Title of the work: Masih.
Composer: Javier Torres Maldonado.
Instrument: saxophone quartet (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones)
Duration: 10 minutes.
Publisher: Edizioni Suvini Zerboni - Milano (for a free copy of the score please contact me or send an e-mail to my publisher).
Year of composition: 2012-2013.
Commission: Sigma Project Quartet & SNCA of Mexico.
Dedicatee: Sigma Project Quartet
First world performance: San Sebastian, Spain, 25.08.2013, Museo de San Telmo, Quincena Musical de San Sebastian. Sigma Project Quartet.
Score (only with authorizatin)
On August 25 2013, during the Quincena Musical de San Sebastián in the Kursaal of the Basque city, Masih for saxophone quartet was given its first performance by the Sigma Project Quartet. The composer tells us: «Part of the creative work I have developed over the last years stems from the idea of establishing a link between sound objects coming from reality and their manipulation through artisan compositional techniques deriving from computer-assisted orchestration and composition. In this way the instrumental or mixed re- elaboration (in the second case created with musical instruments and an electro-acoustic device) constitutes a first step which can then lead to compositional processes strongly linked to the structure of the basic sound object, to its perceptible qualities. This approach can be related to several works I have written in recent years, including Masih, for saxophone quartet. Written between 2012 and 2013 for the fifth anniversary of the Sigma Project Quartet and dedicated to the musicians that make up the group, the work’s basic material comes from a fascinating sample of howling wind recorded inside a building. From analysis and transcriptions, certain musical elements emerged that underwent transformations triggering various “chemical reactions” which gave birth to contrasting musical ideas that nevertheless maintain perceptible links with the basic sound object. The form, extremely irregular, derives from an extreme augmentation of the distances between the most significant peaks of amplitude present in the basic sound object; in this way, in correspondence with these durations, I determined the duration of the formal panels that make up the work, that is to say making them derive directly from characteristics implicit in the nature of the actual sound objects. These panels are often easily recognizable thanks to the fact that they foresee brusque changes in mood or transitions from one state of the sound matter to another. In many cases they are immediately preceded by formal signals consisting of violent attacks of aeolian sounds played by the whole quartet or by an opposite idea: pauses of varying lengths. The work was commissioned by the Sigma Project Quartet and the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte in Mexico. I chose the word Masih for the title because as well as being almost an anagram of Sigma (the name of the saxophone quartet to whom it is dedicated), in Indonesian it means “still”: almost a way of saying that music written for instrumental groupings that we might now call “classical”, like the saxophone quartet, will continue to exist thanks to the volition not only of the person creating the work but also of groups like the Sigma Project Quartet».