22 NOVEMBER 2013, HAMBURG – Composing is fun!

Drums are talking! Good rehearsal, we had some difficulties playing synchronized, but I’m sure under better acoustic circumstances should be no problem.

What I like the most is that I’m finding a new and flexible way of working, in which the performers qualities have an important role throughout the development of the composition. A way that is completely new for me. Somehow it seems that we are working together on this piece; me, as a composer, getting the most out of the qualities of the performer, and Pedro, as a performer, providing his talents to the composition.

So far these are the two points that I would be developing during the next rehearsals and the writing of the piece:

  • Virtuosity and spontaneity from popular music in contemporary music:

When playing a solo, a salsa percussionist can for some moments blur the edges between popular and contemporary music; complex rhythms, odd sonorities, new timbres and the development of the material are a few common characteristics of these quasi-ecstasy moments. It can be that the difference lies in the lack of “long term consciousness” of the performer, getting as result a virtuous improvisation instead of a composition. The moment is gone forever. Now, when you should be able to repeat this ecstasy-moment every time you want, the first obstacle would be notation. Normally, these solo moments come from the performer’s talent rather than the composer’s pen. Note: Giving a composition enough place for the spontaneity of the performer, could help me find the way to a non linear development of the piece.

  • New sounds in popular music.

The evolution of popular and traditional music takes some time. It takes even more time that people accept new elements in a style that for years has not change that much (at least not in the instrumental format). Some experiments have been done, most of them adding complexity to the harmonic and rhythm structures, somehow losing the essence of Salsa. But what would happen if the changes are mainly related to the sonorities and timbres of the instruments, while the other structures remain the same? A fictive evolution of salsa music; salsa played by machines.

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