Nocturne N°2 Op9.
Frédéric Chopin / arr. Alí Arango (Track 01)
Grande Valse Brillante Op.18.
Frédéric Chopin / arr. Jerzy Koenig (Track 12)
Prelude 15. Op. 28 “Raindrop”
Frédéric Chopin / arr. Alí Arango (Track 04)
“The dream image of a possible imaginary encounter between Tárrega, Mangoré, Chopin and whose host would be me, was a fantasy that was even more funny, having Havana as the background scenario. A temporal and geographical decontextualization, which places the old and new continent in a room of colonial Old Havana, under the heat of Cuba, the smoke of tobacco, the disinhibition of rum and the unmistakable sound of dominoes. More than a bourgeois Parisian party of the 19th century, it would be almost a hand to hand, a casual and informal meeting between friends where each one, spontaneously and randomly, plays their music or transcriptions.
The idea of the cover came to my mind almost at the moment when I came up with this recording project and I automatically made the pencil sketch. Then it has been materialized by my unconditional brother and plastic artist Erick Arango.
Another addition that makes this CD even more special for me has been the possibility of recording it with an original Antonio de Torres guitar courtesy of Solera Flamenca, this is “The Invincible”. An instrument with a particular charm in its deep sound, which makes me travel in time and through the history of the guitar, and then return to childhood in my native Havana.”
Caprice Nº 5 / N. Paganini (Track 05)
III Allegro Solemne / A.B. Mangoré (Track 04)
III Toccata de Pasquini / L. Brouwer (Track 08)
“The repertoire that I have chosen for this album is a tribute to the time I lived in Cuba until the year 2005. Many of these works I learned in that period and they have a deeply emotional meaning for me. Works such as: La Catedral by Mangoré, Caprice No. 5 by Paganini, Sonata No. 1, Elogio de la Danza or Paisaje Cubano con Tristeza by Leo Brouwer.
In 2004 I had the privilege to be asked by Leo Brouwer to play the world premiere of Paisaje Cubano con Tristeza. I had the joy to prepare it with him at his house, which was an intense experience for me, being the first time that we worked together.
Tríptico para Guitarra was the first piece for solo guitar that I wrote in 2004 and after listening to it again after so many years I was delighted to include it in the programme. It transports me to that moment of my life, Old Havana, the nights composing, my house, my mother, that vital force that accompanied me despite the hard situation that we all lived in Cuba. Since then I have dreamed of winning the Tárrega Competition, being an immense honour now to be the first Cuban guitarist to achieve it.”
Guajiras de Lucía / Paco de Lucía (Track 14)
Opfergabe / Alí Arango (Track 10)
El Arpa del Guerrero / Leo Brouwer (Track 06)
“Opfergabe” means in German offering. I wrote this work just before I moved to Berlin, where I lived for almost half a year. Perhaps unconsciously, the second part of this piece is inspired in the thematic motif of Pieza sin título #1 by Leo Brouwer. “Paralelepípedo Isócrono sobre un Panáculo Helicoidal” is a complicated, recherche and meaningless name, which reflects the conceptual content of this work, a great conflict that has no solution, referring to Mayeutics and the Socratic Aporia. “Escenas del Des-Equinoccio” portrays the time when I lived in Cordoba. Spain, where I discovered a church where the bells made an irregular rhythm of seven beats, very similar to a rhythmic cell of Afro-Cuban music. In the score of this rhythmic piece, on several occasions, there are three simultaneous lines (left hand tapping, right hand and foot making rhythms on a wooden box). “Lúa” is a lullaby to my daughter. One day I discovered a beautiful coincidence, spelling her name in Spanish (ele-u-a), sounds like Eleggua, who is a god of the Afro-Cuban religion. This piece begins with an exact quotation from the melody of song to Elegua and then, I use another fragment. Also, I imitate rhythmic cells of the drums “Batá” with harmonics on the guitar.”
PorÓ-piroporÍ-pirepÓp-pÓp-tocotopÁ Alí Arango (Track 01)
Pyrophorus / Alí Arango (Track 02)
Viajando Pelo Brasil / Hermeto Pascoal (Track 03)
PYROPHORUS GUITAR DUO is an original project by guitarist and composer Alí Arango together with guitarist Josué Fonseca, who with a different proposal to the classical guitar duo canon, offers us a new dimension of versatility and the possibilities of this format. With original music and arrangements written for the duo, Arango blurs the barriers between classical and popular, exploring the fusion between Cuban popular music, jazz and contemporary music.
“Pyrophorus is the scientific name of a bioluminescent flying insect typical of Cuba, which is popularly known as Cocuyo. The name is derived from the Greek pyro: fire, and phorus: bearer of.
For many years, since I was still living in Cuba, I have been dreaming of setting up a guitar duo. This format offers great opportunities for expanding the instrument’s own limitations. It has always been my aim that my music would not have a purely guitaristic sound, to avoid limiting myself to the idiomatic characteristics of the instrument and its limitations regarding tessitura, tuning, range and technical possibilities. This is why, in my writing, I have tried to create the auditive illusion of more than two guitars, and I have created two percussion boxes, Pyrobox and Shake, which are both played with the feet. In addition, I make use of scordaturas, pizzicatos, slide, sordina, and percussion effects through the guitar or voice, sometimes imitating the bass drum, snare drum, cymbals or toms from the drum set.
The selection of works for this album joins together compositions made during the last 16 years. On the one hand it includes original works written for guitar duo such as PorÓ-PiroporÍ-PirepÓp-pÓp-TocotopÁ (2018), De las Cosas (2004), Encontrando (2003), and arrangements of Viajando pelo Brasil (2018) and Agua e Vinho (2014). On the other hand, works originally written for other formats, but adapted for guitar duo, such as: Pyrophorus (2013), Trióxido de Carburo (2013) and Someday (2012), originally composed for the TRAZA QUARTET; Homenaje a Gismonti (2003), originally for cello and guitar, Opacity Toccata (2002), originally for piano, and Sueño de la Ciudad (2006), originally for two cellos. Finally, I have included my work Tríptico para Laúd y Guitarra (2002), performed for the first time in Cuba in 2003, in which I played the guitar. This time, Josué plays the guitar and I have taken on the challenge of learning the part of the lute.
The recording of this album was made possible through the production of Guitarras Alhambra. We have carried out several projects together, and they have supported me unconditionally ever since I won the Alhambra International Guitar Competition in 2014.“