Lines and Shapes is a combination of fugal counterpoint with the musical style of today’s Colombian cumbia.
The practice of pairing strict contrapuntal writing with free-form popular dance tunes is an old one. It was the basic pattern for much seventeenth-century keyboard music, such as J. S. Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor. Many composers since Bach’s time have adapted the ‘passacaglia and fugue’ to other genres and ensembles.
My use of Colombian rhythms and melodic styles began in March of 2016, when Colombian trombonists Giovanni Scarpetta and Sebastián Cifuentes came to Cedar Falls, Iowa to perform in my graduate recital in music composition. I wrote for them a brass quintet in the style of a Colombian cumbia. That same year, I had the opportunity to write for the University of Iowa’s Jazz Band One. I was studying Latin jazz with Bob Washut at the time, and my piece for Jazz Band One took the form of a Latin modal fugue. A year later, when reviewing scores for competition, I realized how well the fugue and cumbia could fit together, so I combined them in an orchestral arrangement with a title that describes the way each part was conceived.
Instrumentation: Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets in Bb, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, 2 Horns in F, 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Maraca, Tambor, Strings
Duration: about 3 minutes, 30 seconds