be on your way back home. – Tom Waits

guitars: Diego Lozano

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