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El Paso de la Siguiriya - SSAA, Mezzo Soloist, and rhythm clapping in Flamenco style

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SSAA, Mezzo Soloist, and rhythm clapping in Flamenco style - Advanced - Digital Download
21st Century, Contemporary Classical, World. Octavo. 13 pages. Published by Coriolis Press (S0.888377).

Item Number: S0.888377

Commissioned by the Latvian State Culture Capital Fund (Valsts Kulturkapitala Fonds) for the women's vocal ensemble Putni, Antra Drege, Director. The audio performance is by Milwaukee Choral Artists. Other performers for this work include The Boston Conservatory Women’s Chorus, directed by Beth Willer, The Berkeley Women’s Community Chorus, directed by Debra Golata, and The Cantala Women’s Choir directed by Phillip A. Swan.

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 music moves between Flamenco and Arabic Styles of singing for the soloist, with some impressionistic turns as well. 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.

The beautiful, mysterious, evocative text is by Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936)

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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