Being from the Iberia Peninsula, I encountered as a young child the writings of the great Spanish poet Federico García Lorca (1898-1936). Over the years Lorca’s powerful texts became a major influence in my work; their unique magical atmospheres, dark settings, profound themes, and rich symbolism have been a continuous presence in my life, both from an artistic and humanist perspective.
As a foundation for this orchestral work, I chose Ciprés, one of Lorca’s lesser-known poems, whose unique rhythmic aura sparked my imagination. The text pairs each type of tree with a corresponding form of water. An unexpected transition in the last two lines closes the poem with a dramatic, surreal gesture.
Regarding the structure of my musical composition, the work is divided into four major sections that are performed continuously, each directly related to a paired image in the poem. While the vertical structures of the piece correspond to the different species of trees depicted by Lorca (cypress, poplar, willow), the horizontal textures — mostly present in the string section — refer to the various forms of water depicted in the poem (static, crystalline, profound).
Ciprés was commissioned by the League of American Orchestras and the Columbus Symphony with the generous support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. The work is dedicated to Maestro Rossen Milanov and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra with gratitude and admiration.