Fantasia Armorial, a work in three connected movements, was composed during a 2012 stay in Brazil.
The first movement is inspired by a sound I heard almost daily from my high-rise apartment in Santos: that
of a knife sharpener walking the streets, advertising his services with an evocative high-pitched whistle whose piercing sound easily floated up to my apartment on the thirteenth floor. The slow second movement is a melodic exploration of chord progressions and melodic contours typical of Brazilian popular music such as that of composers Tom Jobim and João Gilberto. The last, fast movement references the “armorial” music of the Brazilian northeast that gives the piece its name. For the first part of this movement, the cellist imitates the sound and style of the fiddle-like “rabeca,” common in folk music of the Brazilian northeast. The entire movement is based on a melody that I wrote in the style of a Brazilian northeastern folk song.
Fantasia Armorial was commissioned by and is dedicated to the Bro-Fowler duo.
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