Federico Garcia Lorca, text.
SSAA with Mezzo-Soprano soloist (2007), ca. 7′

Commissioned by Putni, Antra Dreģe, director, with funds from the Latvian Culture Capital Fund. Premiere in Riga October 7, 2007 at the Latvian History Museum in Riga.

El_Paso_De_La_Siguiriya
Live performance by The Milwaukee Choral Artists, Sharon A. Hansen, conductor; Rebecca Davies, soloist

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paso1.jpg

Performance notes:

This piece grew out of some workshops I had created for the women’s vocal ensemble, Putni, which included an introduction to flamenco, among other things. The piece includes a substantial amount of clapping in the flamenco style, where two parts interlock, called the palmas and contrapalmas. This clapping can be undertaken either by members of the vocal ensemble or by separately contracted performers. The number of performers clapping is flexible and left to the discretion of the director. There are two ways to clap in flamenco: with palmas secas (loud, with palms open, clapping one hand against the heel of the other palm), or palmas sordas (quietly, clapping two cupped palms together). After the introduction only palmas sordas should be used.

El Paso de la Siguiriya
Entre mariposas negras,
va una muchacha morena
junto a una blanca serpiente de niebla.

Tierra de luz,
cielo de tierra.

Va encadenada al temblor
de un ritmo que nunca llega;
tiene el corazón de plata
y un puñal en la diestra.

¿A dónde vas, siguiriya
con un ritmo sin cabeza?
¿Qué luna recogerá
tu dolor de cal y adelfa?

Tierra de luz,
cielo de tierra.

The Footsteps of the Siguiriya
Through black butterflies
goes a girl with dark hair
joined to a white serpent
of mistiness.

Earth of light,
Sky of Earth.

She goes tied to the trembling
of a rhythm that never arrives:
she has a heart of silver
and a dagger in her hand.

‘Where do you go, Siguiriya
with a mindless rhythm?
What moon will gather up your
grief of lime and oleander?

Earth of light,
Sky of Earth.

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