Altar de Muertos
for string quartet
About the work
The tradition of the Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico is the source of inspiration for the creation of Altar de Muertos, for string quartet, whose ideas could reflect the internal search between the real and the magic, a duality always present in Mexican culture, from the past to the present.
Altar de Muertos is divided into four parts, each of these describes diverse moods, traditions, and the spiritual worlds which shape the concept of death in Mexico, plus my own personal concept of death.
II. Mictlan (place of dead)
III. Danza Macabra
IV. La Calaca
Optional: Each musician can put a Mexican mask on.
Date of composition:
Kronos Quartet and Inroads, a program of arts international with funds from the Ford Foundation, the multi-arts production fund of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Festival Internacional Cervantino
Premiere: April, 1997; Theater Artaud, San Francisco, CA; Kronos Quartet
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Two Latin Grammy nominated Gabriela Ortiz is one of the foremost composers in Mexico today, and one of the most vibrant musicians emerging in the international scene. Her musical language achieves an extraordinary and expressive synthesis of tradition and the avant-garde; combining high art, folk music and jazz in novel, frequently refined and always personal ways. Her compositions are credited for being both entertaining and immediate as well as profound and sophisticated; she achieves a balance between highly organized structure and improvisatory spontaneity. Although based in Mexico, her music is commissioned and performed all over the world.