string quartet [15’] 2001.

Commissioner: The New Zealand String Quartet
Funder: Creative New Zealand
Premiere: NZSQ, Adam Festival of Chamber Music, Nelson, New Zealand, February 6, 2001.

Program note:

‘Foreign kingdoms are like an enormous photograph’.

So begins ‘La Vuelta al Reino Extranjero’, performed by the greatest son huasteco trio in Mexico, Los Camperos de Valles. Comprising the virtuosic violinist Heliodoro Copado, Marcos Hernández’ extraordinary falsetto and the jarana guitar playing of Gregorio Solano, this trio sizzles to the words of a legendary trovador, Serapio El Güero Nieto. Rhythmic sleights-of-hand twist an already complex argument of two against three into an intoxicating ‘journey to a foreign kingdom’. The words of each verse were extemporized, the last line of each repeated as the first of the next, in an endless chain of surreal connections.

Snap is a musical tourist’s album of this virtuosic performance.