Whitchurch is home to one of the world’s top classical guitar composers, Vincent Lindsey-Clark.
This month, he has released his latest composition: Fiesta Americana, a suite of pieces in Latin dance styles that were composed especially for the great Paraguayan guitarist Berta Rojas.
LATIN AMERICAN DANCE
Vincent explained what lead up to the composition: “Berta Rojas is well known for her interpretations of Latin American music, particularly the works of her illustrious compatriot Agustine Barrios Mangore. Her request was that I should compose a suite of pieces based on Latin American Dance forms. The result was ‘Fiesta Americana’ consisting of four movements.”
He continued, “Berta has now performed this work in America, Japan and Malaysia with plans for many more performances in the future and a recording. It has been published by the Canadian company Les Production d’Oz and is now available world wide.”
The programme notes for the four movements are as follows:
The first movement ‘La danza galopa’ based on the dance from southern Paraguay explores the infectious cross rhythm of the three-four/six-eight time signature. This combined with much thematic and harmonic development produced the most serious piece of the suite.
The second movement ‘Salsa roja’ grows from a popular two bar Salsa bass groove (Tumbao) first established by the great Cuban musician Israel “Cachao” Lopez. Vincent weaves his melodies and chord sequences around this bass line as if condensing a nine-piece salsa band onto a single guitar.
The gentle beating of butterfly wings can be heard throughout the third movement ‘Vuelo de la mariposa’ an evocative cancion. Vincent included this piece to show the most expressive qualities of Berta’s playing. The composer imagines that from his garden in England a butterfly takes to the air, is then caught in a breeze and eventually comes to rest in Paraguay.
The last movement simply called ‘Fiesta finale’ is not based on a specific dance but reflects the composer’s experiences performing and listening to a variety of Latin American music, and provides a lively and exciting end to the suite.
The composition is available for online purchase HERE. Vincent had some nice things to say about Bitter Ruin at their concert in town back in September – see our article and video HERE. You can listen to some of Berta Rojas guitar playing on YouTube HERE.