New version of La Guaneña debuted in Florida

Fantastic variations on La Guaneña” of Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Music Conservatorium Professor Mauricio Arias was played by the University of Florida, Gainesville Symphonic Band on April 14th

The piece lasts 10 minutes and blends influences of Gregorian Chants, contemporary music, Colombian traditional music, salsa and son montuno (Cuban music genre), among others.

La Guaneña, a traditional Colombian south Andes song is the basis of the latest work for a soloist trumpet player and a concert band of this Colombian musician, composer and piano instructor of the UNal Music Conservatorium.

This piece was requested by the University of Florida Symphonic Band and is the result of a joint project with Jay Watkins and trumpet player Randy Lee.

The result is a concert for trumpet and wind band with 10 different variations and regular sound successions.

The piece tells the story of an anonymous warrior woman of the 18th Century. Although it is a war tune it blends nostalgia and happiness. It has been interpreted in several rhythms and on this occasion Professor Arias shows a new version without leaving out national Colombian history, emblems and rhythms.

“For a long time I wanted to work with the tune of La Guaneña, because it is very notorious. We decided on this song and created a musical piece including different fantastic variations,” said the composer.

The University of Florida Symphonic Band commissioned this piece at the end of 2015, who had already played “Rapsodia Camaleónica” (Chameleonic Rhapsody), a trumpet, piano and orchestra concert along with trumpeter Randy Lee which debuted at Carnegie Hall.

Last October Arias played in a ¡Colombia Viva! Recital which presented pieces of Colombian contemporary artists at Alte Schmiede Kunstverein of Vienna (Austria) thanks to an invitation of this artistic center and the support of the Colombian Ministry of Culture.

Furthermore he has also showcased several pieces in Colombia, including 36 variations of American composer Frederic Rzewski, on the piece “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido”, (A united people will never be defeated) of Chilean band Quilapayún.

He also composed his own Toccata Bachkovsky, which recently debuted in Australia by musicians of the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra, who defined the piece as a fusion of contemporary, popular and classic music.

Other of his compositions include “Dynamo” for a string quartet, “Snippets” for accordion and “A la memoria de 21 Ángeles” (To the memory of 21 angles) for trumpet and piano; the later debuted during the 1st Eric Aubier Latin American Trumpet Contest which was held in Medellín, along with trumpeter Juan Fernando Avendaño.

“This will be the world debut of a piece commissioned to a Colombian composer based on a traditional southern Colombian song,” he said.

Agencia de Noticias UNAL

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