compositions

Photo taken by Roberto Serizawa

Introspección (2000)
Instrumentation: cello & guitar
Approx. duration: 5 minutes
Listen: Recorded at Nelson Sardá’s studio in Caracas, Venezuela. Cello: Yolena Orea. Guitar: Victor E. Marquez Barrios. Recording engineer: Nelson Sardá

Viento a Favor (2000)
Instrumentation: clarinet, violin, piano, electric bass, guitar and percussion.
Approx. duration: 5 minutes
Listen: Recorded at Rock & Folk studios in Caracas, Venezuela, as part of the album Ensamble Urbano by enCayapa. Violin: Eddie Cordero, Bb Clarinet: Demian Martinez, Piano: Klever Camero, Guitar: Victor E. Marquez Barrios, Bass: Rodner Padilla, Percussion: Leowaldo Aldana.

Pieza sin nombre No.1 (2000)
Instrumentation: solo guitar
Approx. duration: 4 minutes
Listen: Recorded at Rock & Folk studios in Caracas, Venezuela, as part of the album Ensamble Urbano by enCayapa. Guitar: Victor E. Marquez Barrios, Bass: Rodner Padilla.

String Quartet No.1 (2001)
Instrumentation: string quartet
Approx. duration: 10 minutes
Text: Only award in the category “Chamber Music” for the 8th Competition “Musicalia Festival” in Havana, Cuba, 2002. Premiered at the “XVII Festival of Contemporary Music of Havana”, 2002 in Havana, Cuba

Puerto (2001)
Instrumentation: SATB choir
Approx. duration: 5 minutes
Text: Poem by Aquiles Nazoa

5 pa’ 6 (2001)
Instrumentation: clarinet, violin, piano, electric bass, guitar and percussion.
Approx. duration: 3 minutes
Text: Recorded as part of the album Ensamble Urbano by enCayapa.

Preludio y Fuga (2002)
Instrumentation: solo violin
Approx. duration: 6 minutes

Cancion (2002)
Instrumentation: solo violin
Approx. duration: 2 minutes
Listen: Boris Paredes, violin

Normal (2003)
Instrumentation: Electronics
Duration: 5 minutes
Text: Poem : Pido Castigo by Pablo Neruda

Caribe Nupcial (2003)
Instrumentation: clarinet, violin, piano, electric bass, guitar and percussion.
Approx. duration: 5 minutes
Text: Recorded as part of the album Ensamble Urbano by enCayapa.

Palmarito (2003)
Instrumentation: clarinet, violin, piano, electric bass, guitar and percussion.
Approx. duration: 5 minutes
Listen: Recorded at Rock & Folk studios in Caracas, Venezuela, as part of the album Ensamble Urbano by enCayapa. Violin: Eddie Cordero, Bb Clarinet: Demian Martinez, Piano: Klever Camero, Guitar: Victor E. Marquez Barrios, Bass: Rodner Padilla, Percussion: Leowaldo Aldana.

Dos Piezas (2004)
Instrumentation: solo guitar
Approx. duration: 11 minutes

Tres Santos (2005)
Instrumentation: Symphonic Orchestra
Approx. duration: 25 minutes
Text : with poems by Nicolas Guillen, Andres Eloy Blanco, and Victor Hugo Marquez

Sonata (2006)
Instrumentation: solo piano
Approx. duration: 17 minutes
Program notes: This Piano Sonata was written with the intention of exploring the percussive qualities of the piano, based on ideas in which the rhythmic profile has the leading role. These fundamental ideas are mostly drawn from different “musical memories” such as guitarlike strumming of chords or rhythmic cells from the Venezuelan folkloric music. I call them “musical memories” because I tried to use these ideas just as they came to my mind, without trying to correct them or compare them with the original material but rather departing with what survived the filter of memory.
Listen: Jen-Ru Sun, Piano

Raguinho (2006) Winner of Michigan State University’s “Excellence in Diversity Awards 2007”
Instrumentation: solo piano
Approx. duration: 2 minutes
Program notes:Raguinho explores the melodic, rhythmic and formal similarities between the Brazilian “Choro” and the North American “Ragtime”. I believe that these two genres developed parallely, as well as hundreds of other musical styles from regions separated by thousands of miles but united by one common element: the sea. Both the cities of New Orleans in the United States and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil were important harbor cities at the beginning of the 20th Century, where the commercial activities favored the meeting of different cultures. This theory may explain such closeness between musical genres that today represent the tradition and folklore of diverse and distant regions on earth.

Midnight Music (2007) Dedicated to Jonathan Nichol
Instrumentation: saxophone (tenor and alto, one performer), piano, double bass, and percussion
Approx. duration: 20 minutes
Movements: I. Bolero, II. Postal Pa’ Antonio, III. Nocturnal Sophistication and IV. Fiesta
Program notes: Many musical works have been written in the search for capturing the spirit, somehow magical and mysterious, of the late night. There are certain timbres and sonorities that I find evocative of that specific moment, sounds that usually come to life in a cafe or a bar, away from the concert hall; sounds that are related to a distinct way of enjoying music, different to the concert situation yet equally valid. This work is a compendium of those sounds that represent to me the different facets of the night (from 12:00 on): mystery, romance, intimacy, relaxation, fear and celebration, among others.
Listen: Recorded live at MSU Music Aud. by: Jonathan Nichol (saxophone), JenRu Sun (piano), Andrew Potter (bass) and Ty Forquer (percussion).

Pieza sin nombre No.2 (2007)
Instrumentation: solo guitar
Approx. duration: 2 minutes
Text: Included in the book “Guitar Intro 3. The Repertoire Book”, edited by Guitarists Irina Kircher and Alfonso Montes and published by Chanterelle Verlag.

SAXTETO (2007) Dedicated to H2 Quartet
Instrumentation: Saxophone quartet
Approx. duration: 17 minutes
Program notes: I. Raguinho: This movement explores the melodic, rhythmic and formal similarities between the Brazilian “Choro” and the North American “Ragtime”. I believe that these two genres developed parallely, as well as hundreds of other musical styles from regions separated by thousands of miles but united by one common element: the sea. Both the cities of New Orleans in the United States and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil were important harbor cities at the beginning of the 20th Century, where the commercial activities favored the meeting of different cultures. This theory may explain such closeness between musical genres that today represent the tradition and folklore of diverse and distant regions on earth. II. Sangueo: This movement is based on a folkloric genre performed in the Venezuelan Caribbean with a setting integrated by different drums companying a solo singer. The main idea was to recreate this music using the percussive resources of the saxophone quartet. III. Nana: Nana is a Spanish word for Lullaby. It was written using side fingerings and some other saxophone techniques in the search for delicacy and tenderness. IV. Sopla Pambiche: In the performance of the Domincan Merengue one often hears saxophone ensembles used in virtuosistic arrangements of a high rhythmical and melodic complexity. According to several historians, Pambiche is a slowertempo variation of the original Merengue that was originated during the occupation of Dominican Republic by U.S. military forces (19461924) as an alternative to the U.S. marines that found extremely difficult to dance to the fast rhythm of Merengue. The term Pambiche derives from the Spanish pronunciation of the name given to the casualstyle suites used by U.S. Marines on evening leaves: Palm Beach. In this movement the music goes gradually from an initial Tempo de Pambiche to moments of more agitation and complexity towards the end of the work.
Listen: Performed by H2 Quartet: Geoffrey Deibel, Jeffrey Loeffert, Jonathan Nichol, and Kimberly GoddardLoeffert.

Postal pa’ Antonio (2007)
Instrumentation: Tenor Saxophone, Bb Clarinet, Violin and Piano
Approx. duration: 3 minutes

AlCaravan (2008)
Instrumentation: Electronics
Duration: 2’44’’
Text: Based on the songs: El Alcaraván, by Simon Diaz, and Caravan, by Duke Ellington. Voices: Simon Diaz, Duke Ellington and Marissa Olin

El Duende Lunero (2008)
Instrumentation: Flute (doubling on piccolo), Bb clarinet (doubling on bass clarinet), violin, cello, and piano
Approx. duration: 25 minutes
Program notes: Composed following the same instrumentation as Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, El Duende Lunero is a work in five movements based on poems by Spanish writer Federico García Lorca. The poems describe various aspects surrounding the world of Gypsies, especially their close relationship with the moon. Three of the poems are recited in prerecorded preludes to movements I, III and V.

Concañeros (2008)
Instrumentation: Oboe, Bb clarinet (doubling on bass clarinet) and bassoon
Approx. duration: 9 minutes

Tres Piezas (2008) Dedicated to the MontesKircher Guitar Duo in their XXV Anniversary
Instrumentation: Two guitars
Approx. duration: 15 minutes

Luz (2008) Dedicated to Adriana
Instrumentation: guitar & mandolin
Approx. duration: 5 minutes

Top 8 (2008)
Instrumentation: violin, viola, cello, flute, Bb clarinet, bassoon, piano and percussion
Approx. duration: 8 minutes

Lluvia (2008) Dedicated to Ji Hyun Kim
Instrumentation: violin & piano
Approx duration: 10 minutes
Program Notes: Lluvia depicts some of the various moods associated with rain by using musical ideas that may or may not be reminiscent of the rain’s own noises. Diverse memories from different rainrelated experiences come together as one comprehensive image of rain that involves all the senses, beyond the pure auditory memory of it.

Tres Recuerdos (2008) Dedicated to Luis Julio Toro
Instrumentation: Solo Flute
Aprox. duration: 7 minutes
Program Notes: The fundamental ideas in this piece are drawn from different musical memories from my earliest experiences as a musician. I tried to use these “musical memories” just as they came to my mind, without trying to correct them, or compare them with the original material but rather departing with what survived the filter of memory. San Benito is based on the memory of the music accompanying a popular religious celebration in my hometown of Maracaibo. Vals borrows musical ideas from the repertory learned during my early guitar studies. Finally, El Lago is based on a song written by my father and which I’ve heard him sing often since my early childhood.
Listen: Marissa Olin, flute

De Farra en Beale Street (2009)
Instrumentation: Tenor saxophone, two violins, viola and cello
Approx. duration: 9 minutes
Program Notes: De Farra en Beale Street is a piece about a spontaneous celebration among dear friends who coincidentally get together after a long time. The celebration takes place in Memphis’s famous Beale Street, where the sound of blues music in the air blends in perfectly with otherwise unrelated sounds, such as the songs these friends sing together, louder and louder as the night advances and the celebration develops. De Farra also tries to recreate an unplanned “jam session”, an unstructured gathering of musicians who decide to play together just for fun and without restrictions of any kind.

Serenata (2009)
Instrumentation: flute, bass clarinet and percussion
Approx. Duration: 5 minutes
Program Notes: One of the things I enjoy the most during the summer months is the visit of countless lights coming to my window to serenade me at dusk. As I look at them multiplying into the night, I like to imagine they are the lights of a distant town, a blurry image that becomes clear as I get closer. In a similar way, I hear their serenade from afar but, what if I could, for a second, get closer and listen?
Listen: Ty Forquer, Percussion; Lauren Gross, Flute; Andrew Sprung, Bass Clarinet

Nebrasska Suite (2009)
Instrumentation: brass quintet
Approx. duration: 15 minutes
Program Notes: This work was written as part of the Chamber Music Institute at the University of NebraskaLincoln, during the summer of 2009. Two of its pieces, 5 pa’ 5 and Llorabrass, were premiered there by University of Kentucky’s Thoroughbred Brass Quintet.
Cinco pa’ Cinco plays with the idea of an old machine’s trying to get started. Different rhythmic ideas represent the gears that, after several failed attempts, end up working together as part of a larger rhythmic structure. Otto and Ana are the names of the main characters in the movie Lovers of the Arctic Circle, directed by Julio Medem. A “circular” property impregnates every aspect of this movie, from the temporal dimension of the story (which begins with the ending), to the names of the protagonists (which are palindromes). Their love story, as well as the way it’s told, are the inspiration behind this piece. Llorabrass is based on a popular salsa tune, Llorarás, by Oscar D’Leon. Growing up in my native Venezuela, salsa orchestras represented the most familiar setting for brass instruments (trumpets and trombones, specifically). When I learned I had to write for brass quintet for the Chamber Music Institute, I had no doubt I wanted to somehow reflect that part of my musical background in this piece.

Otto y Ana (2009)
Instrumentation: for symphonic band
Approx. duration: 8 minutes
Program Notes (from the brass quintet version): Otto and Ana are the names of the main characters in the movie Lovers of the Arctic Circle, directed by Julio Medem. A “circular” property impregnates every aspect of this movie, from the temporal dimension of the story (which begins with the ending), to the names of the protagonists (which are palindromes). Their love story, as well as the way it’s told, are the inspiration behind this piece.

The River (2009)
Instrumentation: for jazz trio (piano, bass and drums)
Approx. duration: 3’30”
Program notes: Soon after learning that two of my most respected and admired artists, Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges and North American composer and pianist Bill Evans, visited Michigan State University several times during the 1970’s, I started dreaming of an encounter and even an eventual collaboration between them. This work is the product of such imaginary collaboration.

Caló (2010)
Instrumentation: for symphonic band
Approx. duration: 10 minutes

Andy’s Choro (2010)
Instrumentation: for alto sax, piano and percussion
Approx. duration: 2 minutes

Tres Danzas (2011)
Instrumentation: for flute (doubling on piccolo), oboe (doubling on english horn), and piano
Approx. duration: 10 minutes

Discurso (2011)
Instrumentation: for percussion and speaker.
Approx. duration: 9 minutes
Note: based on texts by Nobel prizewinner Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Flores Para Lucía (2012)
Instrumentation: for solo piano.
Approx. duration: 6 minutes
Listen: Meghan Schaut, Piano

Concentric Circles (2012) Dedicated to Jonathan Nichol
Instrumentation: for tenor saxophone and piano
Approx. duration: 10”
Program notes: In September, 2011, the following headline from The New York Times grabbed my attention: “NASA Detects Planet Dancing With a Pair of Stars”. It referred to the discovery of the first planet orbiting two stars by scientists using the Kepler telescope at NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Also in 2011, my first child was born, and soon enough my wife and I found ourselves orbiting (or dancing) around her; each in a different way, at a different pace, but with one common center. Concentric Circles was commissioned by award-winning saxophonist Jonathan Nichol for its premiere at another NASA, the North American Saxophone Alliance, for its 2012 Biennial Conference at Arizona State University.

Jira (2012)
Instrumentation: for symphony orchestra
Approx. duration: 27”
Program notes: On October 31, 1947, a rebuilt 1928 Ford emblazoned with the singular inscription “Jira Machiques-Detroit” chugged into the city of Detroit, Michigan. Three men were on board: my grandfather Jose Domingo Marquez, and his friends Regulo Diaz and Jose Joaquin Rojas. Their arrival in Detroit was the successful completion of a journey that began in the small town of Machiques, Venezuela, ten months earlier. This composition seeks to revive the memory of this remarkable journey by portraying some of the emotions that accompanied its most significant moments.

Desde Siempre (2013)
Instrumentation: for solo piano.
Approx. duration: 6 minutes

Cantos Nocturnos (2009-2013)
Instrumentation: flute, bass clarinet and percussion
Approx. Duration: 9 minutes

The Fallen Tree (2013) Dedicated to Alex Smith and Kelsey Tamayo
Instrumentation: for solo marimba
Approx. duration: 5”
Program notes: If a tree falls in the forest several things can happen, silence is one of them. Music, therefore, is also a possibility. The Fallen Tree was commissioned by percussionist Alex Smith for the premiere screening of his project “The Michigandered Marimba”,  a video documentary on sustainable marimba craftsmanship.

The Stuffed Fish Choro (2014)
Instrumentation: flute, clarinet, violin, guitar, bass, and percussion
Approx. Duration: 5 minutes

Dance Lessons (2014) 
Instrumentation: for string quartet
Approx. duration: 9”
Program notes: Dance Lessons is a series of short pieces attempting to replicate, voluntarily and with sound, the kind of involuntary beat diplacement evident in an untalented dancer’s movements. The pieces draw inspiration from personal foibles, as well as literary quotes referencing dance-related situations. Premiered by the Alexander String Quartet at St. Lawrence University, on October 23, 2014.

Calida Navidad (2014)
Instrumentation: SATB choir with piano accompaniment
Approx. duration: 5 minutes
Text: Victor H. Marquez


Palmarito/enCayapa
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