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Ancla 1



This suite is a collection of three piano pieces inspired by a series of visual and emotional experiences, conceived over the span of six days in May 2012.

Improvisation is a volatile and light work that combines polyrhythm in a completely random manner. The asymmetrical rhythms and accents are a secondary consequence of the melodies created by the effect of crossing hands on the piano. I conceived it the first afternoon of that May from the window of my studio, observing the great buildings of the city immersed in the pollution of the air that is giving way to the night, becoming grey and dark in their structure, but at the same time luminous when the lights of the offices that live inside them are turned on. It is an evocation of the disappearing clouds and the orange color characteristic of sunsets, the rush hour when all the people go home when the day ends and their routine daily cycle concludes.

Noche de Mayo is a contemplative piece. Written on one of those nights, this work experiments with the possibility of harmonizing a simple melody in many different ways. With some jazz elements, this slow piece captures a moment of meditation, a reflection on forgetfulness and the passing of time. I experienced a free form that does not require a recapitulation to be conceived as cyclical; in this sense, it is a completely linear work that although it takes up the main motif, it never appears identical but transformed, as a proposal to understand the time that never returns, that does not take a step back.

Danza detrás del Zócalo is a sound metaphor. As a result of a commission to write music for a documentary about Mexico City in the present day, I visited the Centro Histórico to collect the sounds of the city. Consequently, in addition to collecting and recording the actual sounds of the city, this rhythmic and harmonic construction was immediately produced in my mind, reflecting the intrinsic 6/8 rhythm of our indigenous music, the irregularity of accents produced by the disorderly noises of the streets, combined with the polytonality of some passages that evoke the irreplaceable out-of-tune of regional musical groups in Mexico, whose members seem to play in different keys. It is a faithful sonorous photograph of what is heard in the heart and ceremonial center of what is today and was in ancient times, our great city.

Mario Santos

Ancla 2



Cierva Blanca is a poem written in the late period of Jorge Luis Borges. Through 14 alexandrine verses, the Argentinian writer talks about a creature that refers to myth and fantasy.

The White Deer is an animal that has made repeated appearances in literature for centuries: in Psalm 42. 1 of the Old Testament, in Ovid's myth of Diana and Actaeon, in the "lays" of Mary of France, in the Celtic ballads of 13th and 14th century England, in Petrarch's songbook in the poem CXC, in the Renaissance sonnet "Whoso List to Hunt" by Thomas Wyatt... this is how insistently this mythical animal reappears in different periods and regions as a symbol of epiphany, of allegory, of hope, of beauty, of the mysterious. To Borges, the White Deer appears in a dream as a contemplative experience, an unattainable creature that allows him to meditate, and which lies in the balance between reality and dream, between poetic rigor and the expression of the inner world.

The homonymous poem for piano is composed of the 4 stanzas of the poem: I. Agreste Balada, II. Segundo, III. Númenes and IV. Del Prado y la Blancura. The form of the musical composition runs through Borges' dream and his poetic material. Making use of post-impressionist harmony reminiscent of Debussy and Ravel, the piano work illustrates the oneiric passages that the writer traverses. The musical theme that first appears in bars 6-10 sings the first lines of the poem: "From what wild ballad of English green". And from this first intervention, the motif develops until it finds its climax in the fourth movement to gradually fade away, in the same way that Borges blurs the dream to leave an open ending, to wake up drowsily.

The cornerstone that sustains the literary poem and consequently the piano work is hope. The white deer has for centuries summoned the artist to an experience of extraordinary character, of hope, of being better, of harmonizing the inner with the outer world. This poem for piano responds to this same summons.

José Luis Esquivel

Ancla 3


Inspired by the prelude VL257 by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis. 


Spira Mirabilis (the marvellous spiral) is the name given by the mathematician Jakob Bernoulli to the logarithmic spiral (a spiral in which the distances between the arms increase in geometric progression, unlike the Archimedean spiral where the distances between the arms are constant), this spiral contains the shape of many objects in nature and the universe: galaxies, hurricanes, spider webs, shells, the flight pattern of insects approaching a light source are all expressions of this spiral. Bernoulli was so amazed by this geometric expression that he asked for it to be carved on his tomb accompanied by the phrase Eadem mutata resurgo (Changed, I resurge the same). Although fate had it that the carver commissioned to engrave the tomb drew an Archimedean spiral instead of the Spira Mirabilis, Bernoulli's fascination with this form and its reflection in the universe is contagious, and his idea of identity through change is profound and true: there can be no identity without temporality, and there can be no temporality without change, without development.

This piece uses the motivic development of music to express these ideas about identity, and at the same time it is an homage to the Logarithmic Spiral as well as to all the forms that may come after this geometric expression. Each of the movements that make up Spira Mirabilis is spiral-shaped (each of the compositions "exemplifies" in music a different definition of "spiral"), and at the same time the succession of the pieces becomes a spiral in itself when reaching the last movement eadem mutata resurgo, which recapitulates information from all the previous movements. This spiral effect is approached more through sensations than mathematics and is, on the one hand, a personal approach to the idea of identity through repetition and change and, on the other hand, a search to convert geometrical ideas and essential questions into musical artifice.

By structuring this piece in a form that is so recurrent in nature, the musical form of the piece also becomes what it is trying to communicate and the piece is linked to other phenomena in the universe that are spiral-shaped. Thus, the musical elements in this piece of music mimic the natural elements they describe, and the cyclical repetitions and variations in the music become the patterns of spirals that form our thoughts, our world and ourselves. Whether with this, the piece succeeds in representing the forms of the universe and nature, or is rather a second Archimedean spiral carved on Bernoulli's tomb, the composer is satisfied.


A plane curve moving generated by a point moving around a fixed point while constantly receding from it or approaching it.


A curve forming a series of circles that become gradually larger or smaller


A sacred symbol that represents the journey and change of life as it unfolds; taking a labyrinth-like passage that leads to Source.


A curve that emanates from a point, moving farther away as it resolves around the point.


Winding in a continuous and gradually widening (or tightening) curve, either round a central point on a flat plane or about an axis as if to form a cone.


A coil or curl, like the shape of a piece of hair wound around your finger, a slinky toy, a corkscrew.


Eadem Mutata Resurgo

Manuel Velázquez

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