Forests and Barrios

Medium: Chamber

Fl, 4 Guit

When writing ‘Forests and Barrios’ for flute and guitar quartet, I was asked to include something tango-esque. Not wanting to merely acknowledge this musical art form so emblematic of Argentina, I wanted to comment on the plight of the Guarani people of Northern Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil, whom I had the chance to meet during travels with my family to Selva Misionera in Argentina.

The piece is split into two movements. The material for the first is derived from an indigenous melody from Brazil played on Guarani panpipes. This melody and its many variants form the bulk of the movement. The second movement is more distinctly tango (though it goes farther afield harmonically than most traditional tangos). In the middle, the Gaurani panpipe melody appears, punching holes in the tango in an effort to make its voice heard. I decided to bring a fragment of the melody back at the very end, to remind us that the Guarani are still here.

A recording of ‘Forests and Barrios’ is forthcoming.



Commissioned by

Minneapolis Guitar Quartet

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