Snapshots from Mexico (2008-11)

7 movements for brass quintet:Mexico

Duration:  ca. 11 minutes

Premiere: 11.14.2012 at Rice University by Andrew McCormick and David Sedgwick, trumpets, Emily Nagel, horn, Steven Galloway, trombone, and Rick Stiles, bass trombone.

Recording: by Andrew McCormick and David Sedgwick, trumpets, Nathan Udell, horn, Steven Galloway, trombone, and Rick Stiles, bass trombone.

Program Notes: After completing my third year of college, I decided to take a gap year in Monterrey, México. Snapshots from México is a sort of musical “scrapbook” I worked on from 2008 – 2011 in order to take a break from writing more “serious” music. The following are its short character pieces that recall some of the more vivid memories from my first and longest stretch of living in México:     –DJK


Listen to I. Cuco y la Cucaracha below:
My friend Cuco was washing dishes after dinner when, suddenly, an enormous cockroach began running across the backsplash behind the sink and it lost its footing, falling right into the dishwater Cuco’s hands were in. Water went everywhere…

Listen to II. La Basílica de Guadalupe below:
The nearly 500 year old tilma bearing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is indescribable when seen in person. Melodies from a famous song about La Guadalupana are woven into this movement.

Listen to III. Ghost Stories at the Campfire  below:
Cuco was a good story-teller… this one seemed real…

Listen to IV. Terreno Desértico – Desert Terrain below:
On a journey to and from Guadalajara, I was impressed by the desert terrain which was sometimes flat and lonely and sometimes impressively cragged and crinkled.

Listen to V. Lagartija en mi Mochila : Lizard in My Bookbag below:
I remember the 10-inch lizard I caught while climbing one of the Huasteca mountains. I started to feel nervous about the poor lizard’s prospects in my backpack, sensing that his life expectancy decreased with each step (and fall!) When I opened my backpack at home, the poor guy was just laying there, not moving… but then, sort of snapped out of it and dashed across the room and up the wall…

Listen to VI. El D.F. – Mexico City below:
Although impressive in its mega-large population, Mexico City was a chore for me. Smog, noise, anxiety, claustrophobia, danger… I associate all these with my experience of this nation’s capital… but there are still some redeeming qualities that stand out.

Listen to VII. Mar Abierto – Open Sea below:
In Acapulco, about a 30 minutes’ drive from the main bahía, I became acquainted with the under toe: a force of nature to be reckoned with.