Images of the Peruvian coast was commissioned in 2015 by the Peruvian trumpet player Franco Carranza, to be included on a CD, along with other works commissioned by him to the Peruvian composers Sadiel Cuentas and Abraham Padilla. The commission demanded, from the beginning, the use of airs of Peruvian music and accompaniment with piano, guitar and percussion. To avoid repetition, the different genres and styles were distributed among the composers, being the Peruvian Vals,“Triste y Tondero” and “Marinera”, the ones I received. As all these are coastal airs, I decided to write a triptych titled "Images of the Peruvian Coast", in which each movement would be dedicated to a place in the coast of Peru that had some significance in my life.
The places I chose were: i) Villapampa, an estate once owned by my paternal grandfather between the 70’s and 80’s, from which I have vague but pleasant memories; ii) Talara, a province of the region of Piura where my brother and I spent a few weeks in the summer of 1984, visiting my father who was at that time working in the locality; and iii) Totoritas, a beach located at 86 km south of Lima, where my parents had a house in the 90s, a place from which I have many fond memories related to several key moments in my life.
My paternal grandfather was of Italian origin. This explains why Villapampa combines a theme inspired by the "Canti Alpini", so typical of northern Italy, with another inspired in the Peruvian Vals.
Being the “Triste y Tondero” a musical genre from the region of Piura, I thought it would be the appropriate choice for the second movement, Talara, which presents the typical structure of the genre: a first section in slow tempo - a kind of introduction that at times resembles an improvisation - and a second section directly inspired by the Tondero, a typical dance of the region of Piura.
The beach Totoritas has a peculiarity which I always found very interesting: it is flanked on the north and south by “huacas”, cemeteries of pre hispanic origin. In this movement, the first section presents a theme that evokes the majesty of the sea, combined with a certain air of nostalgia; it is then followed by a second theme, in pentatonic scale, that evokes the cultures that inhabited Totoritas before the Spanish conquest, and finally by a variation of the first theme, in the style of a “Marinera”, as a way of representing the Creole settlers who occupied the place in recent times.
NOTE: Images of the Peruvian Coast was recorded by Franco Carranza and included in his CD Texturas. The files uploaded here are not the recordings from that CD but computer sequences made by the composer.