Sapiyuq Llaqtakuna ('Mother Earth')
Soprano and 4 Male Percussionists. BSM0022.
Quechua Texts by Dida Aguirre Garcia and Porfirio Meneses Lazon, used by permission. Pronunciation guide with IPA included in the score.
Commissioned by ASCAP/SCI as a result of the 1st prize in the 2009 ASCAP/SCI Student Composer's Composition Competition.
Premiered by the University of South Carolina Percussion Ensemble.
Scott Herring, conductor.
- Apu Wamani (Father Mountain God)
- ¿Pim Chay? (Who?)
- Qapariku (Rustic Crier)
Sapiyuq Llaqtakuna (Mother Earth) is a work for Soprano and Percussion Ensemble based on poems in the indigenous Peruvian language, Quechua. There is a small population of Quechua poets whose work is particularly striking with regard to their ancient beliefs of Gods in the earth and sky. Having lived in this region of the world as a missionary, I have witnessed and learned first hand of the culture and it’s ancient religious roots.
In this work I have attempted to create an imaginary ancient Quechua ritual with Mother Earth as the principal character. She is represented by the soprano. Her worshipful subjects, the percussionists, sing and play to her praise and glory in awed obeisance and genuflection with drums and rattles and all kinds of celebratory noisemakers. Compositionally, there is no particular system at work. The motives, rhythms, colors, and sounds that I decided to use were all a result of studying the text. The Quechua language has it’s own rhythm and phrasing that are full of musical meaning to my ear. These elements, together with the impressions of the poems and the ritual I envisioned, drove the compositional choices I made. More than anything else, the work is a narrative. Each compositional procedure was used to serve the narrative and create the ritual.