About SIERRA Piano work
With these three Sonatas, I begin a cycle whose final goal I ignore. At the time of writing these lines there are 13 of them, in which I take a critical look at a genre that has been shelved within the Germanic tradition. This is so true that it seems to have arisen ex nihilo in classical Vienna, disregarding the Mediterranean manifestations labelled as sonatas that emerged during the early 18th century. Undoubtedly, the classical sonata takes shape with Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, becoming a format with specific characteristics where form is fused with harmonic elements. As a result of a historical vision focusing on this central European geographical point, it is assumed that these works of the Viennese classical period constitute a canon that presumes “universality”, and is imposed on us with hegemonic character. It was precisely this imposition that motivated me to look critically at the genre, not from the outside, but from the inside; in other words, I did not decide “not to write sonatas”, but precisely “to write sonatas”!
By not using tonality as a basis for my pieces, each Sonata presents a unique proposal ranging from the relationships of structure to the sound content. Elements of rhythm, symmetrical scales and “musical gestures” are constituted as formal demarcations. Similarly, my typical use of popular and folk music is also present and integrated into the form. In the first Sonata, the salsa figures of the piano stand out, and in the second Sonata, in the third movement, elements derived from the Venezuelan joropo can be heard, as well as in the fourth movement, a military march that merges with a pasodoble can be heard. The third sonata includes elements of Andalusian music. My intention is to remove, to eliminate that stony and hegemonic character attributed to the format, which I understand as a great container or abstract structure having the possibilities to be moulded as I intend to. In this way, each work presents a different view of what we call sonata, which I believe can be recreated, broken and reassembled. This route of deterritorialization and reterritorialization is the one I have pursued in all sonatas.
Whilst each sonata contains a complex world of sonorities and formal structures expressing their particular character, all of them share a method of organising the musical materials which I have developed over the last two decades. The first two sonatas are broken down into four movements, whereas the third has three movements. In each of the first movements I define the particular approach to the sonata form; I establish modules that may be represented by sound materials or by elements that are defined gesturally, such as the expressive and sombre beginning of the second sonata. What is emotive and spontaneously stated is of great importance in my work and it is in these sonatas that I find myself reacting to the turbulent and changing world we live in. The ironic and at the same time sarcastic fusion of the military march with the pasodoble, as well as the phantasmagoric fandango air of the first movement of the third sonata, or the flow opening the first sonata, look towards this environment of everyday reality.