Christopher Garcia y Tasha Smith Godinez
creating new solo and duo works and resonances
for harp and indigenous instruments of Mexico
Music for harp and instruments of indigenous Mexico and Meso America
Christopher Garcia and Tasha Smith Godinez met during rehearsals for the performance of composer Joseph Julian Gonzalez symphonic oratorio MISA AZTECA in San Diego in Fall 2013. A composition utilizing rhythms of Mexica/Aztec danza played with instruments of Meso America.
Christopher has previously performed Silvestre Revueltas' SENSEMAYA (1936) Carlos and Chavez' SINFONIA INDIA (1937) with the Bakersfield symphony Orchestra in 2008 and later Gonzalez' MISA AZTECA with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in 2011 at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, CA. USA
Understanding the need to have these instruments heard more than once a year in a symphonic setting or in a traditional Mexica dance setting, he set out looking for collaborations with chamber groups and soloists interested in exploring and experiencing the possibilities.
QUINTETO LATINO/MEZCLA MUZIC
A woodwind quintet based in San Jose, CA were the first
chamber group willing to participate in a world of sounds and ideas they had never previously explored. There were premieres and numerous performances in Berkeley, Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Eager for more opportunities to compose for western classical instruments not usually associated with the instruments of Mexico Christopher kept an open ear for willing collaborators including composer/classical guitarist Jxel Rajchenberg as MEZCLA MUZIC who had performances in Los Angeles, San Pedro, and South Pasadena, CA.
TASHA SMITH GODINEZ
During rehearsals for MISA AZTECA Christopher was able to experience the timbre, sonorities, and the color of sound of the harp in close proximity along with the interpretation and execution of the music by Tasha Smith Godinez.
Intrigued by the possibilities of collaboration they spoke with each other after the performance and several emails were exchanged with lots of questions and answers in regards to their instruments, schedules and possibilities.
Tasha is a consummate musician, known for her ability to not only play traditional music for the harp, but also contemporary music, along with a willingness to experiment i.e., to play the harp differently, not only physically, but also conceptually as a soloist and in various settings.
She continues to commission compositions for harp and has received rave reviews for her performances and recordings for solo harp. She is fearless and more importantly, she is willing to be a part of the composers palette and vernacular as each composer she has worked with requires very different ideas and feedback from her.
MUSIC FOR HARP
Christopher listened to music for harp on different recordings in various settings e.g., solo, duo, trio, chamber and orchestral as well as meeting with harpists in order to ask them questions about the instrument, and how it responds in different environments —solo, duo, trio, chamber with strings, with brass, with percussion etc.
What they like, what they don't like, and what they have to do in order to be heard in a symphonic setting due to the nature of the instrument etc.
When Christopher and Tasha got together to play the music he had composed up to that point, he loved the dynamic range Tasha is able to elicit from her instrument e.g.,
melodies which are barley audible and can be played strictly thru the manipulation of the pedals, to the pianistic sonorities of the upper register, to the ominous harmonic residue when the lower strings are struck with the hand, or the percussive attack of a shaker scraped across the neck bow of the harp used to imitate the sound of a Yaqui rasp, or harp strings played with a conductors baton to replicate the sound of a tawitol.
He wanted to incorporate all of these elements and more into the compositions so that everything from a whisper to a roar can be utilized.
CLASSICAL AND PRE CUAHTEMOC
Percussion and harp are two of the older instruments in the world
and literally go back thousands of years in one form or another.
The unusual thing about using classic(al) western instruments with the classic indigenous instruments of Mexico is that the music composed for these instruments up to this point has not been composed by a composer/performer with thousands of hours playing these instruments in real time, but usually by a composer who heard the sound of the instrument played by a person who has devoted his life to developing a sound on their instrument and then composing for it .
Most who have played these instruments for a lifetime do so in non classical settings and in general cannot read or write music, while those that can read music have not spent a lifetime nurturing a "SOUND" on the instrument.
Garcia is at a moment in time where this is possible and he has been blessed to find willing collaborators to participate
MUSIC is not relegated to notes on a page.
MUSIC is one of the most abstract art forms which only exists
while it is being performed
scored music does not make a sound
and notes on a page are just the shadow of a sound at best…………
When listening to different ensemble's perform the same piece of music,
the listener will always find one version more striking than another
How is this possible if the notes are exactly the same and the ability
to play the notes is exactly the same?
The INTENTION of the performer(s)
always transcends the page
and is FELT by the audience
Intent, intensity and passion cannot be rehearsed
it is there or it is not
Because real MUSIC in real time transcends sound,
and the experience of the composer and the performer
It goes beyond the conception,
beyond the rehearsals,
beyond the stage
straight to the audience ears, heart and eyes
where composer, performer and audience experience every note
for the first time
at the same time
every time ..............
anything less is less