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Melodies from My Mother

for B-flat Clarinet and prepared Guitar

Captivated by the tales of her youth, my mother vividly recounted her upbringing in the northern reaches of Romania, nestled beneath the sprawling Carpathian mountain range, where the rolling hills served as her playground. She often found herself by my grandfather's side, venturing to the land they tended atop those majestic peaks, spending entire weeks labouring alongside him.

 

"Melodies from My Mother" is the auditory tapestry of her reminiscences. The first movement transports listeners to the rugged heights of those mountains, capturing the essence of my mother's perspective. Here, the haunting call of the 'bucium', an alpine horn unique to the region and traditionally employed for communication, echoes through the clarinet's sustained notes and subtle microtonal inflections. As dawn breaks, the mountain springs to life with birdsong and the rustle of the wind, accompanied by the rhythmic cadence of wood against wood as my mother and grandfather embark on their day's work.

 

Each movement draws inspiration from a distinct source, woven seamlessly into the fabric of the composition. The first movement, rooted in the timeless folk melody of "Ciuleandra", unfolds organically from the initial hum, while the second movement pays homage to the lively "Tropotita" dance, synonymous with the region of my mother's upbringing. Though the original pieces are never fully unveiled, their essence permeates every musical motif, with the percussive rhythm of the Tropotita mirroring the spirited stomping of the accompanying dance.

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