2. TRIO (THE DESERT CROSSERS)
3. TRANSITION INTO DUET
(movements performed without pause)
Passage is based on photographic images and documented experiences of US/Mexico border crossers. The title refers to both the physical journey immigrants attempt to make across the border as well as the spiritual rite of passage many Latin-Americans associate with the border crossing. The score opens with a "grito," or wail, from the violin which is answered by an original hymn tune in pounding chords from the piano. This hymn theme returns in varied forms throughout the piece as a refrain separated by episodes which portray the action of the narrative. The first episode, "The Desert Crossers," is in the form of a warped Mexican folk tune, portraying the border crossers' fear and trepidation surrounding the physical and spiritual journey. The second episode, "Duet," is an introverted lyrical section, which contrasts documented experiences of border crossers' desperation while trying to cross the surrounding desert and accounts of tranquil "hallucinations" of falling water. In the "Finale" the hymn tune returns for the last time, played softly by the violin. This builds to a majestic climax along with the return of the wailing violin theme. As the journey comes to a close, the piano's hymn chords and the violin's somber wailing fade away, portraying both the experience of those who make it across the border and those who do not.
Passage was commissioned by Milwaukee Ballet.
Pasquale Laurino, violin; Andrews Sill, piano
Pabst Theater, Milwaukee
March 23, 2006
Homage a Kazuo Ohno (2010)
Homage a Kazuo Ohno (for solo piano), written in memory of the pioneering Butoh dancer and choreographer, evokes three hallmark elements of the musical accompaniment in his most recognized works: traditional Japanese music, evoked by a plucked and struck melody heard three times throughout the piece; sounds of nature, evoked by running the fingers along strings inside the piano and by clusters struck on the keyboard; and western classical music, represented by chords struck on the upper part of the keyboard which develop into a repeating chordal figure evoking chiming church bells.
The work was commissioned by danz.fest to accompany a dance piece by Tadashi Endo in commemoration of Kazuo Ohno's passing.
Matthew Tommasini, solo piano
July 24, 2010