Ñandú started as an idea for a piano solo piece sometime ago, and is based on an Argentinean folk dance known as Malambo. As many of the north-west folk dances of my country, it is based on a superposition of the time signatures 3/4 and 6/8. In this particular dance, the gaucho (cowboy) shows his skills with a set of boleadoras, a throwing weapon made of weights on the ends of interconnected cords, designed to capture animals by entangling their legs. The Ñandú is a typical bird of the Buenos Aires plain land (very similar to the ostrich) which is still hunted with this ancient method.
The traditional malambo is played only with percussion or, if accompanied by guitar, the harmony is a very basic loop with no melody which just serves the purpose of showcasing the dancer skills. Based on that simple idea, I have explored many possibilities of rhythmic displacement and harmonic development, and that plan constitutes the kernel of the piece and the theme one. Later on, a second, more melancholic theme appears presented by the oboe, maybe picturing the slow, orange sunsets that you can witness in that part of our countryside. But I never compose with the idea of suggesting any particular feeling or landscape, I prefer to let you, the listener do that part of the job, so we are both creating that unique moment of the listening together! Enjoy.
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.
Receive the latest news
Join Our Mailing List!
Get notified about new events, opportunities and the latest ACO happenings