Acqua (2018)

cello octet (plus contemporary dancers)
14 min. 30 sec.

Acqua was conceived as a work for eight cellos (with musicians to be seated in a circular configuration), in collaboration with a small group of dancers.  The music’s formal structure draws roughly from Indian classical music, with a slower introduction section, followed by a more rhythmic section—with rhythmic patterns inspired both by Indian classical music, as well as by the music of Mali.

The piece is tied to the various states of water, beginning with ice: transparent textures, simple yet elegant ornamentation, plenty of space to breathe—melting into ripples, and agile layers of rhythmic energy and activity.  Then, there is the plunge into the climactic section: “Water is the driving force of nature”, wrote Leonardo da Vinci.  Water truly is the source of life, too—without it, we would not exist.  It is both a subtle and an incredibly powerful force.  Finally, the piece transforms into rising “vapour” at the end of the work.  Acqua is an exploration of extremes: an ode to the gentle beauty and power of water.

Acqua was written for and premiered by members of Allegra Chamber Orchestra (directed by Janna Sailor), and premiered at Notional Space, Vancouver, on September 15th, 2018, with dancers (directed by choreographer Linda Arkelian).


Sheet music is available through the Canadian Music Centre.